Making it awkward at home is tricky, because the offender is more than likely someone that you know, respect and love. But home is arguably where these tough conversations are most important, because whether they let on at first or not, the offender will probably consider your words, and reconsider his or her actions in the future.
At your next family gathering, we challenge you to address discriminatory views instead of sitting silently in you chair and waiting for the moment to pass.
You might worry that your comments will ruin the mood or destroy the groove of the occasion. To that we say, good! That’s the very nature of the #MakeItAwkward movement. But also — you haven’t destroyed the mood, the offender has. It’s not your job to suffer through racism or sexism at the dinner table.
Here is one of our most effective tools to #makeitawkward at home:
Why? Why? Why?
“Why?” is such a powerful question. It is open-ended and, therefore, forces the person answering to be introspective and thoughtful.
“Hey Dad, I have to stop you there. That last thing you said made me really uncomfortable and it was really racist. I never considered you a racist person, but since you are comfortable using language like that, would you mind telling us all WHY you feel that way?”
Your dad might get defensive and try to joke it off or get a little angry. Be sure to remain calm and keep your *Humanity Sanity in check. This way, you’ll avoid an argument and open up respectful dialogue. Your ability to speak up will give others the courage to do so as well, while discouraging offensive language and behaviour.
*Humanity Sanity: Offer real human emotions when making your case — “It made me feel like I was less human than you when you made that sexist comment,” for example — while also keeping in mind the humanity of the offender.