DIVERSITY TIP OF THE WEEK: Watch Your "Ick"

Event Type(s): Other,Diversity

When encountering someone who interacts, speaks, dresses or solves problems differently than I do, I sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction of discomfort, dislike, or even disgust: "How bizarre!" "That's stupid!" "Why in the world would they do'.?!" In other words, my "ick" kicks in. There's a human tendency to see "difference" as "less than" and to negatively judge that which is unfamiliar to us. To counter this, we need to manage our "ick" and strive to see differences in behavior and customs as alternative ways for being human. To manage the "ick," we need to notice it, pause, and reframe our interaction. I'm working toward this response to difference: "How interesting! Let me understand this better. Maybe I can learn something from this difference."

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

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

www.diversity.umd.edu




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