“We want to view ourselves positively, and wish others would view us positively as well. Denying the power and privilege we hold can be a way of protecting ourselves from internalizing the reality and gravity of our active and passive participation in oppressive systems, allowing us to maintain a cherished, although false sense of self.”
My colleague and friend Mike Spencer linked to my note in one of his recent posts. I wrote it over a year ago at this point, but it is a piece that I continue to refer to in my work. It talks about the tendency to avoid accepting responsibility for our complicity with oppressive systems, defensiveness when receiving feedback and more. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check it out.
Further Reading on power and privilege denial and moving beyond our privileged hurt feelings from Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian include:
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW