CommunityBrowse groupsBlogEtiquetteInvite Your friendsSuccess Stories


Do you believe in stereotypes?

I don't consider myself a racist, however I do believe in certain stereotypes. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong, however I worked in an industry where I dealt with people on a very personal level and I gotta say, I was hardly ever proven wrong.

How do I get over being jaded by my industry? I love all people regardless of their ethnicity or religion, etc. but I can't seem to stop stereotyping after I've met someone and shared dialogue with them.

Tue. Jul 10, 8:42pm

Add comment  
Of course I don't believe in stereotypes. At least you're a big enough person emotionally to admit you do. But the fact that you're not blaming the individual people, or even the industry itself, for "proving" these stereotypes to you is alone hyper-judgmental and, frankly, ignorant. Wanting to be a loving, open person and actually being a loving, open person are completely different things.

I'm not trying to attack you, I'm just trying to spin this so you can see how it looks from the outside.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 9:26 PM

Add comment
I don't think you need to get over your stereotypes. I think stereotypes are there for a reason. I know the word is sooo taboo, but think about it. We devepope instinct with experience, and the past determines the future. We learn how to react and interact with people based on past experience with them. This is nature's way of allowing us to adapt to different things and different environments. It prepares us for future esperiences. Accept your stereotypes, especially if they are hardly proven wrong.

For instance, let me give an example. A stereotype of a black man in baggy clothes is that he is dangerous. If I am walking down a dark alley and such a man is following me, that stereotype may save my life by encouraging me to be afraid and walk faster to a more busy street.

I know I will get sooo much criticism for saying this. But streotypes are there for a reason.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 9:43 PM

Add comment
Hey 9:43

Any person following you in a dark alley is someone to be wary of male or female, black, white, asian, hispanic, arab, martian, whatever... that's common sense.

You're getting criticism right now because you're obviously a moron.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 11:08 PM

Add comment
stereotypes are based on cultures or should i say some people's perception of certain cultures. granted there are times that some of the stereotypes just seem to always ring true, but as humans we can help but to judge people the instant we meet them. Animals are the same way...until a dog can sniff another dogs but, he doesnt know anything about him, but he assumes that he can be a potential enemy because he's a dog and they are known to bite. Look at it from the human perspective - you dont know a person until you actually spend some time with them, and smell their butt (hee hee).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 11:23 PM

Add comment
Stereotypes help build these nifty walls around your perception! It's soooo cool! You know? Like looking through a tunnel!! You know? Tunnel vision.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 12:13 AM

Add comment
I love the poster who put "Of course I don't believe in stereotypes."

Why not, I wonder?

From an anthropological point of view, stereotypes are critical. Ever seen the movie _Gung Ho_? It includes a hysterical scene in which an American businessman makes a complete idiot of himself because he thinks the Asian businessmen he's meeting with are just regular guys. Which they are, but they aren't regular American guys, and he makes mistake after mistake because he doesn't understand cultural differences--which, incidentally, are described in stereotypes.

Whomever said "A smile is the same in any language" didn't understand much about cultural differences, either. In some "languages" a smile is a threat, and in others it means someone doesn't quite trust you. These are cultural perceptions and behaviors that we can describe as stereotypes that will help us understand those of other cultures.

I'm not saying all stereotyping is good, but demonizing it is denying the ways in which it helps us negotiate the wider world. Knowing what generally makes people from certain cultures uncomfortable, and what generally makes them comfortable, what they consider rude and what they consider important, gives us a starting point for relating to people from other cultures--even if the stereotype doesn't hold true for every single member of the culture.

So I stereotype the British as having a large personal space, and I try not to get in it, even though most Americans have a smaller personal boundary. And I recognize that most Middle Easterners have a very small personal boundary, so I try not to be freaked out when my Arab friends (I had a lot of them in college) stood right in my face to talk to me. I avoid mussing the hair of Indonesians. I always tried to be more than usually polite and quiet around my friend Joanie's parents, who were first-gen Japanese Americans--at first because of a stereotype of what I thought Japanese culture was like, and later because I realized it really *did* make Joanie's mom nervous when I bounced in all exhuberance and didn't take care to acknowledge her and her husband properly.

