Stereotypes and how to overcome them
It is important to know that stereotypes are learned, so they can be unlearned.
But usually people have a lot of pride and refuse to accept that they can be prejudiced and think in stereotypes. You probably also have stereotypical thoughts about someone every now and then.
The truth is we all put people into boxes sometimes.
A good practice to overcome stereotypes about your race/religion/culture/country/gender is to lead by example.
Remember that you do not represent just yourself, but everybody else like you.
For example - if you are the first person from South Africa someone meets, then even though South Africa is a vibrant country full of all sorts of different people, they will probably always think of you when they meet someone else from South Africa in the future. And compare you with them.
That means if you make a good impression to someone, others will have an easier time doing that in the future.
And by making a good impression you have the power to help someone overcome their already established stereotypes. We are not going to lie - it is not easy. But it can be done.
Just try and not let things get to you. It`s not about you as a person. It`s their ignorance. Be yourself, work towards your own goals and let people figure things out for themselves.