05 Tough Conversations on Diversity with Shayna Beeksma

Sophia sits down with Shayna Beeksma of Beeksma Law to discuss the current, tough social climate. Many in our communities are struggling with the anxiety of what to say to whom, especially with regard to race, gender, and sexual orientation. So we discuss how to be a compassionate, kind person who is inherently flawed.

Because that’s the truth… We are all flawed. We are all ignorant of what we don’t know. But it is always possible to learn. Even if you put your foot in your mouth, you can recover. Here’s how:

1. Shut up. Do not dismiss the other person’s feelings. Instead, listen. You will not learn by being dismissive, explaining their feelings away, or cutting them off.
2. Do not interpret the other person’s feelings as an attack on you. Their feelings are a result of their lived experience, which you are not responsible for.
3. While you are responsible for what you say, you can choose how you respond. You can say sorry. You can politely say that you don’t agree. You can say absolutely nothing and just listen.

I repeat: do not dismiss the other person’s feelings. Their feelings are real for them. They are not wrong, though they might be different from yours. I’m sure you have had your fair share of freakouts on family, friends, and strangers when you’ve had a bad day and people were not taking that into consideration because they didn’t know. Remember that you never know what someone else has been through and be kind.

You do not need to know what is the right thing to say. As you learn, you’ll be able to be an advocate for people when given the opportunity.

Important Links

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Get A Thicker Skin

The tips I shared above take a certain amount of self-awareness and mindfulness to hone. And as you know from listening to this podcast, I am no expert. These are things that I practice daily. And part of how I do that is using a mood tracker to keep an inventory of my negative feelings and why I’m feeling them. You can too! Tap right here to get a copy of Sophia’s Mood Tracker at 10% off.

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05 Tough Conversations on Diversity with Shayna Beeksma