All of us want to be treated good without compromising our ego. But when the stereotyping rules, one might be tempted to overgeneralize persons or their attitudes, thinking in a predetermined manner.
“See, that girl crossing the road, how stupid she looks” or “I have bought a new branded machine, it’s definitely better than this” “you are a loser” …we deal with a a lot of such generalizations in our day to day life.
No one actually likes to be generalized but still it is used as a survival skill built on previously programmed mental descriptions. So if you generalize remember what you are doing actually. Sometimes, our routine causes ignorance. Things get unnoticed when they are part of our routine and we start generalizing with our programmed vision. Paying attention to the minute details of your daily life helps you to connect things logically.
Your thoughts might be contrasting with others, but don’t jump into a conclusion as there maybe thousand tiny things which escaped your senses. Even if unintentional, overgeneralizations or judgements can have negative impacts not only for the persons you are referring to but for you as well. You are distancing yourself from the real nature of people by ill treating them or you are missing a chance to know how the world really looks.
Though generalization or attribute linking enables fast processing, a thought must be given before doing so. If you dig further the more specifics might appear. But people might already have a preset mind set and then they just seek for evidences to backup their thoughts.
Read more about the perspective differences in thoughts in this post, Seeing different things in the same image
I know such close minded people, they will be always around us in the society. They are simply satisfied in their story or even don’t mind to add a little dramas to spice it up. Maybe they are just cooking up things for attention. Is it any syndrome – the needing to be noticed as I mentioned in Free yourself from the pressure of craving to be noticed. Earlier I thought it’s my duty to explain them how wrongly they interpreted further to their generalisation but very soon I realised they can’t be changed. It is a wastage of time if you try to convince them something different.
I didn’t mean every generalization is wrong or you need to refrain from generalizations. After all Einstein generalised his special theory of relativity after 10 years of publishing and we are still living with that. When everything is in balance generalization might work well just like the statement, tobacco causes cancer. Remember your generalization can have a strong impact on the listener too so don’t put forth statements like dogs are always smarter than cats or all politicians are corrupted or I am always right.
This post, I am not always right talks “your rights won’t be my rights and your wrongs won’t be my wrongs”
All generalizations are false including this one – Mark Twain
Still, lemme say two things which you can consider before generalizing,
- Things makes sense only when you are able to blend all pieces in the right proportion. Don’t go judgemental prior to that because all are special as well small things do matter a lot.
- Be mindful of what you are doing, be clear on the intent and impact of your generalization as there are thousand tiny things unnoticed.