If you remember from the many reminders of last year, there was a very noticeable call for white people, including myself, to accept our privilege in the discriminated world we live in. It is an important fact to accept, yet there are other privileges that should be brought to attention.
Family, location, money, and luck. These are other categories which can definitely affect someone’s fortune in life. Not everyone can be so fortunate, but often we forget how fortunate we are. Being oblivious to privilege can lead to ridiculousness like demanding hair salons be opened in a lock-down or having an event called “straight pride.”
Not all of these tips are directed at every person which is okay because everyone’s predicament with accepting privilege is not the same. Take these tips about accepting your privilege and critically look at how they would work in your situation.
1. Always consider what is appropriate to mention according to the person.
This rule requires a big attribute of being empathetic. Aside from being a trend word in recent years, empathy is crucial. It is supposed to be used whenever you are in contact with another person. This shouldn’t require having to be a psychoanalyst in figuring out what should and shouldn’t be said to certain people.
What could be done is asking yourself in conversations if what you are about to say sounds somewhat conceited. You can describe to confidantes the amazing, spectacular thing that happened yet not say it every 10 seconds. Listen to who you are in conversation with.
Also, usually what makes a good relationship is the genuine goodness each party can offer versus having a negative hierarchy. This applies to professionals, acquaintances, and those who are closest.
2. Complaining is possible, but toxic positivity is too.
The entire point is not to say to be positive with accepting the privileges that are in life. Everyone has a right to be frustrated even if they have privilege and you shouldn’t stop expressing your emotions.
If all of those emotions are kept inside, then an embarrassing lashing out at others will happen at some point. Staying positive and grateful about privileges in life is obviously good, yet it is obvious when others are being fake about it.
3. Remember to have perspective.
You may not have the top penthouse or latest iPhone, but you have privilege even with being able to read this on the Internet. Practice the timeless saying of counting your blessings. It can seem tiring at times but it can hold some truth, and as annoying as it can be, it works.
Remembering all of the good things in your life can help to you to stay grounded and help to put you back into perspective. For this reason, you may be the person who is annoyed by some being luckily successful. Yet, there will always be those who have more disadvantages and still carry on to their best.
4. As a disclaimer, you may have worked hard, acknowledged your privilege, and you may still receive jealousy from other people.
There are absolutely people who have not raised their heart rates in getting success or nice things. They may bring up in pretentious detail their success with every opportunity they have. Yet, how about the situation when the privileged understand their privilege, had to work hard, and try to be nice about it?
People may be jealous of them and express that negativity. If this applies to where you are being told pessimistic comments about accomplishments in your life, then you should move on. Focus on yourself and don’t let other’s opinions inhibit what you have.
A major part of accepting privilege is accepting that blessings can fall on our laps, and all of the good things which occurred cannot be completely attributed to hard work.
During one of my constant scrolls on Twitter, I found a post comparing two models who come from esteemed families. They talked about their starts in the fashion industry.
One said she is insanely lucky compared to thousands of hopeful girls while the other model only mentioned her struggles with being respected. One shows gratitude while the other doesn’t. Who seems like the most likeable?
Acknowledging that you have had special help in the past may not be essential in life. Yet, doing it helps to be more likeable from others and possibly grow your social circle. People don’t want to be around others who don’t recognize what they have.