Do you recognize the following scenario?
You’re peacefully scrolling through your social media feed while taking a sweet dump, when all of a sudden… It happens.
Some asshole posted something you don’ agree with, and you are now officially offended. . You start thinking to yourself “What is wrong with people nowadays??”
It doesn’t even have to be on social media. Maybe it’s that one bitch at work who always throws those underwater “fake friendly” insults at you. Or that politician you hate but still Google every day.
Whatever it is, it can be a major buzzkill.
There are 2 ways to solve this problem and make sure these people will never ruin your mood again:
Method 1 is to kill everyone on this planet that offends you. But the problem with this method is that it’s a very tedious job. And before you’re done, you’ll either end up in jail or get killed yourself. So it’s not my favorite.
Method 2 is to find out what it is you’re really offended by, and make sure it doesn’t happen anymore. This post will explain how to do that.
Take it from a guy who’s never offended anymore: Life is good on the other side ?
Who or What Is Really Offending You?
Let’s start by figuring out who (or what) it is that offends you before we get to why they do it.
You may think the answer to this is question is obvious (it’s always that other fucker!), but it isn’t.
I’ll show you with a simple story:
As you all know, the cool kids like to use cuss words a lot. It just makes everything you do sound more badass.Why simply say “I will run to the store to buy some pizza.”
When you can also say “Imma go get my ass to the fucking grocery store to get some mo’fucking pizza, bitch.” ?
The second option clearly makes you sound like a superior human being.
But as you know, there are older, more traditional and conservative people, who don’t understand this. They think the enrichment of your daily vocabulary with those words is vulgar and uncivilized. And may very well be the start of the apocalypse.
Now imagine you put some of those cool kids together with some of those older people in a dinner party. What do you think will happen?
Sooner or later, one of those cool guys will say f*** or d***. Maybe even z****-t*******(we all know how offensive that one is). And one or more of the old people will feel very offended by that word.
Now what was it that offended them?
Was it the horrible word that was spoken?
Obviously not. If words like “fuck” had that power, this sentence would fucking offend you too.
Was it the kid that spoke the words then?
I don’t think so either. He’s always using those words. Even when going for some fucking pizza, for fuck’s sake. So he definitely didn’t mean to offend anyone by saying them.
Okay, so it wasn’t the words and it wasn’t the kid. Who offended the old guy then?
He offended himself.
You see, there’s to part’s to every inter-action between to people. There’s an action and a re-action.
When it comes to feeling offended, the action is a stimulus provided by the person who says or does something you think is offensive.
The re-action is you, making yourself feel offended by it.
So whatever that person does or says to you, is 100% their responsibility.
The way you emotionally react to it, or the context you give it in your head is 100% yours.
This is not only true when it comes to feeling offended. It’s true about every interaction you have. And every reaction you have to another person. Whether it’s plotting a revenge fantasy or feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, you can’t blame them for any of that stuff. The reaction is something you do.
Which means that whenever you think someone offended you, it is a lie.
You offended yourself.
Now you may think to yourself: “That’s bullshit, why would I ever wanna offend myself?”
Good question, my favorite reader!
There are 2 common reasons why people offend themselves all the time. They may trigger you to offend yourself when you read them, but I’ll share them anyway. Because realizing I was doing this myself has helped me a lot ?
Reason #1: Ego Juice
If you’ve ever meditated before, then you already know that like everyone else, you have this little ego somewhere in the back of your head. A part of you that occasionally pops up and makes you do stuff that’s different from who you really are.
• It’s the part of you that makes you tell a cool story about yourself at a party because it wants people to like you (and it wants you to like yourself).
•It’s the part of you that says “OMG, did you see Debbie’s clothes today? Ugh. U-G-L-Y” Because it wants reassurance that your own sense of fashion is better than the others.
• It’s the part of you that makes you sleep with “ugly” people when you’re drunk and then not tell your friend Steve about it, because you’d prefer Steve to think you only fuck models. But trust me, Steve knows.
If hadn’t noticed your ego yet, now’s the moment to shake hands with yourself and say “Nice to meet you!”
Once you get to know it, your ego can be an annoying little fucker most of the time. As it always seems to get in the way of what your heart wants to do. So it’s easy to hate on him/her, but be grateful you have one: It’s looking out for your survival and makes you want to feel good about yourself. But its methods don’t always work for everything.
Now, when this ego inside you witnesses something that can be perceived as offensive, it sees an opportunity.
An opportunity to milk the situation and get some delicious ego-juice.
What do I mean by this?
If you choose to be offended by something, it instantly makes you feel better than the other person.
Especially if you think the other person is wrong in their opinion and you have the fact to prove so. Because now you are not just morally superior, you’re also much smarter.
This is one of the endless tactics your ego uses to make you feel good about yourself. But the truth is, it’s not a good one.
Yes, on an intellectual level it makes you feel better than the other person for a moment.
But it also makes you feel angry (offended), and it makes you feel less connected with other people.