Stereotypes can and are misused all the time, but being able to make general statements about a culture can be a good step toward being able to exist within that culture without making an idiot of yourself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 12:49 AM

Add comment
I believe the OP was making a generalization about a race of people and using the word "stereotype" to avoid the word "racism."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 1:38 AM

Add comment
Stereotypes are learned and is not an instinct. It creates fear and unecessary boundaries.

The fact that you believe that you are never proven wrong shows how strongly you believe in those stereotypes. It shows that you look for clues to support what you believe instead of trying to get to know that individual person. Stereotypes are a generalized and extremely limited view of groups of people. And I don't think stereotypes are the same as cultural differences.

everyone makes judments, it is human nature, but get to know someone before you categorize them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 5:12 AM

Add comment
stereotyping is a tough word, and they exist to be broken. I was walking in SoHo in New York a couple years ago and three black youngsters in baggy pants, gold teeth and chains approached me to ask a question. They were dressed like the Wu Tang Clan. I was very nervous, given other experience I had had to be honest. They walked up to me and one of them asked "excuse me sir, could you tell me where the nearest Commerce Bank is?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 8:20 AM

Add comment
Love that!

8:20, great comment, lol...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 10:36 AM

Add comment
Maybe they were going to rob Commerce just kidding! I do believe that stereotypes have some truth, they aren't fabricated out of thin air but it doesn't mean you should apply those stereotypes to people before giving them a chance. They might surprise you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 2:51 PM

Add comment
who thinks the OP look like a racist? you can never properly and fairly judge someone based on appearance alone. i just found out last week that a woman with whom i regularly cater is very racist. it shocked me and we discussed it. well, it was more like her telling me how ignorant i was because of the different ethnic backgrounds of many of my friends, and how someday i would recognize that she's right. i would not (and in fact never did before) have ever thought that about her!!! oh well, her loss. i tired, but i can't teach a blind person to see.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 3:25 PM

Add comment
People are too PC

It seems the most close minded people are the very ones who try to shut us up I personally do not like groups like the KKK but they have the right to express their opionions and we have the right not to listen or disagree with these morons, also stereotypes whether we like theam or not 80 percent of the time are true I have found that people who are liberal are not at all they are hyprocrites they say love everyone as long as you agree with me if you dont you are a racist christion right winger at least you know where you stand with theam liberals are two faced hyprocrites Im not saying conservatives are not but you have more on the liberal side. I am a Latina who believes in imigration reform but people are always crying these people are here to do the jobs no one else wants I believe my people deserve better than to work for minimum wage but they must go thru the proper channels like my father did and work yourself from the bottom up. You know if we were to invade mexico they wouldn't pay squat for us they don't even support their own country even thou they have an abundance of oil and if they weren't so corrupt they could be just like saudi arabia. THE POINT TO MY BABBLING DONT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT BELIEVING IN STEREOTYPES THEY ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT TRUE!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 8:23 PM

Add comment
you oughtta try using punctuation if you want to make a point. sorry, but the rambling, jumbled mess takes to much time to decipher without a few well placed periods.
i love when people use made up statisitcs, like "80 percent " of all stereotypes are true. forgive me for stereotyping, but the majority of posters on this thread are unknowingly racists and proud of it, but like most racists they blame their perspectives on the ethnic groups they don't understand and feel threatened by. usually racists are undereducated in the social sciences and are unwilling to even consider that they may be wrongly holding others accountable for their own shortcomings.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 8:50 AM

Add comment
"How do I get over being jaded by my industry?"

the first step in solving a problem is admitting that a problem exists. the problem lies within you, as do the solutions. if it is really the industry you worked in that skewed your views then you must have been more accepting and less judgemental before you worked in that industry, right? look deep within youself to unlock those traits again. i do not think that waiting for others to break out of the mold you now tend to place them in is the answer. ask yourself what qualities do you see in others that you identify with? do you ever stereotype people in ways that are complimentary, or is it usually in a disparaging manner?

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 8:58 AM

Add comment
How can someone be unknowingly racist and be proud if it?
You're the jumbled one.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 10:00 AM

Add comment
And 8:23, I agree with you saying that people are too PC, but come one, I don't think anyone can understand what you wrote at all after that. Take a moment to breath and then write. It helps.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 10:02 AM

Add comment

you juat proved my stereotype of Latinas - they can't write. Haha.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 10:04 AM

Add comment
by "unknowingly racist", i mean that people are claiming that they stereotype others but do not perceive themselves as racist for doing so. euphemisms are your friends.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 10:28 AM

Add comment
10:28 -
maybe you don't know the actual meaning of the word "racist". look it up and then get back to me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 1:20 PM

Add comment
you could just post a link to your log...

