Assumptions can be dangerous, unreliable and unfair. The problem is, they’re inevitable. People are judgmental, and they form stereotypes in order to satisfy their natural need to classify and organize. The minute people meet each other, they are analyzing who the other person is and how to classify them.
A baby doesn’t make assumptions. It sees everything for the first time; everything is new. That shouldn’t change. Everyone is different, and should be approached as something new.
Age, sex, race, size, culture, personality, style….everything about us carries a stereotype.
Stereotypes are usually based on some truth. They don’t develop out of thin air. They’re developed based on experience. If someone has a number of experiences with a certain “type” of person, they assume that the same experience will occur with others of that “type”.
Still think Millenials are great with social media? Or maybe you think they’re entitled and lazy. The only thing that you can say is 100% true about a millennial is their age. Same goes for Gen X, boomers and on… Anything you assume as a result of that age is based on stereotypes. Whether it’s a positive stereotype, or a negative stereotype, it is still dangerous, unreliable, and unfair.
Use your baby eyes, like you’re seeing everyone you meet for the first time (I know…ridiculous). You’ll be surprised how much more you can learn and accomplish with people when you eliminate assumptions. Thinking about stereotypes may be inevitable, but if you recognize that it exists, it is unfounded, and focus on the specific person as an individual, you can overcome them.