CityinThree

A lot of people know the typical characteristics that are attributed to the introverts of the world. We like to...

A lot of people know the typical characteristics that are attributed to the introverts of the world. We like to spend time alone (that’s when our best thinking happens), we’re guarded, we like keeping our emotions close to our hearts, and small talk is our worst nightmare. Let’s delve a little bit into the impact stereotypes can have on this private personality type.

Those of us who are minorities (in any way shape or form) constantly deal with preconceived notions of who we should be. Before you’ve spoken to us you’ve already decided how we should look, how we should act, and how we should talk. Personally, a surprised “You’re so articulate” is all too cringingly familiar. ​​Stereotypes suck because they force values and beliefs onto people. That can feel like a pretty personal attack because you’re making judgments about our character. It’s easy for me to recognize when it happens because I don’t fit many stereotypes. ​​I can tell when someone is forcing them on me because I know it didn't come from me to begin with. Imagine a square peg being forced through a circle, it’s a pretty uncomfortable situation.

 

I’m super passionate about not being stereotyped but I’m also non-confrontational. My personality effectively silences my ability to stand up for myself. Defending myself takes emotion I don’t feel comfortable sharing at a workplace, during interviews, in a classroom, or when meeting new people. You can’t experience being stereotyped without experiencing a rush of negative emotions: disbelief, dejection, anger. It’s also frustratingly “impolite” to bring up sensitive topics like discrimination. That being said, the onus also shouldn’t be on me to educate you anymore, in today’s world whatever I say won’t be the first time you hear it.

I can’t wrap my brain around how someone can STILL assume an individual holds the same personal values and beliefs as complete strangers just because they belong to a certain group. Sometimes the groups people belong to aren’t even by choice! How can someone possibly be accountable for, or presumed to also match, a stranger’s actions and values? Pretty problematic.

With 2017 coming to an end and 2018 just peaking over the horizon let’s bring more compassion into the New Year. Make recognizing and combating problematic thinking one of your resolutions this holiday. Get to know people instead of generalizing them as “immigrants,” “millennials,” “homeless,” or “refugees.” Trust me, there are a million other things that make a up a person for you to connect on instead of age, or home ownership and citizenship status. You might be surprised at what brings people together!

If you’re looking for some musical motivation let Obvious by Faber Drive rock your way into 2018!