Hidden prejudices and prejudices very strongly reinforce all the decisions we make, affect our feelings and, therefore, actions. And there are times when we do not recognize this influence on our choices and decisions, and this can do more harm than good.
First of all, it is very important to understand prejudices in order to overcome them, and this article contains several methods by which it is possible to try to overcome your unconscious and hidden prejudices.
1. Take growth
Remember that you are only at the beginning of the path and do not have to be perfect. Thanks to this, you will become more open to the awareness of your prejudices, it will be easier for you more often to defend your point of view in front of others. Growth-oriented people believe that you can learn everything if you make an effort. As a result, they have less need to assert themselves, are more likely to experience failure and are more willing to take responsibility for mistakes.
If other people meet your point of view with distrust or hostility, a growth attitude will help maintain calm and a sense of security. If you acknowledge that you may have internal unconscious prejudices that need to be defeated, this will help create trusting relationships with social groups that are being harmed. It’s much more effective to behave this way than to pretend that you do not suffer from prejudice and do not notice the differences between people.
2. Notice your privilege
Many believe in meritocracy: successful people are more talented than others, or have worked hard to succeed. We should question this belief and acknowledge that in many cases success was aided by luck and a more advantageous position — privilege.
Change your point of view is not easy. Usually we trust the data that confirms our views on life. If you want to believe that our success is deserved, we will turn a blind eye to how society has helped us along this path. One must learn to recognize that success is partly due to tailwind and luck. Recognizing this fact will help promote policies comparing the score for people struggling with the headwind.
3. Choose Awareness
The more we love something, the more often we ignore negative information about it, as a result, we miss alarm signals. Perhaps your favorite sneakers are made using child labor. Maybe the list of friends we invited to the party is suspiciously monotonous. The antidote to this is the practice of mindfulness. Ask people who are struggling with the headwind about the difficulties in their lives, and do not rush to take a defensive position. Thanks to this, you will better understand the situation and establish trusting relationships with them.
If it is difficult for you to conduct such dialogues or for some reason it is impossible, there are other ways. You can find out about people who are prejudiced by others by reading books or listening to podcasts that talk about perspectives other than yours.
4. Interact with people around
Often we try to teach children not to notice the differences. It seems to us that ignoring differences helps them to avoid prejudice. But studies prove the opposite. Children still notice everything and create their own stories about races, genders, or disabilities, unless parents discuss these topics with them and tell them how to behave.
Each of us can stop colleagues or friends who make racist or sexist remarks, expand our circle of contacts so that it becomes more diverse, and strive to create an environment of equality in the workplace. It must be remembered that the goal is not to feel like a good person or pat yourself on the shoulder, but to learn to show courage and help people reconsider an unfair system of judgments.
Of course, some of the tasks may seem too complicated, but they bring great advantages. For example, working groups that promote inclusiveness and diversity achieve better results. People who have friends from different social backgrounds feel easier in situations related to interaction with representatives of different groups. The struggle for the rights of others helps us live in accordance with true values.
Dolly chag - A psychologist, a teacher at the School of Business at New York University, the author of the book “The Person You Are Designated to Be. How good people fight prejudice. ” Her site.