How To Not Be Embarrassed By Ageism
Ageism often strikes when you least expect it, and because of that most people aren’t completely prepared to deal with it when it happens. Getting yourself prepared for age-based stereotypes that can enter your day-to-day takes a lot of knowledge, and a lot of strength.
With that said, a very important thing to remember when ageism does come into your life is: don’t be embarrassed by it.
Often, when someone is stereotyped based on their age, or perceived age, their gut reaction is to internalize the stereotype and become embarrassed. They blame themselves. It’s important not to do that.
When ageism tries to have a negative impact on your life, the goal is to not internalize the negativity, or the age-based stereotypes and comments. This is harder said than done, but it is an extremely important action for you to take.
By internalizing and becoming embarrassed for yourself and your situation, you may not reach out for the help you need, and may be more negatively impacted by age stereotypes now and moving forward into the future.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you take the ageism and age-based stereotyping you experience at face value, if you don’t become embarrassed, and don’t internalize someone else’s actions and beliefs placed on you, you leave the door open to find ways to fight back.
You internally give yourself the okay to research ageism, it’s effects, and ways you can counteract it. You give yourself permission to reach out to others who have also experienced ageism, and have to conversations with them about how they worked against it in their own lives.
Here are some ways to work towards not letting experiencing ageism embarrass you:
Realize You’re Not Alone
Ageism happens to so many people around the world, and in so many different situations. If you feel alone in your struggle with ageism, look for social media connections experiencing it too, or join a group talking about age-based stereotyping in-person, in the office, or online.
Education is a huge part of the ageism battle. The more you know, and the more facts you can arm yourself with, the less you will be negatively impacted (and embarrassed) by ageism.
Educate Others By Becoming A Voice
Rather than internalizing age-based stereotypes and becoming embarrassed by ageism and ageist experiences, choosing to externalize your fight can bring positivity. By bringing knowledge to others and joining in with conversations about ways to end ageism, you will become a vehicle for change. By becoming a voice, you will put more emphasis on being a part of the solution, making less time to feel angry, hurt or embarrassed by any ageism you experience.