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Once you do something, others will join you

Have you ever felt your the only one who cares about some issue? Say there's a small diner that you and your friends go to. The owner/chef sometimes likes to come out and say hello. Whenever he does, he makes rude, sexist, prejudiced comments. You don't say anything, but it really annoys you. However, since no one else says anything, you assume you're the only one who feels this way. But say you're the person to the right of you. He's upset and looks around, but doesn't see anyone, including you, making any motion. So, he figures he's the only one who feels this way. It goes around the entire table like this, and no one says anything. If one person would stand up and say something, everyone else would be behind her, but no one stand up, so no one does anything. This is a documented psychological phenomenon called pluralistic ignorance, "a state in which people mistake each other's beliefs by misinterpreting their behavior." (Sabini, 1995, p. 40-41.)

Here's an alternate situation. Let's say you finally stand up and say something. You tell the owner that you don't think he's funny, that you think he's rude, that he makes you uncomfortable, and that you're thinking about not coming back. Well, the second you say that, you let out a floodgate. The owner calls you some rude names. Someone at the table backs you up, then another, then another. Before you realize it completely, you've all marched out of the diner vowing never to return.

You go back to the diner another day, once your head it calm, to try to talk to the owner, but he will not speak with you. So you, as individuals, have decided to boycott the diner. You can go further. You can start talking to your friends and ask them to join you in your boycott. You can put up signs, hand out flyers, whatever you want. It doesn't take all that much time, and you're taking a stand towards treating everyone equally. You ask that the owner of the diner make an official apology. If 50% of his customers are boycotting the place, he may have to.

Look at that, all because you decided to say no.