A Piece of Advice
What should inter-racial lovers do when judged or stared at?
Research reveals that many inter-racial couples face different kinds of reactions toward them, ranging from impoliteness to life-threatening actions. There are multiple ways you can choose to react, and it depends on what feels best for you as a couple and the type of situation you’re dealing with. For instance, the sort of response a couple might give to a person who stares is likely to be different from how they would react to someone who uses hate speech and destroys their belongings. Ultimately, your safety is paramount.
What does research have to say about what couples tend to think about in deciding how to respond to negative reactions such as judgment and stares from others?
- One important factor to keep in mind is location. Depending on where a couple is living or visiting, peoples’ reactions to them will be different. In some places, inter-racial couples enjoy a great deal of acceptance and feel much more at ease. Unfortunately, in other places couples may face more resistance.
- Another consideration to weigh is whether to respond to stares and judgmental looks or comments directly. Couples who don’t respond directly might choose to disregard people’s reactions, pay attention to the support they receive and value, or see the prejudice they encounter as an issue with the people who hold it rather than with them as a couple.
- For those couples who decide to directly address opposition to their relationship, they may choose to do so by productively confronting and questioning it, attempting to enlighten people who don’t understand or accept their relationship.
You don’t need to choose a fixed way of responding. You might decide to be direct on some occasions and not on others, and that’s perfectly fine. The most important step is to recognize the social reactions you’re facing as a couple and address it as a team.
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