Q: Dear Bella, My partner is holding onto outdated beliefs about race.
Do you have any tips on having conversations that don’t erupt into argument?
A: Dearest, thank you for asking. What’s happening in your relationship is a microcosm of the larger whole. Same goes for the way you handle it.
First, know that I am not an expert on racism. I am also learning. I’ll give my 2 cents on your question, but encourage you to do your research.
Scraping off the scab of racism is our collective charge. The world has been imploding from this sickness FAR too long. My advice is to make space for a conscious conversation. Tell your partner there’s something on your mind.
IMPORTANT: Schedule a time to talk during a time when neither of you are stressed, tired, hungry, or on the clock.
Go slow. Stay in your body. Speak from your heart. Talk from your experience and use “I” statements versus pointing the finger, saying…you, you, you.
Nurture receptivity by starting the conversation with what you love and appreciate about them.
This isn’t to sugar coat their behavior or viewpoints. But remember, this IS somebody you love. It’s hard to wake up anybody through attack.
Then talk about where you’ve discovered racism living within yourself and how you’re working to dissolve it (are you reading books, joining groups, watching films?).
Next, bring to the surface examples of their outdated beliefs.
Instead of hurling accusations, seek to discover the truths. Is this an inculcated belief from their lineage? Born of childhood trauma? Stemming from fear?
Don’t expect to change their mind or eradicate the ugly roots of racism in one conversation. But do not tolerate racial slurs, innuendos. MAKE CLEAR WHAT IS UNACCEPTABLE and state your boundaries.
And remember, the work is always worth it.
Even if you don’t get desired results.
On a personal level, engaging in difficult conversations sharpens our skills of grounding, boundary setting, and relating. On a collective level, racism creates division.
What the human race needs now is unity, repair, forgiveness and love.
PS: Have you engaged in a difficult conversation with a loved one about racism?
What helped you?
Please comment and share.
Have your own question?
Ask Bella! If your question is selected, it will be responded to and posted anonymously.
Interested In Support?
I’m a certified holistic sex coach with years of experience as an internationally sought-after dominatrix and dakini. Reach out here for a free 20 minute consultation with me, Bella.