Microaggression: It’s Meant To Be A Compliment But Is It?


Did you know that Microaggression is a form of unintended discrimination? It’s an apparently friendly comment or flattery remark that unthinkingly discloses an unpleasant and often hurtful underlying sense of prejudice in the speaker. Sometimes, because it is often said in the nicest way, people don’t have a clue. But the fact remains that microaggression exist strongly today especially within our teens and some not so grown up adults.

When someone says to you “you’re better in some way than others of your kind”, what they’re saying in real sense of it, is that there’s usually something not right with people like you. At first you might take it for a compliment especially when you know that you have just been subtly insulted and you can’t decide right there and then if you should speak up or not. The photo below depicts a perfect example:


In some situations, the speaker would try quite unsuccessfully to hide how they feel even from themselves. The person making the remark might be trying quite hard to show how he or she is not concerned about someone’s color or background or racism. But they end up disclosing quite the opposite, just by the simple fact they are dwelling on it. So, it comes out not quite how they wanted it to sound.

Then Comes The Problem: ‘It’s painful to hear’


Speaking up about a microaggression demands big courage. This is because a microaggression can be subtle, the person listening to it may not think they have a right to be annoyed about it and would certainly not feel very comfortable bringing it up.

And in a case where a victim of microaggression speaks up, they may be seen as jokers and be made fun of.




The person who has said this might know what they’ve done, so they would easily deny that there’s any huge problem about what they’ve said which will leave the affected person with no good way to resolve the hurtful feelings the speaker’s words had left in them. Often times they even wonder if the problem is from them, and this can be an even worse situation.

However, microaggression can have a strong impact, especially on teens.

Because microaggression is difficult to spot,  it might be even worse than more clear bigotry. They can easily glide their way into a teen’s mind and make a comfortable home there, piling up over time and  causing some sort of damage especially on the teen’s complexity. Microaggressions have also been associated with anxiety and binge-drinking. This therefore leads to the strong opinion that microaggression is not something that should be ignored or treated with levity. 



We have to speak more thoughtfully.

It’s as much about what our words might mean to the person we’re talking to as it is about what we want to say.

If you have kids, talk to them about microaggression, and feel free to share this with other parents.

Other compliments that may sound like veiled insult include

– I’m surprised you did so well

– That’s a BRAVE thing to wear

– You look really intelligent when you wear glasses

– You clean up nicely

Source: Upworthomy.com

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