I had a recent conversation with a friend who felt de-humanized. She identifies as a person of color and felt dismissed, unappreciated by someone she felt “should know better.” I did not agree or disagree with her views on whether she had been dismissed – it seemed more important to acknowledge her hurt, without implying that I “understand” her feelings as a woman of color. I felt awkward, like I was walking a fine line, a tightrope of sorts. Fewer words seemed wiser. How did it go? Both of us remained in the conversation and sometimes that’s the best that can happen.

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