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If you watch the news, you are shown a way to not like certain people because of who they are, what side of politics they are on, or what they have done  There are a few good stories peppered here and there in a newscast but the bulk of the content are reminders of the world being a challenging place for us humans, even in how we may treat each other.  In all of this, we begin to develop the reinforcement of stereotypes.  We do not intentionally do it most cases, but it still happens.  Even though this practice is considered now taboo in the same vein as letting someone know you have racially profiled them, human thought can instantly take over if just for a few seconds.  Why do we do this?  If you say you do not, I have no other way to say this; you are not honest with yourself or others. You are not a bad person when it happens either.  It is based upon factors absorbed by your conscious and sub-conscious mind over years and years of observation.  If someone looks shady to you, regardless of how much you fight it, your instincts will take over, and you will have the avoidance program engage.  Understand the shady person may have the same feelings about you and we move the needle to neutral.  We ALL share in this together.  It may have been experiences when growing up. It may be how other family members may have treated certain people in situations.  It may be you watched the news, and the profile of the bank robber matches the description of the person in front of you in the grocery line. 

Conversely, we tend to gravitate to the people and causes you feel comfortable around.  The feeling of alignment to a group maintains a strong familial structure.  We are happy to see these people and spend time with them.   

Now, the big question to ponder.  If someone were to be walking on the other side of the street and see you and your associates walking the opposite way on the other side, how might they perceive you all?  Would they want to join you or contemplate scenarios of running away?  Would they have a pre-conceived notion of how you all will act or behave based upon where you work or what profession you are in?   If you may not be looked upon or judged in the manner you wish to be, it may be the time in your business to address it.  You may be in a profession already riddled with pre-conceived notions and stereotypes.  Are you just fueling the fire and diminishing your credibility each time you have to state, “Well I am not like the others who…”? Or do you make the effort to look really at how you can best showcase your talent and style so they see your character beyond what the stereotype of your business may be?  If you can do this well, people will want to cross the street to see you, not just keep walking the other way.