The entertainment and advertisement industries depend on us all having the same instant idea of what someone is like based only on how they look.
The problem is that we carry this over into our daily life and typecast the people we see around us within a fraction of a second. And then we discover that 99% of the time it’s a total MISMATCH with what they’re really like.
Ever been on a first date? Ever met a “hot mess”? Ever felt misunderstood and realized people are typecasting you incorrectly?
Grab a friend and call out what you think the people in the photos are like the instant you see each one. Notice how different your reactions can be!
We’re noticing that no two human beings are alike.
We’re noticing how deep and rich each person actually is.
Noticing this helps us understand why our typecasts of people are ALWAYS wrong, every single time, without fail. (This is one of the few times you will hear me say something so absolutely).
When I originally pulled together the remarkable list below for a speech I was giving – a list of all the facets of a human being (most of which are invisible) – I reached out to a mathematician to double-check my math because I couldn’t believe what the numbers said.
My list of human attributes (facets) was about 60 items long.
If we say for a moment that each of these independent human attributes was only an on or off, one or the other, binary kind of thing, then to calculate the number of combinations of human beings that are possible, this list of 60 items can be calculated as 2 to the power of 60…
260 = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
or over 1 quintillion combinations of human beings.
But there are actually far more combinations than that because most of the attributes are spectrums, ranges, and sometimes multiple choice.
We all know what it’s like to see ourselves on video. Most of us think it’s weird and we dislike it.
But stop and think about the fact that everyone else ONLY sees us “on video.”
Of course, they have no idea what it’s like to be us on the inside. Their typecasting of us is probably way off the mark.
Catch ourselves typecasting people and notice how super quick the typecasting can happen.
Keep in mind how different and rich everyone else is inside. Hopefully this will help us to stop thinking of other people in an oversimplified way.
© 2020 Mark Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.
This campaign and website imagined, created and maintained by Mark Halvorson. This is a living document. All media is properly licensed, attributed, and usage rights are respected.
Get out there and practice, practice, practice thinking clearly with your friends and family. Help refine what people say rather than reject it. Try to say what you want in the form of a question. You can also send people here and not say a word. The huge benefit from all this is that it won’t be long until people and the world won’t be able to mess with you anymore. People will notice that about you and will want to know how you did it. Be strong and have your own ideas, style and identity. We’re all in this together.