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This is Not a Pattern, Ways Men In Tech Are Unintentionally Sexist:

If you care about others, nothing feels worse than realizing you accidentally stepped on someone else’s foot. I really think it’s a natural reaction to bristle a bit, to try to minimize it, to protect ourselves from feeling bad. Once I recognized that defensiveness as a natural part of the process, it was much easier for me to realize I was doing it, then apologize and move on instead of digging myself deeper. It takes practice.

The truth is that this applies to any type of offense, not just sexism. I’m trying to be more conscious of this lately.

Being more conscious of this reaction (defensiveness) has helped me to be more aware of my actual feelings: when I slow down enough to process my feelings1, rather than acting out on my gut, I become more aware of my rationale for being defensive in the first place.

More often than not, my rationale and my default reaction are both flawed. And more often than not my feelings change once I actually think about them.

  1. Honestly, this is the hardest part for me. I have no problems apologizing. [return]