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.