In this day and age there is so much information coming at us in a myriad of ways. We have the internet which includes social media, email, text messaging, video chat, etc.
“Who then is invincible? The one who cannot be upset by anything outside their reasoned choice.”—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.18.21
With all of this 24/7 instantaneous communication about, it increases the clashing of the many egos that inhabit this space-time reality.
Getting offended is a choice. It’s a choice that YOU willing choose to amplify for no good reason.
Before I go any further I want to note that this piece is strictly talking about our perception on life. How our perception influences when we get offended. This is NOT advice on how to get pass offense when someone puts hands on you. If someone puts their hands on you DEFEND yourself.
On my personal Instagram, essentially a meme page, I post all kinds of stuff. Many of the things I post I consider to be harmless.
I post puns, jokes, and I also tease vegans. These posts as I’ve said before are harmless. It’s mostly corny content with half of it being empowering, introspective content.
But there’s always that one person who finds one of my posts “offensive.” It could be the most minute thing that they feel offense from.
I thought about what “being offended” is for some time before writing this piece. Although not a comprehensive piece on what it means to be offended, I have a pretty good idea as to what being offended is and how to skirt it.
You Created An Identity Around Being Offended
Your identity is being offended.
That is the most basic component to breaking this whole thing down. You have to realize that you have formed an identity around being offended.
Everything you see, you look for a way to push up against. You look for a way to be offended.
This is what it means to have an identity that is built on a foundation of angst, self-righteousness and all around misery.
But you can get out of this trap.
Understand that being offended traps you like an animal caught in a snare. That snare is one that you’ve built for yourself.
You see, you’re judgments about a particular incident isn’t the incident itself. For example, someone outright insults you. They call you names. They berate you. Do you really have to be offended?
Are the persons words that much of a reality? Or is it your judgement of those words a reality?
All that truly matters is your judgement. It’s how you look at things. If you choose to be hurt by someone’s words then that is 100% on YOU.
Whether you agree with me or not on that particular point, we can agree that the world is never going to have a shortage of people who insult you.
Your Self-Image Is Illusory
Being offended comes from a certain level of self-righteousness.
When you hold yourself in a higher regard than necessary, you tend to get offended one the outer world doesn’t align with your opinion of yourself.
You have two choices:
- You can choose not to care what others think.
- You can humble yourself.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to go more into depth with number 2.
You need to humble yourself. When I watch people become offended, it is because they believe their image of themselves were attacked.
We see this happen many times with regard to religion and politics.
It’s not the person themselves being attacked, it’s the image of themselves that are being attacked.
Understand that the image you hold up of yourself is false. It is an illusion.
Furthermore, if you’re getting offended by the happenings of social media via the internet, also understand that you’re caught in a tangled web of illusion.
You’re Wasting Energy
Do you know what’s happening when you choose to be offended? You’re robbing yourself of vital life force.
When you mis align yourself with who you truly are, you’re draining yourself of life force through your attention.
Your attention is the bridge between you and the outer world. This bridge is part of a positive feedback loop of eternal energy, what you focus on produces more of the same.
So when you choose to be offended, all you’re doing is looking for more ways to be offended. You’re constantly attracting more ways to be offended.
You’ll end up finding offense in things that are not offensive at all.
I see this all the time on social media.
Someone posts something that is apparently positive and uplifting then people find a way to be offended by it.
Have you ever heard of “toxic positivity?” That term is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.
How can positivity be toxic?
There are people going around saying that optimism, positivity and content surrounding this these aspects of life are somehow toxic. They are toxic because they somehow deny the feelings of others who may not see things through rose colored lenses. But the fact is that no one is forcing them to put on rose colored glasses.
Many people find offense in content that’s meant to be uplifting. It’s silly.
This is a prime example of how people look for ways to be offended.
The best way to take control is to reclaim your attention. Focus on higher vibrational thoughts such as gratitude.
No matter how dark things get, there is always something to be grateful for.
Trust me, I know. I’ve been through some pretty dark times. In those dark times I didn’t look for ways to be offended by every little thing when it’s the easiest thing to do.
You want to focus on gratitude for life. Something we all take for granted is our breath. The very life sustaining thing we have.
Take control by focusing on your breath. Not the offensive things people are saying or doing.
Don’t Give Them The Satisfaction Of Knowing
If you are in a situation where you do get offended here’s how you handle it: simply don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing you are offended.
When someone knows you’re offended, they will keep pushing that button ad infinitum, especially if it’s an antagonist at the workplace.
Focus on something else. We mentioned focusing on gratitude and the breath earlier.
It is important that you don’t relinquish anymore of your energy to people who purposely seek out to zap you of it.
These people are called psychic vampires.
Whether you are the psycho vampire or another person, understand that this type of archetype is truly toxic.
Being a psychic vampire is one thing. But being the victim of a psychic vampire is totally avoidable.
Remember this one important fact. Whether you are at school, work, home, summer camp, etc, this one notion applies to any and all of the situations you’ll find yourself in.
Being offended is IMPOSSIBLE just so long as you CHOOSE not to be offended!