Prejudice and stereotypes dictate the rules of what is acceptable and what is not, and thus mark what social groups expect of people. Prejudice and stereotypes are present in the cultural heritage of every individual and every social group. And they translate into concrete ways of thinking and behaviors that affect daily life in the form of attitudes, affirmations, competitions, trends, and conflicts.
Specifically, stereotypes are gross simplifications and rigid representations of the reality with which each individual interacts on a daily basis. Prejudices are defined as erroneous or inaccurate judgments, formulated in a superficial way without any knowledge of the subject.
Social groups are always threatened by what is different. Some common scenarios could see you on the edge of a social context due to a characteristic of yours not shared by the reference social group, due to prejudice or stereotype.
This is the case of ethnic minorities, the most fragile categories are those of the lowest social-economic background. Unfortunately, today we still live in a society that is not very inclusive of diversity. Not only racial issues, but even gender bias can also be a reason for exclusion from a group.
Prejudice and stereotypes – the expectations of the group
Groups have expectations guided by your behavioral manifestations. If you’ve always held a certain role, the people you hang out with will expect you to keep doing it. If until now you’ve always been content with being the shoulder or being the hyper-accommodating person, this is what others will continue to expect from you.
In other words, marginalization is something that feeds itself, if you have occupied a blurred position in the background of your social context, others will not want anything different from you.
Your identity matters
And it cannot ignore your personal history. Identity is what determines who you are, what you want, and where you are headed. To be heard, all you have to do is remind yourself who you are and consequently remind others as well.
Working on your personal identity is the first step to remove the pain of social rejection. It is completely understandable to feel invisible when the people around you continually refuse to recognize who you are, what your feelings are, and what you need.
Personal identity is the conception of who we are and how we relate to others. The positive thing is that personal identity is constantly evolving.