Coping with Biases
Recognize that ISMs (racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, etc.) are a part of United States culture and are found in nearly everyemployment situation.It is highly unlikely that they will go away in mylifetime.
If you accept this point-of-view as the reality of our society, then you will be better able to successfully confront ISMs when they do appear. The psychological effects are many: a negative self-image, self-hatred, rejection of personal history, low self-ideal (expectations), low self-esteem (values), depression, and constant feelings of anxiety in the company of the dominant group. If an individual falls under an ISM, many will think that person inferior or lacking. The major difficulty occurs when one begins to believe the propaganda, i.e., when one begins to think that they are inferior. When this occurs, the individual usually begins to act as they think an inferior person should act. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you are to survive in U.S. society, you must learn to cope in a society that may not always honor your contributions as an individual. Every person must reach deeply within him/herself to find the capacity to develop this potential to its' fullest - in spite of any obstacles. One must recognize that no condition is permanent unless it is perceived as such. ISMs are a continuous burden but they are only one of the many obstacles, which one must overcome during a lifetime.
The successful person will not allow a prejudicial evaluation to become the guiding principle of their life. Hatred is a destructive force that affects the person having the hatred far more than the object of the hatred. Hatred allows one to be controlled by emotions and makes one less able to resolve the problems of life.
To cope with ISMs:
1. Accept the fact that you will be victimized by ISMs.
2. Confront it logically and rationally rather than with your emotions.
3. Determine that your goals in life are worth while and that you will not failin your efforts to achieve them in spite of biases.
4. Identify and work out optional ways to confront and resolve the difficulties that will beencountered.
5. Learn everything that you can about yourself, others and the world inwhich you live.
It is not the obstacle that stops people. It is people stopping themselves because they think that the obstacle is too difficult for them to overcome. Think about it: how many times have you overcome difficulties that you felt were insurmountable? All of the resources that you will need are within you. You need only call upon them.