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DIVERSITY TIP OF THE WEEK: Watch Those Compliments

Event Type(s): Other,Diversity

Complimenting others is generally a good thing, boosting the spirits of the person on the receiving end. However, compliments can be hurtful if a negative stereotype underlies the positive comment. Some examples: "You throw well for a girl." "You seem like a regular guy to me. I never would have thought that you were gay." "You're pretty for a dark-skinned woman." To a highly educated African American, "You're so articulate." To a person of Asian or Latino/a descent who was born in this country, "You speak really good English." It's important that we pay attention to our compliments so that we know that we're affirming and not offending.

--Contributed by Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.

For more information, contact:
Jenny Denton
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
+1 301 405 6810

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