The changing landscape of what verbiage is acceptable can feel daunting, confusing, and stressful – especially when you’re striving not to offend anyone! While we don’t all have to agree on everything, these tips can ensure we have open minds while continuing the learning process.
Ditch Selfish Thoughts
When we argue a belief, we typically think about how it applies to our own life and experiences. When you consider how others might perceive something before making comments, you can consciously decide to avoid offending them.
We all make mistakes; it’s human nature. That said, correcting your mistakes and learning from them requires active participation. For instance, if you use the wrong pronoun for someone, rather than feeling angry or embarrassed, correct the issue and make a mental note of it to not make the same mistake in the future.
It’s easier to get offended or embarrassed than it is to take accountability for mistakes you’ve made in the past. However, when you’re accountable for your actions and the words you use, you demonstrate a maturity that signifies you want to do better.
Spread the Word
When you learn something new, sharing that knowledge can help make a difference for someone else. If you discover that a certain term is offensive, the next time you hear someone using it, kindly share what you know to educate them as well.
Before all else, it’s important to think before you speak. When you actively consider people’s feelings, you’re already taking a step in the right direction.
The conversation can be weird and uncomfortable, but listening is important. When you close yourself off from the experiences of others, you can lose a perspective you may not have had otherwise. Whether you agree with someone or not, listening to them is the first step to doing better.