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 1:35 PM

Add comment
heh... I don't think my food choices reflect any racism. unless you count the fact that I don't eat KFC or rice and beans.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 1:40 PM

Add comment
i think some stereotypes are true. certainly you can't apply it to everyone of which it applies but sometimes there is a strong correlation to fact.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 1:53 PM

Add comment

nice way to try to defend your self from being rightfully called a racist.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 1:55 PM

Add comment
i don't understand. what race is KCF associated with? isn't it from the south? do you mean racist against americans? and rice and beans?! are you also against vegetarians?

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 2:09 PM

Add comment
I definately believe in stereotypes and apply my knowledge of various cultures and personality traits of certain ethnicities to my work.

I work as a head hunter and have worked with low level candidates in the past and now work with candidates that hold advanced degrees including JDs and PhDs and time and time again, I see the same behavior repeated in positive and negative ways.

For instance:
My Caucasian and Asian candidates tend to be more upfront with their background (including criminal) and experiences, they rarely embelish their resumes, and negotiate compensation in a manner that results in them getting the best possible package, not because it's owed to them, but because they deserve it and will earn every penny.

My African American candidates are always the most fun to work with because they befriended me and would joke around and truly believed that I would get them the highest possible salary, not understanding that I don't work for them, I work for my company and our clients. As a result, many would try to negotiate salaries through counter offers and they would try to nickel and dime the process which would lead to them either having the offer recinded or just not showing up to work.

Those are just a few examples of what I deal with on a daily basis, work related. Outside of work, I don't worry if a black man is walking towards me with baggy clothing and is blinged out, I don't feel threatened.

BTW, I happen to be a black woman for those of you who want to call me a racist. No racist here, just a realist.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 2:29 PM

Add comment
the color of your own skin has no bearing on whether you are eligible for the title of racist. as a black woman, i would come to see you and you would automatically NOT put me into the same category of professionalism and honesty and worthiness that you seem to apply to caucasians and asians. that is associating a particular trait to me based on my race. do you see my point of view? i am not asking if you agree with me, just asking if you can understand a different position than your own. i understand your perspective (although i do not agree with you, i see where you are coming from).

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 2:41 PM

Add comment
you are obviously a moron

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 2:46 PM

Add comment
People always live up to your expectations

If you expect to see somehting in someone you will see. People will respond to your expectations. But it is not really them, it is you. You may see a simple trait in one ethnic group that you may not notice in another because stereotype does not fit the bill. Please get help.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 4:05 PM

Add comment
4:05, you mean to say that if someone stereotypes they should get help??? You are an idiot, please get help.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 8:51 PM

Add comment
To 2:29

Did it ever occur to you that the behavior you see in your different clients are based on YOUR race?

Your black candidates are probably friendlier because you are black also. They feel that you are one of them and will look out for them. If you were white they would probably straighten up and negotiate the same way as your non-black candidates.

What you observe in your black candidates aren't stereotypes. They know from history that they can get short changed because they are black and want to feel that they have some value.

Sorry, but you do have a bias against your black candidates and I'm sure your pre-judgements change the way you negotiate with them. From the time that they sit down you have already decided how the meeting will go and have basically made up your mind that they will NOT get the salary they ask for.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 9:32 PM

Add comment
2:29 here

Many times I deal with them on the phone first and have no idea they are also black. As mentioned, I work with highly educated people and often they speak perfect English; no Southern twang or Ebonics so neither my candidates nor I know whether we are black or white. Nice effort though in trying to figure out my behavior, which by the way I have no interest in changing.

Thursday, July 12, 2007, 9:36 PM

Add comment
You can tell or assume a lot from a voice or from the information provided on a resume. So don't tell me you have no idea that they are black. And eventually you do have to meet them before negotiations begin and that is when your bias steps in. I don't think you would hire someone without first meeting them.

Friday, July 13, 2007, 8:18 AM

Add comment
Go To This Link

I was curious to about the test mentioned in this show. They say not to take it too seriously but it can make you think a little.


