Literary Inspiration: Henry James on Perceptions

"Don't mind anything any one tells you about any one else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself." - Henry James in his novel "Portrait of a Lady"

How many times have you heard about a particular person, a relative or friend of a friend, only to be surprised when you finally meet them? It can be friends talking up someone that they think you'd be interested in dating (and when you meet them... ah, not so much) or a friend dismissing a younger sibling as nowhere near as awesome as they actually are.
Even worse, we can hear labels and immediately create impressions of people in our heads without even meeting them - gay, geek, emo, christian, jock, skank, band geek - and start to believe them. We don't bother looking deeper and discovering the amazing and fantastic people that exist outside of the boxes that people insist on placing them in. We are the ones that lose out if we don't take off these glasses that others put upon our eyes.

Scribblettes, your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to open your eyes to someone already in your life who you've never really given a chance to be more than a label. Post in the comments what people label you without looking any further!


  1. People often label me as 'stuck-up' purely because I have a BBC British accent and am shy, so can be a bit standoffish. I'm really not! :)

    I would love to meet up while you're in Chch, that would be super - my email address is andrea[dot]eames[at]gmail[dot]com. Maybe we could exchange numbers? :)

  2. I don't know how people think of me. I always wonder, & when I ask, if they say something nice, I still wonder if they're hiding what they really think.

    I know how I label me. The best & the worst of it.

    It also depends on who you ask, the blog girls see a totally different side to me than what my school friends see...

  3. I'm worried that this year in particular i'm going to be labeled as young. I'm stepping up into a managers role where the people before me have been a lot older than i am, i don't want them to think i'm a push over because of it!!

  4. @ Andrea - I'm the same, my other half says I speak like I should be on Radio 4 and I'm pretty shy too!