As much as we'd like to think that we're living in an inclusive society, the fact is that there's still a lot of work to be done. Whether it's intentional or not, exclusionary behavior is all too common. From making assumptions about someone's gender to using offensive language, there are countless ways that we can unintentionally exclude others.
1. Be aware of your own biases and make an effort to overcome them.
We all have biases, whether we realize it or not. And while we may not be able to completely eliminate them, we can certainly take steps to minimize their impact on our actions and words. The next time you find yourself making an assumption about someone, take a step back and question why you're doing it. Are you basing your assumption on facts or on stereotypes? Challenge yourself to see people for who they are, not who you think they are.
2. Use inclusive language in both your spoken and written communications.
The language we use can either include or exclude others. For example, using gendered terms like "mankind" or "he/she" unnecessarily excludes women, whereas using gender-neutral terms like "humankind" or "they/them" includes everyone. Likewise, using offensive terms like "retarded" excludes people with disabilities, while using more neutral terms like "differently abled" includes them. It may seem like a small thing, but using inclusive language sends a strong message that you're accepting of others regardless of their background or identity.
3. Avoid making assumptions about someone's identity.
One of the quickest ways to exclude someone is to make assumptions about their identity—whether it's their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or something else entirely. If you don't know something about someone, don't assume—ask! Not only will this prevent you from inadvertently excluding someone, but it also shows that you're interested in getting to know them as an individual rather than judging them based on preconceived notions.
4. Be an active ally to underrepresented groups.
If you want to live an inclusive lifestyle, it's not enough to simply avoid excluding others—you should also proactively include them. This means being an active ally to marginalized groups who are disproportionately excluded from mainstream society. For example, if you're straight, use your privilege to help LGBTQ+ people who are less likely to be accepted by family and friends due to their sexuality or gender identity. If you're white, use your privilege to help people of color who are often discriminated against in housing, education, and employment opportunities. We all have a role to play in creating a more inclusive world
5. Talk about exclusionary behavior when you see it happening
Even if it means calling out a friend or family member, when exclusionary behavior happens in our presence, whether it's someone making a racist joke or using offensive language, it can be tempting to stay silent out of fear of conflict or rocking the boat. But if we want to live in a more inclusive world , silence isn't an option.
The next time you witness exclusionary behavior, speak up! By doing so, you'll show others that this type of behavior isn't acceptable and that inclusion is important to you.
Inclusion is important ! We should all strive for a more inclusive world where everyone feels welcome , accepted , and valued. By following these five simple tips, you can make sure that everyone feels included in your life. This is what TWIFE stands for: The World is For Everyone!