What would care labels say about a you?

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Cats have it easy so don’t need care labels

So I had a really interesting conversation with brilliant graphic designer Angie Chan at the weekend (thanks for your time and thoughts @angieokchan).

Her comments provoked me to consider in more depth what purpose wearing care labels might serve. And, importantly, how the information on the care labels would be received and understood by others even if they had no prior knowledge of the concept.

For the wearer purposes might include:

  1.  Communicating a specific need without stating a difficult emotions explicitly.
  2.  An object to spark a conversation about the symbols and what they mean.
  3.  Taking a moment to adjust the care labels each day and connect with their emotions.

But how would other people, those unaware of the project, respond to the care labels?

I guess there a few possibilities:

  1. Recognise the symbol and act as the wearer intended.
  2. Notice the care labels and ask why they were being worn.
  3. Recognise the symbol and choose not to act on it.
  4. Not notice the care labels at all.

Thinking about this helps me to understand the purpose of the care labels.

Primarily this is to create a connection between two people where one person (the wearer) struggles to express their emotions.

A secondary advantage is cause of self-reflection when setting care labels which allows the wearer to ‘check in with how they feel’.

I suppose the point I am making here is that the care labels have intrinsic value, in and of themselves, regardless of whether or not they elicit a response from another person.

6 thoughts on “What would care labels say about a you?

  1. So glad our discussion was useful. I did find myself sitting in the hospital emergency department earlier in the week. Being upset and not able to express it was what I experienced. I guess this is one of the things you’re trying to address with care labels.

    I don’t often get upset, which maybe why during our discussion the desire to know about the target audience / the need and demand for the concept was so important to me. Empathy isn’t one of my strong points – I wonder if it’s possible to learn to be more empathetic.

  2. Hi Angie

    Sorry to hear that you’ve had a difficult week, I hope things are feeling better now.

    Everyone has different aspects to their personalities that make them the unique individual that they are – so don’t give yourself a hard time!

    I’m currently studying a psychological approach called Compassion Focused Therapy, which you might find of interest. I’ll be adding some blog posts about it here coming weeks.

    Best wishes,

    Zoe x

  3. There was an interesting TED (i think talk) about 2 years ago about communicating feeling. Specifically LOVe i think. Dr Helen Fisher is a Biological Anthropologist. She was discussing social media and how having a place to put feelings and share as a personal mass media created a new paradigm in feelings. That being instead of just ‘I have a feeling’ > I will “post it” some created new habits of ‘I want a feeling’ > I will try to “create one”. Does that make sense? What are the unforeseen circumstances of telling people about our state of mind?

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