Even if you're not thinking about it, they still exist. Microaggressions seem harmless but they often times hurt someone. Here are some examples and how you can avoid them.
Microaggressions are statements, actions, or incidents regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against people of color and/or marginalized groups.
Some examples of Microaggressions:
- Inappropriate Jokes
- Alienating certain groups
- Not learning names/not making the effort to pronounce them properly
- Coded/loaded language
- Denial of racial reality/experiences
Why Microaggressions are harmful:
It can create an uncomfortable & stressful environment. Because these are ‘micro’ these aggressions can go unchecked and become a part of common ‘culture’. They can lead to future harmful behaviors and normalize racist and offensive language
- Instead of saying “You’re so articulate,” say nothing. You can commend people on their specific ideas or insights, but commenting on how people speak is unnecessary.
- Instead of saying “Your name is so hard to pronounce,” ask: How do you pronounce your name? Don't point out that it's foreign or unfamiliar to you.
- Instead of saying “Is that your real hair?” try giving a compliment. A person's natural hair, regardless of their ethnicity, should be accepted.
- Instead of saying and interrupting with “Well, actually, I think…” just wait for the person to finish their thought. And if you like their idea, give them credit.