The recent increase of racial tensions continues to simmer weeks after the George Zimmerman verdict. To help ease some of the tension, I feel the need to share more knowledge about my experiences as an African-American man and how I face situations that remind me of my blackness every day. To refresh your memory, feel free to read my article about the Zimmerman Trial and racial profiling first, then come back to this blog post to learn about how I handle slights.
Handle Slights: (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff)
Excerpts from: Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now by Gary A. McAbee
Have you ever been followed in a store? Have you ever had someone hold their purse when you walk by? How about times when people lock their car doors when they see you coming? Don’t forget that nervous energy people have when they are alone with you in an elevator! Each situation has happened to me too many times to recall. All of these things are slights, especially if you are a good person with no intention of harming someone else.
A slight is when people or events seem to turn against you for no apparent or legitimate reason. Slights are small things, not major problems. People slight each other all the time. Most people will slight others because they put their own values and beliefs into every situation. They use their preconceived ideas about you to base their judgment. Some use their preconceived ideas about your situation to form a slight. Still others don’t want to see you step out on faith and move forward. Finally, a lot of people are negative thinkers. In all cases, prepare to be slighted for some reason.
In each of these examples (being followed in a store, seeing a clutched purse, or hearing a door lock), it is probably best to let the slight go. A person with a positive mental outlook would not allow small slights to bring them down. In the past, when store detectives followed me, I confronted the store manager. The person who held the purse, locked the door, or squirmed in the elevator would get the dirtiest look I could possibly give. These reactions were based on letting a slight change my attitude.
Now, all of these situations do not get a response from me. This is because of the way I choose to handle slights: with a positive attitude and a smile.
Handle slights with a positive attitude and a smile.
Three good ways to handle situations like these are to understand the reasons why someone slights you, ignore the slights, and move on. Just move on! Don’t choose to fight these small battles. They are a serious waste of time and they take you away from having a positive outlook. If people know they can use slights to take away your positive energy, believe me, they will. This includes friends, foes, and maybe even some family members too.
The way to handle slights is to stay positive. Always stay positive!