Tell Your Story

The most effective conversations I’ve had with people who are prejudiced against my friends is to tell stories about what I know about my friends.

When people say something that I think is awful about someone I know (as part of a negative statement about that person, or all people of that social or ethnic group), I tend to speak up. This can be interrupting people who are bashing on Millennials or people who are just don’t understand non-binary people.

Here’s a summary of what works, found on Quora:

Dennis Fischman

Answered May 23 · Author has 2.6k answers and 465.6k answer views

What doesn’t work is myth-busting, debunking, or refuting false statements. Resist the temptation! By repeating the falsehoods, even to expose them, you just ingrain them deeper into people’s minds.

What does work:

  1. Spread your own narrative, without referring to theirs.
  2. Structure it as a story, with a hero encountering a challenge and overcoming it. If possible, invite your audience to be the hero.
  3. Repeat. Repeat.
  4. Use social proof. Show that many people familiar to your audience share your point of view.  Source

Dennis Fischman spends a lot of time on Quora. He tells his story.

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