Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are You Offended?

Yes, I know. I told you that you could look for this post over the weekend, and you did not see it. Sometimes things in life do not work out on our schedules, and that is okay.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am welcoming a guest blogger for the topic of being offended. I am excited to share his post with you because when it comes to the right attitude about being offended, he has it. Enjoy!


There is an awful lot of offensive behavior going on these days. There must be. Just look at all of the people that are being offended. It seems that everyday you can read a story about someone who was offended. It's terrible.

Let me, just for the record, send a message to all of those offended people:

Get over it!

Seriously, what does it actually mean to be offended? I looked it up. The first meaning pertains to sin or a violation of the moral code. The rest of the definitions were centered around doing something that was unpleasant. I noticed two key things in the actual definition of the word. First, to "offend" is primarily an action of the person undertaking the behavior. I have to DO something before you can be offended. Second, the behavior in question is subjective.

What does that mean? It means that my actions are the catalyst for being offended, but whether or not they are offensive is up to someone else.

I can do nothing to offend you. You can do nothing to offend me. The behavior, or words, or smells, or actions are only offensive if someone deems them to be offensive.

But, you say, people often do things with the intention of being offensive.

They certainly do...and the more offended you become by those people, the more power that you give to them.

Think of the most offensive thing someone could say to you.

Do you have it. It is already making you a little uncomfortable?

Now pretend I just said it to you. Are you offended? I only said it because you thought it was offensive.

If you are thinking clearly, there is no way you would give me or anyone else the power to control you that way. When someone says that they are offended, look at the offense in question. It will tell you more about that person than years of small talk.

The next time that you are about to cry out that you are offended, here is what you can do.

First, I have found that most people are not intentionally offensive. When you put that filter on most behavior, and realize that the interpretation of offensive is purely yours, the offense should go away.

Next, look at the source of the offense. In other words look at the offender. Was the offender trying to offend you? Most of the time, you will realize that the offender was not even trying to offend you. Instead, it was you who decided that the behavior was offensive. Then it was you who decided that it should make you angry (or sad or disappointed).

Now, here is the critical part. Do not let that "offense" have any power over you. Sure, you could nicely point out that the action is unpleasant and makes you uncomfortable. You could even draw a line in the sand and refuse to be around someone who commits that offense. Remember, though, that the very nature of offense is that it is your subjective judgement of someone else's behavior.

So...before you go and get all offended, take a look at your behavior. Who are you offending?

Hint, you are at least offending people who are offended by people who get offended.

Written by: "R" HUG


  1. I like this post. That is the funny thing about people offending us: They cannot offend us unless we choose to let them.

    A person can do something or say something with which you do not agree or that you do not like, but they do not have the ability to offend you. You are the one who makes the choice to be offended.

    The closing sentence make me laugh! Thank you for writing today's blog for me, "R" HUG. 8^)

  2. An excellent post!! I am choosing to no longer be offended by certain people!! LOL!! Guess that makes me someone who really can learn from others. Keep blogging!!