Friday, July 13, 2007, 8:20 AM

Add comment
This is the website to the test that gives you a glimpse of what you really feel. They tell you not to take it too seriously, but it will make you think.


Friday, July 13, 2007, 8:24 AM

Add comment
that's the thing with most racists...they rationalize their behaviour and "have no interest in changing".

Friday, July 13, 2007, 8:51 AM

Add comment
8:51 - Yes, I think the poster should get help. The reason that she asked the question is that she is questioning whether or not her beliefs are justified. Either that or she is sh**t disturber just like you are. Besides I think you are also socially inept if you don't think that stereotypes are not dangerous. You don't have to go that far in history to see gross injustice done to people because of stereotypes. Now we have the law to protect us from such injustice, actually if she worked for me I would fire her. That is another reason she should get help.

Friday, July 13, 2007, 9:24 AM

Add comment
why is anyone assuming op is a she???

this thread is enlightening, you can see how ignorant people are. finger pointing and calling people racist, when those doing the finger pointing are some of the most racist people on the planet!

Friday, July 13, 2007, 7:47 PM

Add comment
Not Your typical stereotype

I am a Latina with no children. Now that my friends is a mircle I am thirty years old usually in my culture I should be a grandma. Ha Ha also I am 5'8 being of mexican descent that is another oh my god moment and the biggie I am not catholic I do not see the virgin mary in my tortilla or a cheese sandwich. I date white men not because I hate my race but because I was raised in a vanilla part of the country not that I have not slept with a pappie or a yummy brother and to the grief of my welita I am not a democrate. The shame the shame of not fitting the latin mold.

Friday, July 13, 2007, 8:05 PM

Add comment
Of course you are not a democrat, you can't even spell democrat.
Also, try incorporating some punctuation into your writing. That may take you out of the mold.

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 8:51 AM

Add comment
Ok, I was avoiding posting in this thread but the last two comments annoyed me. I'm also Latina, and it sounds like 8:05 is making more stereotypes when we are trying to disprove them.

And since when is not using punctuation a stereotype for Hispanics?

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 2:56 PM

Add comment
hey 8:05 you need to use spell check but you are funny!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 9:10 PM

Add comment
hey 8:51 I bet you are one of those people that others roll their eyes at because you are correcting their speech and pronunciation, you sound annoying.

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 9:15 PM

Add comment
7:47 your argument makes no sense and your logic is faulty. How would you know all of that out of this pathetic little thread topic. You are right though about pointing at everyone's fault assuming that op is she. But that is all.

Monday, July 16, 2007, 9:20 PM

Add comment
We are not arguing over sex we are discussing race. Actually we were supposed to be discussing weight watchers. who cares what the op is?

Monday, July 16, 2007, 10:32 PM

Add comment
I'm 16 and I live right smack in the middle San Francisco - but I gotta say that stereotypes are just fine, you just have to be sure you can see beyond those biases. I make prejudgements based on race somewhat often, only to be disappointed when a person lives up to that pre-conception. I myself am streotyped against because I'm half african american. I just make sure to be as extraordinary a person I can be, not allowing myslef to live up to ANY pre-concieved notion about what a black person should be like , or a mexican person. I'm not attempting to reject my background or my heritage, but I am being exactly who I want to be. People that don't have sufficient pride in themselves to be who they want will fulfill you stereotypes, but you can't blame youself for their insecurities.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 1:22 AM

Add comment
I found this all very entertaining. But I am sick to death of the PC police!!! I am caucasian, grew up in an almost 80% hispanic area and didn't have any idea that there was such a thing as racial tension still in the world until I got to be in my 20's and started really watching the news. We have almost no blacks in our community, some that I know I like, others I don't. Many of the whites in our area I don't like because they fit the stereotype of white trash. What is the problem for recognizing that people who look different (are from a different culture) usually have some traits in common? I teach my children that if they dress like a hood, people will automatically think they ARE a hood. The PC police have made it so tense in America. Now us stupid white folks don't know what to call anyone! Black? African American? Indian? Native American? Can I eat Mexican food or do I have to find a new way to refer to that cuisine? PC Police, Get real and get a life. Don't be so thin skinned and assume that everyone hates you. They don't even know you yet!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 1:44 AM

Add comment
It is not PC control that made it worse for everyone. It is just that racist a**holes can get away easily with murder anymore. Yes, it still happens.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 9:51 AM

Add comment
I meant to say can not.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 9:51 AM

Add comment
it's not the "PC police" that make things difficult for racists. it's respectable, out-spoken, socially aware people that make it difficult for racists. let's keep 'em down!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 9:56 AM

Add comment
Hasn't anyone heard of the theory of self-fulfilling identity? You become the stereotype that you really want to rebel against because that is what you grow up understanding.
Try reading freakenomics .......

