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Addressing Micro-aggressions

Hello guys,

Lucio wrote an excellent thread on the topic of micro-aggressions. I created this new one as he was specifically talking about the aggression scale and calibration. He also wrote the great 10 techniques against micro-aggressions.

Here, I would like to share with you what I learned, thanks to PU and my personal experience. This is my current understanding.

Definition

Micro-aggressions are value-taking comments. 

They can also be behavior, but I'll focus on the comments. Why is this definition is important? Because from now on, you'll be able to spot them.

That means: each time someone is taking value from you with a comment, it is a micro-aggression.

How to deal with micro-aggressions

  1. Recognize the micro-aggression: I wrote this thread because sometimes we can make the mistake of saying: "this person is a good person, he/she meant to be nice" or "he's a friend, I'm going to let it slip". That is what I think is important: A value-taking comment is a value-taking comment. Even if it's your son or mother, it was value-taking and you ended up worse than before the comment. No matter if it was an attack on your money, self-esteem or status.
  2. Address ALL micro-aggressions: this goes back to my previous post about defending against all negative frames. Once again, that means that I think that in most cases we should address micro-aggressions. There are a few cases where we should not, but I think they are a small minority. The point is to address the micro-aggression, not the person. To prepare our minds for the situation, not the person. Yes, some people use it more than others. We need both: to prepare our mind for value-takers AND for value-taking behaviors that can come from anyone.

Example

This is an example from 1 hour ago. This is to show how micro-aggressions are common in everyday life. I'm currently writing on a computer in the office of my colleagues from surgery. I do this because it's calm. The supervisor of surgery comes in and says: "Oh an invader from pediatrics". An invader is a taker. So that is a negative, value-taking comment. In this case, I laughed stupidly as I am still implementing the program above. I'll link to the post where I used the program consciously. With some people based on wrong assumptions ("friend", authority), I was letting them disrespect me.

What could I have done?

Many things, for instance a philosopher frame (content) + humor (tone): "Hahaha (aknowledging the "joke"), to me we're all colleagues!" (negates the previous taker frame, creates a collaborative frame). I would have said this with a smile, looking in the supervisor's eyes.

Conclusion

I think is important is to train our minds to defend against all micro-aggressions automatically. So we won't have to think about it anymore. It's a habit. An automatic mental and behavioral program. An automatic skill.

This post is about making addressing micro-aggressions a HABIT.

Cheers!

Lucio Buffalmano and Zen Mauri have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoZen Mauri

Great post, John.

And yes, micro-aggressions must be addressed, lest they snowball and aggression becomes the norm -or if you're in a competitive environment, you die by thousand cuts-.

And great example of micro-aggression from your supervisor, including your proposed retort, which was also great.

Another good one:

Ahaha good one, but just a friendly invader, to me, we're all a great team

You accept the "invader" word/frame, which makes the answer somewhat weaker, but also less rapport-breaking, but you still end up with the collaborative, better, (stronger) frame.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Happy to help!
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 8, 2021, 2:47 pm

Another good one:

Ahaha good one, but just a friendly invader, to me, we're all a great team

You accept the "invader" word/frame, which makes the answer somewhat weaker, but also less rapport-breaking, but you still end up with the collaborative, better, (stronger) frame.

Hahaha, this one made me laugh in front of my computer. It's such a good reframe and phrasing, I love it! Thanks! Added to my mindset. You're a beast. (it's a compliment, coming from me). That's great verbal judo. I take your energy, turns it back on its head and I come out on top WITH YOU. From lose-win to win-win-win (3rd win thanks to the added stolen leader frame, coming out of the interaction as a leader).

That's a good structure for jokes to keep rapport:

  1. Laugh at the "joke"
  2. Keep the insult
  3. Make the insult positive
  4. End with a collaborative frame

So I had this one I could not find the answer to, at a board game, I've been called a "carpet seller", which is using my ethnic background to frame me as a taker. In this case, I don't really want to keep this frame, like the "John's pussy".

I think this is a different category, as they are harsher comments. I could turn these into a positive, but I don't think it's the best strategy there.

What do you guys think?

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
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