A colleague of mine (Sarah Victory) once said, “I think 10% of the people on the planet were put here just to be offended.” Some people are so easily offended you’d think they were born that way.
Do you know anyone like this?
I know fewer and fewer of them as I exercise my ability to choose to keep my distance.
The fact is that choosing to be offended is often mistaken by people as an act of empowerment. “I found that remark to be offensive and I demand an apology.”
To be blunt here, being offended doesn’t make you right, special or entitled to anything. If anything, it’s an indication that you take yourself WAY too seriously.
The reality is that being offended is simply another reactive experience of life. It is the reaction of someone walking through life with the belief that their point of view is so special that it makes sense that others would agree with it.
When others don’t, the reaction is SHOCK. “How dare you?” “Well I never.” And so on.
There was a time in my life when exposure to an idea outside my comfort zone might as well have been a declaration of war upon my self appointed moral authority. It’s quite easy to spot those who have a similar reaction today.
What I eventually came to learn was what a slave I’d become to an inflexible ideology of “I’m right because I’m right.” I’d made many decisions in my life that were so inflexible that I’d come to reject any opportunity to reflect upon them.
Times change, people change, people evolve and grow through the experience of new insights, new ideas and the opportunity to refine and reflect upon the decisions they’ve made about the world and their place in it.
It’s not to say that reflection requires that you change your thinking, simply that you examine it in light of new information to be sure it still holds true for you and for good reason.
The reason being that it continues to produce the results in life that you want for yourself and those you love.
It’s unfortunate to stick with thinking you’ve always had and insist on having simply because its familiar. Some of this thinking can become like an old pair of underwear you refuse to change simply because they feel so familiar to you. Get the point?
I don’t have to agree with every new idea I’m exposed to, and there are many values such as kindness, compassion and manners that stand the test of time.
So I enjoy the opportunities to reflect upon them, refine them, strengthen or replace them.
It’s a hell of a lot more fulfilling than being offended by them.
Thanks for being you.