Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Help! I'm offended...

It has become apparent to me that of all the triggers in our brains, the one I have noticed becoming stronger in our society is the offended trigger.

Which celebrity today is in the news because of a remark they made not being 100% politically correct in every regard?

Which person expresses their own opinion without someone with a different one losing their marbles over it?

This is the time period I find myself in, and I know that offense isn't exclusive to right now.  Yet, I have noticed that offense has become the new of the few remaining acceptable cardinal sins in our society. 

I get offended, but most of the time I don't say anything about it.  

Why?

Here is what you should do if you get offended:

1. Stop.  We are so used to our trigger emotions ruling over us in a given moment, that we have lost the ability to come face to face with our emotions and analyze it.  It is easy to understand why, given the state of our society today.  We have lost a sense of seeking peace within ourselves and just accept our basic instincts and nature in most cases.  Many do not believe that we can better ourselves.  Also, many do not believe they are capable of overreacting.  

2. Think.  Was that something to get offended over?  What was the point that person who offended you was trying to make?  If they had said it in a better way, would you still be offended?  

3. Option. You can give the person the benefit of the doubt.  This is the option that most people don't consider.  Yet, many things don't get said that really should get said.  Maybe this person was doing that.  I can see how that can be offensive.  Yet, maybe if it offended you, you possibly need to humble yourself to accept that this person was doing just that.  Or, the other option being...

4. Say something to that person.  I have experienced a lot of good by actually having a private conversation a bit after the fact of being offended, with enough time to think and compose myself, and to tell the person how their remark or action affected me.  It gives them a chance to clarify in a non-defensive manner.  Most of the time in these cases, the person offended will likely realize they should have just given the benefit of the doubt.  

What not to do:

1. Don't tell other people about the offensive remark when you have not said anything to that person directly.  Be brave.  Don't be a coward.  If you resort to gossip and slander, you are no better than you think of the person who offended you.

2. Do not explode on the person even after you have waited some time.  The purpose is reconciliation and understanding, not causing more division.

3. If someone approaches you over a remark you made that was offensive, take it gracefully.  It was hard for them to do that, so be gracious.  You likely were not out to offend anyone, so keep that in mind when they are talking to you.

4. If the person approaching you has a point, apologize.

5. Here is a difficult one: Being sorry is when you truly are remorseful.  If you are not sorry, do not say it.  If an apology is not sincere, it is best not given.  I understand this part is hard, but I think that apologies are thrown out so often these days and appear insincere, that the act itself is losing meaning.  People just see it as a way to get others of their case.  That isn't what it is supposed to be about.  

So...

Be honest, be courteous, be honest, be sincere, be honest, and be loving. 




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