Trying to detect dehumanization

Trying to detect dehumanization

I’m really good at telling when people don’t quite think I’m a person, but I’m not quite sure *how* I detect this. I’m trying to figure it out.

A good part of what’s in this post is probably wrong, because this is really hard to get a handle on. And *some* of these things are sometimes the result of other things, like communication problems.

But here’s a draft list of things I think that I detect as signs that someone doesn’t see me as a person:

  • There’s kind of more of a pause than usual, and then what they responded to wasn’t really in reaction to what you said. They’re reacting to some imaginary person.
  • They don’t seem to understand what you’re saying, but they don’t ask any clarifying questions.
  • They don’t answer your clarifying questions.
  • They look at each other a lot, but not you.
  • They try to insist on talking about your feelings rather than the problem or concrete thing you want to talk about.
  • They tell you in authoritative tones what you are thinking or feeling or need or want, and they’re not open to corrections.
  • They completely ignore you when you say things that don’t fit their agenda, to the extent that you start doubting that you actually said it.
  • They go on and on about how smart you are, but they don’t seem to want to discuss anything else with you.
  • They expect effusive gratitude for mundane acts like getting something down from a shelf they can reach that you can’t.
  • Their body language shifts dramatically when they’re interacting with you; it’s really different than how it looks when they’re interacting with others. 
  • They have a voice they use with adults, and a voice they use with young children, and they use their little-kid-voice with you.

Thoughts, anyone? Which of these things am I wrong (or right) about? What other signs are there?

I think a good percentage of y'all know exactly what I am talking about, but it’s really hard to pin down.