Robin Paggi One of the things, there’s this little quote by Amerigo Vespucci. And in case you don’t know who that is, that is who America was named after. He is known to “discover” America, and I put that in air quotes there, because there were already people here, but from the Western world, he is the one. And when he came here, he said the manner of their living is very “barbarous” because they do not eat at fixed times, but as often as they please. And so again, the way we do things, if they, if people do it differently, then they’re heathens, and heretics, and all sorts of things, because our way is the right way.
Robin Paggi So how can we increase our worldview, our perception? Well, first of all – here’s another thing – after you have asked yourself when was I born?, and where was I born?, and all of those things, that you look at your multiple iden- tities. We are complex people. We’re not all one thing. And here are just a few examples of multiple identities. But what do you want to do is you want to ask yourself, or you want to complete the statement I should say, “I am. I am a white, mid- dle-aged woman. I am a human resources consultant, a trainer. I am agnostic. I am whatever you want to put. So, just put the words I am and list as many things as you possibly can. And one of the reasons to do that is that if you can list 10, or 12, or 15 different things about your identity, it helps you understand that every time you look at someone, they have their own list of the 10, or 12, or 15 things that they have come up with.
Robin Paggi What we tend to do is to put labels on people and think of them as only one thing. So we look at people of a certain race, and that’s all we see is their race. When they’ve got their list of 15 things that they are. We look at somebody of a certain gender, and we think of only that gender. And so, again, age. We say a lot of things about people, Baby Boom- ers especially. And I love the phrase, “Okay, Boomer”, to dismiss those of us of a certain age. And when people think of people of a certain age, all they think of them is that age and all the stereotypes that go along with that age.
Robin Paggi Human resources. When I first went into human resources, I was working for the city government here, and my brother also worked for the city government, and he told my mom, “Oh, now she’s one of them”. So, we have a stereo- type about those of us in human resources, and that’s all people could see is our occupation.
Robin Paggi When you understand that you have multiple identities, you’re less likely to stereotype others based upon just their race, or their gender, or their age. And to understand that they’re multilayered and multicomplex, as well. And when we see that, hopefully we can see people as more than just these categories. Hopefully we can see them as very complex people that we can’t stereotype because of that complexity.
Robin Paggi We want to try to determine our attitude toward cultural differences. And, one attitude is ethnocentrism. The tendency to think that our way is the only correct way, and I’ve mentioned this several times, but here is the appropriate term for it. Differing opinions are perceived to be incorrect or wrong. And, a lot of us want to be open-minded, and we think that we’re open-minded, and I would never, I’m not racist. I’m not, no, I’m not any of those things that other people are. Well, we really need to dive deep and see if we are. I had an acquaintance once and I was telling her about a trans woman that is in one of my social circles. While I was telling her about this transwoman, she wrinkled her face up with a frown on her face, and, indicating disgust. And I said, “Oh, I’m guessing that you are against transpeople”. And she said, “Oh, no, I don’t judge”. Well, I think she wanted to believe that she doesn’t judge, but her facial expression said something else.
Robin Paggi And so, that’s one of the things is that our nonverbal communication usually gives away what we think and feel. And people believe our nonverbal communication more so than our verbal communication. For example, if I were to tell you, “I’m not mad.” Well, just by the tone of my voice, you wouldn’t believe me. So that’s one of the things is that we need to be careful about what our nonverbal communication says to other people to make sure it matches our verbal communication, but to also understand that sometimes it gives away what we’re really thinking and feeling.