Micro-Aggressions Speak Louder Than Words

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I always tell people “going to work, is not just going to you”. You will be tested and tried and tempted to tell people about their entire generation, but we won’t do that since we have principles.

Over the last year or so, I have been introduced to a new trial known as “Micro Aggressions”. Before you come at me and say I’m late to the parade, bear in mind I live in Jamaica and things happen a bit later here.

Micro-Aggressions Speak Louder Than Words

a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalised group such as a racial or ethnic minority.

Micro-Aggressions in the Work Place

I know this term is technically used as it relates to minorities as it relates to race and ethnic groups, but the same can be applied to work situations when people indirectly insult others.  I came across a tweet from a popular Jamaican Public Figure yesterday that stopped me in my tracks which spoke about Micro Aggressions. I suddenly remembered a statement made by a co-worker who deemed an action as “ungrateful”. This was said about me to another co-worker I also sit beside so I can imagine they have been having the discussion between themselves instead of talking to me though I sit directly between them. Imagine the three points of a triangle and you will have an idea of our seating situation.

He Said What?! …

micro aggression at work

By him making that statement, I now know how they truly feel about me which would not have been said If I didn’t demand work that was 3 days overdue to be completed immediately. I find that these microaggressions  at work happen when there is pushback and people feel cornered. It’s almost like you directly require something that is considered the bare minimum from the co-worker that is the actual job that they have not been doing (at all) and when this has become apparent, here comes the Microaggressions. It is a rough place to be and it is quite exhausting! You question yourself and begin to wonder what else have they been thinking about you that they have not been saying out loud.


Examples of Micro-Aggressions at Work

micro aggression at work

  • Mispronouncing someone’s name because “it’s too difficult to say”
  • Complimenting a non-White colleague’s English under the assumption they weren’t born and raised in an English-speaking country
  • Continuing to use words or phrases that others find offensive
  • Giving only personality-based feedback (“You should smile more”) to a female employee during her performance review

Let me know in the comments section if you have experienced Micro-Aggressions and how you were able to deal with them. Did you resign from that company? Or have you found a way to still work with your co-workers to do meaningful work?

#Micro-Aggressions Speak Louder Than Words

#Micro-Aggressions Speak Louder Than Words


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