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 10:59 AM

Add comment
so, people become racists because they had tolerant, open-minded parents?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 11:10 AM

Add comment
I believe the poster said you become the stereotype. Racism is not a stereotype.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:28 PM

Add comment
exactly right 12:28

Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 3:26 PM

Add comment
So, did we decide whether stereotypes are valid or not? Sometimes with all the sarcasm and etc, I can't tell what a poster's point is.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 5:56 PM

Add comment
The results are inconclusive :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 8:05 PM

Add comment
I think there is a difference between stereotypes and cultural preferences. As mentioned earlier, some cultures have different views on things like personal space. But to say that all black teens are thugs is a stereotype and racist.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 8:18 AM

Add comment
those who believe in prejudging others based on strereotypes will respond that stereotypes are valid. those with open minds will respond that stereotypes are not valid.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 8:31 AM

Add comment
Your Stereotyping the term "Stereotype"

Stereotypes are a part of our society - take it or leave it.
Everyone classifies people in their daily encounters, it is learned behaviour. To say stereotypes are not valid is a biased opinion because you perceive stereotypes to be negative, there are such things as positive stereotypes (ie. certain ethnic groups are more disciplined in academics, or certain ethnic groups might be more apt to excel in particular sports).
It is not always negative, and to condemn someone for stereotyping only shows your inability to see things with an open mind - black or white with no shades of gray.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 10:24 AM

Add comment
not valid. stereotypes are relative to experience and are based on opinions. if i lived in a predominantely white neighborhood and every family had 2 parents and a dog and 2 kids and a pool, i may stereotype white people that i meet as having the same type of family situation / lifestyle. if, however, i lived in a predominantly white neighborhood where each family was a single parent-home, had 4 kids, and had pet ferrets, i might conclude that all white families live this way. sure, we may all hold certain stereotypes-that may be natural. but that does not mean or indicate that the stereotypes i believe exist are the same ones that you believe exist. thus, we each have our own unique stereotyping system. there is no collective idea, but rather individually manifested stereotypes which are rooted in each person's experience with others.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 11:20 AM

Add comment
Sorry 11:20 your theory doesn't hold water, unless you have been living under a rock for the better portion of your life, it is called media ......... that is what governs most of your stereotyping.

Thursday, July 26, 2007, 6:30 PM

Add comment

Related Content:

How To Lose Weight- The Basics
Weight Watchers Points System
The Fat Smash Diet
The Eat To Live Diet
The Beck Diet Solution
How To Get The Motivation To Lose Weight


How To Be Successful Using PEERtrainer

How To Burn Fat
Online Weight Loss Support- How It Works
Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Tips On Using PEERtrainer
Visit The PEERtrainer Community
Diet and Fitness Resources


Weight Watchers Meetings
Learning To Inspire Others: You Already Are
Writing Down Your Daily Workouts
Spending Money On A Personal Trainer?
How I Became A Marathon Runner


Preventive Health

How To Prevent Injuries During Your Workout
Flu Season: Should You Take The Flu Shot?
Are You Really Ready To Start PEERtrainer?
Super Foods That Can Boost Your Energy
Reversing Disease Through Nutrition

New Diet and Fitness Articles:

Weight Watchers Points Plus
How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise
New: Weight Watchers Momentum Program
New: PEERtrainer Blog Archive
Review Of The New Weight Watchers Momentum Program

Weight Loss Motivation by Joshua Wayne:

Why Simple Goal Setting Is Not Enough
How To Delay Short Term Gratification
How To Stay Motivated
How To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

Real World Nutrition and Fitness Questions

Can Weight Lifting Help You Lose Weight?
Are Protein Drinks Safe?
Nutrition As Medicine?

Everyday Weight Loss Tips

How To Eat Healthy At A Party
How To Eat Out And Still Lose Weight
The Three Bite Rule
Tips On How To Stop A Binge