Video Interview: Talking Labels with Thommi Odom, Personal & Professional Growth Coach

LabelsI hate labels. I always have. Oh, not the kind you use to label your kids’ clothes for camp or the ones that tell you that that candy bar has only eight grams of fat in it, so you feel like you can eat it without feeling guilty. (It’s a Three Musketeers, if you’re interested…)

No, I’m talking about the labels we use for people. To categorize and classify – and often judge – them.

Smart. Dumb. Pretty. Ugly. Fat. Skinny. Dog person. Cat person. It’s like our minds have this filing system in which we need to organize people so that we know how to act towards people.

Why do we label people? How do these labels affect how we treat people? And how can we stop labeling people, especially since it seemingly happens so instantaneously?

Check out my interview below with growth coach, Thommi Odom, for answers to these questions and more!

Today’s Takeaway — Be careful how you label someone. Because when you do, no matter what that person does, he or she will inevitably “live up to the label”, regardless of whether it holds any truth or not. Because you’ve already decided that’s the case.

Learn more about Thommi — visit her website ( or follow her on Twitter (

Now, it’s your turn! Share your thoughts in the comments below:

  1. Why do you think we have this natural tendency to label people?
  2. Have you ever experienced a time when you were labeled or pre-judged by someone? How did it feel and how did you overcome it?

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  1. Rachel, awesome post. This really hit home for me. I’ve been labeled my whole life. Starting at a young age with my own family I was labeled as overweight and shy and told that I wouldn’t be able to achieve certain things with those traits. I carried that around with me my entire life and am still working on overcoming the psychological effects of it.

    As I got older, in various jobs I was labeled as an employee because I didn’t have the right degree or experience I couldn’t do certain jobs or be promoted to positions I was perfectly capable of doing. This is what prompted me to start my business. So there are times when labeling can push you to turn it into something positive which I am grateful for but sometimes it is still difficult to allow myself to think that I can do something because that little voice from past experiences says, “no you’re not qualified”.

    Nobody deserves to be labeled and I am very strict with my daughter about not labeling people or allowing herself to be labeled. It’s a topic that’s super important to me and I wish more people would be conscious of the spoken or unspoken judgments they put on others because they have no idea the long term affect it can have on someone.

    GREAT blog by the way! Loving it!!! xo

    • Rachel Franco says:

      Thanks, Jackie! And thank you very much for sharing your story…I am really touched by your comments. It has always frustrated me how people tend to label each other so automatically and often without really knowing a person (although I think we can also tend to mistakenly label those we know!).

      You so wisely point out that with labels often come assumptions and judgment. I’ve always believed that all of us must be willing to question our own assumptions (I will be writing a post about this in the near future!). You so wisely also highlight how we can use our negative experiences for good, whether it’s through starting your own business like you did or teaching our children to take a different path.

      I’m so happy to hear that you’re actively teaching your daughter not to label. I think sometimes we think that things like empathy, compassion and inclusiveness will just happen automatically. Kudos to you for actively teaching them!

      Sooooo happy to have you here as part of the “Be yourself” community! I *love* your wisdom!

      ~ Rachel