Fight Prejudice Micro-Definitions

What if you were born into a prejudice family? When you were very young you may have heard jokes or negative comments about people and thus learned to group others, who were different from yourself, into a micro-definition. Grouping people together is a practice that helps us to understand differences and assume generalities. Unfortunately, prejudice thrives on such micro-definitions and limited thinking. Any statement that begins with Blacks are..., Jewish people always..., Russian deals never..., Gays often...or White men usually...screams prejudice to your listener.

However, prejudice statements can cost you business clients, good friends, co-worker respect and future deals. Prejudice lowers societies as a whole and raises no one. In this world of travel and change any definitive statement about a set of people can no longer have much truth or validity. Ask yourself if your preacher is racist declaring that only your denomination is allowed into Heaven and question how can they know? Is your school sexist allowing special treatment or funds for male footballers while ignoring the girl's teams? Are Whites promoted before people with more pigment in their skin?

Most prejudice begins in young children as early as pre-school age from opinions overheard from parents. Borrowed bad habits from our parents can be eliminated. If your mind is operating in a default mode you may be saying or doing things that scream, "I am a prejudice fool." If each time you tell a joke or make a comment, you are making someone a victim, then you may want to make a concerted effort to change old inherited bad habits. If you stop and take a good look at your behavior, are you confident and open to other very different people or is your self esteem so low that you treat others badly, just to try to feel better about yourself?

The world is shrinking and families are blending into many races, beliefs and behaviors. A supremacy attitude is ridiculous because your group has dwindled to just one - you, the individual. See if you can begin to relate to the rest of the world as individuals with dreams, talent and hopes. There is really only one group left ...all of us.

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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