According to Merriam Webster, microaggression is defined as “a comment or action that subtly and, often unconsciously or unintentionally, expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.” Often, the action is so subtle and habituated that the perpetrator does it without even realizing it.
Microaggressions land hard on the people they’re being perpetrated against. Their impact is cumulative and lasting. Melinda Epler’s recent Ted Talk provides examples of microaggressions that can help us recognize when we might be committing one. Examples such as:
- When you act distracted and deprive the person talking with you of your full attention.
- When you interrupt the speaker.
- When you don’t echo someone’s good idea or attribute it to them.
- When you don’t learn how to pronounce someone’s name or use language consistent with their self-identity.
Notice if you commit any of these acts of microaggression.