Where ever our perceptions are distorted, stress is a likely by product.
If you are prejudiced, you are likely afraid.
Whether you have biases towards yourself or others you will live with unnecessary stress.
Prejudice toward oneself or others is often the result of a lack of awareness combined with a fragile sense of self. It grows in the environments in which we were raised.
“If as a child you spoke and were ignored, if you wanted to tell your parents about your day but they were too preoccupied to understand, or if, when you were hurt, you were told to control your tears, you probably began to avoid expressing enthusiasm or pain, and you would tend to observe your parents and other authority figures to learn what behaviours they deemed acceptable. Children long for approval, and when it is not forthcoming, they seek any means to shore up their self worth.”
In addition we adopt false beliefs and if we are not exposed to all kind of people prejudice can grow. We then become limited in empathy and absorb fixed or self righteous views.
Prejudice and the distorted thinking it produces are more common in people with a low tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. They are prone to making quick and firm decisions, and then they generalise based on the most obvious information.
Among the greatest abilities any human can possess are the abilities to tolerate and learn from differences, and to address conflict directly, truthfully, and tactfully. These are among the benefits of knowing how to communicate with empathy, which teaches us how to relate with honesty and sensitivity and lessens the likelihood of a defensive reaction.
From : The Stress Solution : Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience, Arthur P. Ciaramicoli.