Internalized Oppression

Internalized Oppression

Internalized oppression is the internalization of negative messages and beliefs about oneself and one’s group that are perpetuated by a society or system that oppresses them. It can manifest as self-hatred, low self-esteem, self-doubt, and a lack of self-worth, and can lead to individuals internalizing negative stereotypes and biases about their own group and accepting the dominant narrative about their own worth and value.

Internalized oppression can also manifest as self-harm, self-sabotage, and self-destructive behaviors, as individuals may internalize negative beliefs about themselves and their own worth and value. It can be a significant barrier to self-empowerment and the ability to challenge and resist oppression.

Take Action

Here’s how to reckon with any internalized oppression.

Acknowledge What’s Internalized

The first step to addressing internalized oppression is to recognize that it exists and to acknowledge the ways in which it has affected you. This might involve acknowledging negative beliefs or behaviors that you have internalized as a result of living in a society that perpetuates certain forms of oppression.

Get Help

It can be helpful to seek out support and resources to help you work through internalized oppression. This might involve talking to a therapist or counselor, joining a support group, or working with a coach or mentor who can help you identify and challenge the internalized beliefs and behaviors that are holding you back.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is important when you are working to address internalized oppression. This might involve engaging in activities that nourish your body, mind, and spirit, such as exercising, spending time with supportive friends and family, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Get Educated

Another important step in addressing internalized oppression is to engage in learning and growth. This might involve learning about different forms of oppression, examining your own biases and privileges, and working to become an ally to marginalized communities.

Practice Self-Compassion

It’s important to practice self-compassion as you work to address internalized oppression. Be kind to yourself and remember that it takes time to heal and change. It’s okay to unlearn, even if it brings discomfort. Be gentle with yourself as you learn and grow.

Learn More

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Related Words and Phrases

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