A young black man is offered assistance from an older white man, but distrusts the real reason for the help.
Why does he distrust this man? Has he had negative experiences with white men in the past? Does he hold onto unconscious biases that make him insecure? Is the man actually doing something that should be cause for alarm?
How is the white, older man feeling? What is his motivation? Is he just trying to be helpful?
Race is complicated. With a long, challenging history, even simple interactions can become complex.
Have you ever felt similar to this young black man? The white one?
We all have. Why? We each hold on to stereotypes and biases, rooted from our own social encounters and upbringings.
How can we overcome feeling distrust from someone who is different than us?
We have to listen to one another. Actively Listen.
Acknowledge we have expectations of how the conversation is going to go, but make efforts to break away from those to hear what is being said. That includes eye contact, facial expressions, tone, and gestures.
Where is this conversation going?
Are those who are around you give you a feeling of comfort or unease? Why? Is it because of what they are saying or because of an unconscious bias?
We each need to listen. We each need to learn.
And we each need to connect with one another to grow.
#StepOut and connect with someone different from yourself, today!