Micro-aggresions (Future Professoriate Open Blog Post #4)

Micro-aggressions are words, expressions, behaviors, and cultural day to day activities that a person may use or be part of that either intentionally or unintentionally belittle or are derogatory to another human being or group of human beings.  An example of this may be for someone to say that ‘she is a great black head coach’ or asking someone where they are from and not accepting the answer.  These micro-aggressions can be harmful and hurtful to  the people around you and can take away form your credibility and likability.  I have talked about knowledge in past blog posts and will talk about it again here.  I think that knowledge is a crucial obstacle in the fight against the use of micro-aggression for me, as an individual, and for society as a whole.  Knowing how something you say or do may be perceived by others is key in understanding their effects.  Micro-aggressions are often unintentional and the intent behind them may or may not be derogatory, however a certain knowledge about how your actions and words can effect others, will cut down on the amount of times that ‘you’ may degrade others and make them uncomfortable in a social setting with you.

Learning how micro-aggressions can make others feel and seeing how others react to these certain micro-aggressions can change one’s thinking and therefore allow for smoother and richer social interaction.  Since many of the micro-aggression are unintentional, I wonder if there is an underlying thought process to using them in all of us.  Knowledge is one way to cut down on the use of these micro-aggressions but a change in the way one thinks and perceives situations and people is another way.  There is a need in today’s society to change the way we were brought up to think about certain individuals.  A shift in societal thinking would help to ensure the lessening of the use of micro-aggressions.  Many people use these micro-aggressions everyday and do not even know that they are using them.  Step in and say something to someone.  Let them know how their words or behaviors are being interpreted.  Add some knowledge and experience to the situation and allow that person who is using these micro-aggressions a chance to explain their intent and a chance to change their view.  Chances are the person or ‘you’ did not mean to be degrading or make anyone feel uncomfortable but because of their upbringing or culture they came from used a micro-aggression out of habit or a cultural vernacular that is part of that person.  As a human being it is something that we all should be aware of and try to change in our own lives as well as the lives of people around us.

Those steps can help to shape society and the world in a way that can benefit all people.  A person can not now how an unintentional micro-aggression makes another person feel without the knowledge and experience it takes to recognize.  A third party can look in and cringe when someone does or says something but until that third party enlightens the doer it goes without change.  Do not be afraid to step in and teach people what they may not see. Listen, understand the intent, and then deliver the knowledge to someone to allow that person to change the way they think in order to better the society as a whole.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.