Friday, 19 August 2016

Are stereotypes dangerous?

Stereotypes. We all have our stereotypes, don't we? One thing I have always wondered is what is the New Zealand stereotype? When other countries think of New Zealand, what do they think? I can hazard a guess. "What? Where? When? Isn't it somewhere near Iceland?"

I was watching this video about the various stereotypes in the Japanese prefectures. For example, Tokyo people are cold or Okinawa people are always late. Talk about island time.

Obviously these stereotypes have to come from somewhere and there might be an element of truth to it. Yes there are some cold people in Tokyo, but I'm 100% sure that there are cold people in Nagoya or Fukuoka too.

I'm sure that there are late people in Okinawa, but believe me, there are millions of people in Tokyo who turn up late especially for social appointments. Don't get me started on this. The cellular phone has a lot to answer for.

So, what is the stereotype for an extrovert? What do you reckon? Let me list what I think:

  • Loud 
  • Brash
  • Dominating the room
  • Did I say loud?
  • Always have an alcoholic drink in their hand
  • Energetic
  • Drinks lots of Red Bull

OK, now we have the introvert's turn. What do you think about this one?

  • Bookworm 
  • Quiet
  • Shy
  • Anti-social
  • Did I say quiet?
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Lazy

You could dispel all of these stereotypes for both introverts and extroverts. I'm sure there are some teetotaller extroverts out there and even some who don't like Red Bull.

Likewise, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are introverts and no one could call them lazy.

What I am saying is that if you do decide to label people don't think they will decline your invitation to go for a beer because they are introverted just expect that they might go home earlier than everyone "just when the party is getting started."

Don't expect that person to dominate the discussion as they may want to listen to the other people's ideas and opinions. That's why they turned up.

When we watch comedians like Russell Peters he comments on the stereotypes of different nationalities and it is funny. I've always believed that you should be able to laugh at yourself. People who can't are dangerous in my opinion but be careful with the stereotypes as you could be missing out on engaging with some awesome people. 

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