This article was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Misconceptions.
A misconception is (as according to Dictionary.com) a mistaken thought, idea, or notion; a misunderstanding.
Misconceptions can happen anywhere, in any situation: not understanding a topic; not knowing the full story; hearing the wrong story… there’s a myriad number of reasons how one can misunderstand something. There are some common misconceptions about people, personalities and situations that happen over and over again. To be honest, one would think they would learn from past experience. These are some frustrating situations I’ve experienced time and time again (I apologize that they are high-school-based, as I’m still just a teen).
The act of labelling itself is not a misconception, but the ideas about a person are. It’s quite similar to stereotyping, but sometimes is more personal. This happens so often in schools — and even in the community — that it’s not even funny. Labelling can happen in several ways. One is in the same sense as stereotyping, when one person is labelled as something simply for their appearance or behaviour, without truly getting to know them. How often have you heard someone call someone punk or emo, for they wear black clothes and have coloured hair? Or does the image of an Asian kid with glasses come to mind when you hear the word ‘nerd’? I’m sure everyone has heard these labelled names and stereotypes before.
The second form of labelling is more personal. This happens when you actually do know someone, perhaps very well. They could be your very best friend. Because of something that happens, for example, s/he does not take a particular situation well. Words such as “drama queen” are then thrown around. Even as a joke, these words can hurt and can stick.
2. Understanding Reason Behind Others’ Behavior
It’s easy to make a misconception of one’s personality when you don’t hear both sides of the story. Say someone says something mean about a friend of yours… the usual reaction is to stick up for your friend, while developing negative thoughts on the opposition. This is the easiest way to make your way to Lonely-ville, especially if you cannot keep your mind open about a person’s personality until you have met that person for yourself. It could also be someone assuming something about you, simply for something you may or may not have done. You could simply be sitting back, watching how people interact and viewing. On the other hand, one may assume that you are being sullen and depressed by not being actively involved.
3. Misunderstandings During Arguments
This is simply when people argue, and their ideas come across, or are interpreted the wrong way. I’m sure this requires no explanation. It is simply frustrating when people cannot sit and speak civilly, even after the argument to resolve things. Some people are incredibly stubborn, hold grudges, and do things to harm the other person’s reputation and name.
These three forms of misconception only briefly scratch the surface. Misunderstandings happen every moment, everywhere. These are just three particular peeves of mine in regards to misconceptions, and perhaps more to it, the way people treat each other resulting from misconceptions.
Jess is a 16 year old down to earth, deep-thinking teen. She loves to talk about all the real life issues, and get actively involved within the community. She writes to us from Australia.