9000 Sheridan St, Suite 115, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

What Is Code-Switching?

Share This Post

Being Black in America means you have been conditioned to, “code-switch” If you are not Black and live in America, you may or may not have heard of “code-switching.” But what does it mean? Simply put it is the art and painstaking task of switching between different speech patterns and presentations based on the audience you are speaking to. More specifically the social norms that imply that AAVE is not professional or acceptable… basically mean being able to talk in different ways depending on who you’re talking to. For example, you might talk one way with your friends and another way with your teachers or boss—but it’s not just about languages but also about the expectations of the way we should talk or present in different groups.

Is Code-Switching Only about Language?

The simple answer—no, it’s not! 

While what we say and how we say it is a part of, code-switching, it is not all that is to be said about it. Sometimes society has to change the way we talk or dress or act to fit in with the people around us who have different cultures. We might feel like we have to do this because of our friends, family, bosses, or what everyone else thinks is normal. It can be tough to be yourself when you feel like you have to change to be accepted.

Studies have shown that 90% of African-American women are more likely to change their hairstyle to fit in with different people. That’s a huge number, but not a surprise.

Some of us even change our clothes when we’re going to special places, like work or fancy parties. We may even wear fancier and more formal outfits, like suits, dresses, or blazers, to look more serious and professional.

What Effects Does It Have on Us?

Sometimes, changing how we talk or act can feel like a good way to get along with others, but it can also be hard and stressful. Studies have also shown that doing this all the time can make us feel tired and worried, which can begin to take a toll on our mental health.

Code-switching can make you feel exhausted because you have to try hard to be two different versions of yourself. And sometimes you might feel bad because you can’t do it perfectly, depending on where you are. It can be hard for people who don’t know about code-switching to understand how tiring code-switching can be mentally and how detached it can make you.

When we have to change the way we act and talk to fit in with different people, it can make us feel like we are losing a part of who we are. This is especially true because sometimes, people are mean to us for no reason other than our skin color. So, we might feel like we have to act more like those who are treating us poorly to avoid being picked on. Soon, this code-switching makes us feel bad about ourselves and our culture, making us feel like our way of talking or traditions are not good enough for “normal people.” It can be hard to balance wanting to fit in with wanting to be proud of who you are.

At SW Social Support, we want everyone to feel empowered and take control of their lives to achieve authentic happiness without sacrificing personal values. We offer the help you require to navigate challenging times during y(our) journey toward inner peace and understanding who you truly are. Contact us for a better future for y(our)self and our commUNITY as a whole.







https://statenews.com/article/2022/10/black-students-discuss-code-switching-the-popularized-misuse-of-aave-online?ct=content_open HYPERLINK

https://statenews.com/article/2022/10/black-students-discuss-code-switching-the-popularized-misuse-of-aave-online?ct=content_open&cv=cbox_latest”& HYPERLINK









More To Explore

Online Therapy

What Is Code-Switching?

Being Black in America means you have been conditioned to, “code-switch” If you are not Black and live in America, you may or may not

Get Y(our) Healing Journey Newsletter


Your use of this website indicates your understanding of the following:

The information and resources contained on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. This website is not a tele-medicine or teletherapy service. The use of this website does not imply nor establish any type of therapist-client relationship with Jessica Jefferson, LCSW, SW Social Support, LLC, or any wellness professional on our website. Furthermore, the information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional.

This website includes links to other websites for informational and reference purposes only. This website does not endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other websites. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or mental disorder. In case of any emergency or safety issue, call 911 immediately.

©2022 SW SOCIAL SUPPORT, LLC | Creatively Curated By: JessRich.Co