If you choose to start a discussion or fight about it, this feeling will only get worse, when the other person starts verbally attacking you.
If what you really want is to feel loved by yourself and others, then creating a situation of distress, disconnect and hate is a very ineffective solution ?
But before we get to finding a better reaction, there is another possible reason you feel offended.
Reason #2: Why Am I Offended? Because You Think They Are Right
You may not like or even believe this one. But another reason something can offend you, is because deep down you think what they’re saying is true. For example:
If you’re offended that someone calls you fat, it’s because you are fucking fat.
Did that sentence offend you? Then read it again ?
I know, I’m being overly simplistic here, but I’m doing it to prove a point. In this example, it doesn’t mean you are “overweight”. But what it means for sure, is that you see yourself as a fat person.
Here’s the thing: If you love your body and think its beautiful, but someone calls you fat, what will happen?
You will wonder for a second why that person is throwing random insults at you. You are clearly not fat, so he might as well have called you “orange”, “a baby”, or some other random thing you’re not. If anything, the comment says nothing about you. It just says that the person has bad manners.
However, if deep down you see yourself as fat, you’ll feel offended when someone calls you that. This doesn’t mean it’s physically true. You could be suffering from some form of body dysmorphic disorder to some degree. All I’m saying is: That person pointed you to something yourself that you want to change. Whether it’s your actual body size or the way you relate to your own body.
Thank them for the reminder and work on it. Whether that means getting in shape, or learning to accept and love your body as it is.
I’m using fat-shaming as a common example here, but this could be anything: If you get pissed when someone calls you an asshole, maybe it’s because you know you could work on being more friendly sometimes.
If you’re offended when someone uses the wrong gender pronoun for you, or calls you a woman because you have long hair, then it’s because you have issues with it. The other person is just a little confused or seeking to get a response.
Or an example from my own life: I used to feel offended when people didn’t like my music. Then I realized it was because I wasn’t 100% confident about my own songwriting. And when they said so, it pointed me towards that feeling in myself. Now that I’m happy with the songs I write, I couldn’t care less.
How to Stop Feeling Offended
The first step to not feeling so fucking offended all the time, as by staying aware of your own responses to things.
If you read an article, see a Facebook post or hear someone saying something and start to get offended, ask yourself why that is. Do you want the precious ego-juice? Or is it something inside yourself that you don’t like?
Just knowing the answer, will often already stop you from feeling offended.
If it points to something inside you, you can use that knowledge to think of ways to learn to love that part of you more, or to fix the things you don’t like
If it’s the ego juice you’re after, you may ask yourself if maybe that’s the reason why you maintain an environment with lots of things that offend you in the first place.
If you’re the SJW type, it’s perfectly possible to unfollow everyone in your newsfeed that posts racists or sexist remarks and stop being offended by it. So why do you not do that? Because it gives you what you want (the delicious juice). So go ahead and clear that feed. Stop reading newspaper with “offensive” news, stop hanging with unfriendly people. Period. Admit to yourself you secretly enjoy these interactions and need to quit that ego-addiction ?
I understand that in some cases, it is impossible to remove these things from your life. Maybe there’s a co-worker or mutual friend who keeps saying things that you choose to be offended by, And you know you’ll run into them a lot.
In these cases you’ll need to change your response to it, which is a great chance to practice a more positive mindset.
Instead of judging or being annoyed by them, try to be forgiving empathic first.
Ask yourself: Why do they act this way? Is it because of their own insecurities?
Now once you realize that, you may look at them as “less than you”. Remind yourself that you have insecure and egoic parts too. So that makes you very similar to them. The part that’s “acting offensive” in them is the same part that’s feeling offended in you ? You both just want to feel good about yourself.
Learn to accept that even though you do not like their ways, you can’t change them.
Realize that you are under no obligation to get angry when someone talks shit. Even when you see that behavior from everyone else.This does not make you weak or turn you into a doormat. I’m not talking about tolerating bullying or hardcore verbal abuse here. I’m not saying “let people treat you bad and have no boundaries” . If someone physically tries to attack your girlfriend, steal your car or rape your dog and grind it into cat food, there’s no point in saying “ I choose not to be offended by it”. Do what you need to do to protect them and get them to safety.
However, if someone calls you “Gay” in a derogatory fashion and this would offend you, simply tell yourself: “I wonder why he uses that word as an insult. It’s just a term for people attracted to same sex-partners. Anyway, I can imagine it’s not fun living in a reality where you think something like that is bad, and you see it everywhere. I’m happy I don’t get offended that easily anymore. But I used to (even if it’s for different reasons), so I understand it.” And go on having a great day
Or you can make it 10 times easier and skip that whole thought process ? Just shrug your shoulders and choose to go on not being offended.
This more forgiving and loving attitude towards other will make you much happier.
Truth is: Nothing external can really offend you. You can only offend yourself.
If you feel offended by that statement, you know you have some work to do ?