Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination, Chapter 11 - Navigating Successful Confrontations: What Should I Say and How Should I Say It?

Elsevier, Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination, 2019, Pages 225-248
Margo J. Monteith, Mason D.Burns, and Laura K.Hildebrand

People often wonder what to say and how to say it during confrontable moments. Through our review and organization of relevant research, we present a “roadmap” for navigating successful confrontations. To prepare for confrontable moments, we argue that people can receive “drivers training” (e.g., to increase bias literacy) and “pack appropriately for the trip” (e.g., bringing optimism). After encountering a confrontable moment, would-be confronters can head directly into a confrontation and approach the ultimate destination of reducing others’ bias. Or, confronters may make a “pit stop” to take advantage of strategies that may help them to preserve positive impressions of themselves in others’ eyes. We review many factors that influence the likelihood of preserving positive impressions and reducing others’ biases, including “road hazards” that are likely to lead to undesired outcomes. Ultimately, this chapter highlights how successful confrontations can be achieved when they are appropriately navigated.