“You People Are So Inspiring!” and Other Microaggressions

My daughter is studying to become a counsellor. She has an innate ability to connect with others, and in particular with children — I view her as a “child whisperer”. In her studies, they have been discussing microaggressions and she thought it would make a great blog topic. She was right!

Let’s start with a definition:

MICROAGGRESSION – A term used for commonplace daily verbal, behavioural or environmental slights, whether intentional or not, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative attitudes towards stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups.

Remember, they can be intentional or unintentional slights. The important part is that they communicate negativity.

(More on Page 2)

2 thoughts on ““You People Are So Inspiring!” and Other Microaggressions

  1. Another insightful post Dave, you’re on a roll. 🙂 (Hoping that was not a micro-aggression)

    But seriously, you’ve identified a couple of things for me. First simply being self-aware is critical. I know if I’m not paying attention to my words and my audience, I’m in jeopardy of offending someone and often this comes with the good intentions of trying to connect. But that’s the second point and that of course is that intent and impact are tricky. On the one hand, our intent is often less important or not important at all because the impact can be so significant…good or bad. I’ve stopped saying “I didn’t mean to offend you” to my wife and while I’m sure she knows that, hurtful comments are still hurtful no matter the intent. That said, when we are in a position of power, this can become a powerful teaching moment when we do feel offended. Reaching out to those whose trust we’ve earned when we either recognize good intentions or indeed we have good intentions can be used to learn and grow.

    That may have been a bit convoluted but trust me, my intentions were good. 🙂 Again, Dave, I so appreciate your thoughts here. High-quality leadership in action.


    • Hi Dean,

      Your words are so kind. Thank you. I think we can get to a place in our lives where we can be more honest with ourselves and the perceptions of our actions. Your comments to me show your own personal reflections on what is important to you. It reminds me, again, of what a positive, humble and supportive person you are in this world. Thank you!


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