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How to Handle Microaggressions

According to Wikipedia, microaggressions can be defined as “the casual degradation of any marginalized group.”  Originally, the term referred specifically to racial insults directed at African Americans but it has since come to be applied to many different groups experiencing oppression, including women, LGBTQIA folks, immigrants, religious minorities, and people with disabilities.  What makes these insults specifically microaggressions (as opposed to flat out aggression) is how benign they might seem to the casual observer.  As stated by psychologist Derald Wing Sue, microagressions are so insidious because they are “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.”

If you’re still fuzzy on what exactly microaggressions are, consider reading this article by the Crunk Feminist Collective that shares 10 examples of microaggressions experienced by folks “Working While Black.”

So what can we do about them?  Fortunately, there are several great strategies out there for handling microagressions at work and in our daily lives.  Here are a few to review: