10 Ways to Enrich Our Relationships Through a Belief in Competence
"1. Don’t define people by their diagnosis. Remember playing tag?
Nobody wanted to be IT. And if you were IT, you wanted to get rid of IT because being IT was stigmatizing, a detriment, and something undesirable—that was the game; being IT was to be avoided and feared. Remaining IT longer than we’d like becomes challenging to catch up to the others, to belong, and to feel
When we define someone by their diagnosis, our perception of them may become something to be dreaded: someone defective, someone who has the IT with which we don’t wish to risk an association of any sort. For that person, this attitude is the lubricant that greases the wheel for the vicious cycle of a selffulfilling prophecy. That is, when people define you as having IT and that’s all you know of yourself, you will reflect back precisely what others project upon you. This is a natural and defensive reaction; and if you don’t speak or can’t articulate your feelings, your outpourings of “behaviors” will only further validate the diagnosis (hence the vicious cycle)."