Photo: Rebecca Morgan, Gualala, CA
You may have heard the term “microaggression”—a form of bullying defined as brief exchanges that send denigrating messages to individuals because of their group membership. I believe we can broaden the definition to any subtle bullying—eye-rolling after someone’s comment, verbal digs and zings, ignoring someone’s suggestions in a meeting, and other disparagements. These can happen even when both parties are part of the same group.
We’ve all received these kind of disrespectful behaviors. They are designed to dismiss us, to put us down, to signal we don’t have value. Some of us have even perpetrated these, perhaps when younger and not conscious of the effect they have on others.