Inner Growth Word of the Day: Stereotypes
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: (n.) 2. something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially: a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.
Stereotypes in a sentence: The affects stereotypes can have on people depends on how and to what extent they are applied onto others in day to day circumstances.
Stereotypes in action: When you place a person or a group of people into a box that defines them based on general patterns, personal judgements and opinions, you’re creating stereotypes.
Stereotypes and inner growth: Stereotypes help inner growth when they are put into question by you; whether you are the one applying them or they are being applied to you. Exploring preconceived notions to understand if they are truly felt within or something you really believe in, and reflecting on how you feel when stereotypes are applied to you; are some of the things that take place during this line of questioning and will lead to growth (whether through change or a higher level of self-awareness).
Stereotypes and inner growth action steps:
- In-depth self-exploration questions: How do I feel about stereotypes? What’s my definition of a stereotype? Where did I learn my stereotypes? Do I use stereotypes? If so in what circumstances and how do I use them? How do I feel when others use or have used stereotypes to define me? Does how I feel about people using stereotypes on me match how I feel when I’m using stereotypes on others? What have I learned about life from stereotypes? How have stereotypes affected my life? How has my use of stereotypes affected my others and my relationships?
- List or word bubble: Make a list or word bubble with stereotypes at the center and then list or put around it all the words that come to mind associated with it. Next to each word you listed place a word that represents a statement about a stereotype someone used on you and one that you have used on someone. Pick the three words that stand out the most to you for the feelings they bring about. Write about these three words and why you feel this way about them (If you can use the words from your first list too).
- Bring your awareness to your feelings about stereotypes and allow this feeling to express itself without letting thoughts come to mind at first. Once you really feel the feeling has become clear and spread within you, identify a thought that comes to mind with this feeling related to stereotypes and notice if it’s a person or specific event that took place or maybe it’s an idea or specific stereotype. Whatever that thought is, allow it to express itself, and notice if your feelings change now that you have also allowed thoughts to come to mind.
Your turn – Share your stereotypes sentence, life examples, and inner growth action steps; and let me know if you’d like to see something added to our Inner Growth Word of The Day explorations 🙂