Taking Offense & Political Correctness

Taking offense is a personal problem and can only be resolved within ourselves. Learning to not take criticism personally and acknowledge and embracing the differences we all have with how we look, think, and behave is how to handle offense being given to us. Furthermore, to express ourselves and our ideas to the fullest, we have to realize that we cannot control what offends someone else and cannot please everyone.

—CHAPTERS—
3:12 – Why We Cannot Worry About Being Offensive
8:15 – My Views & Experience

—RELATED VIDEOS—
► Pleasing Others – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeNJMmoL0tw
► Taking Criticism – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0g3bkshSYo

Table of Contents

    Introduction

    What offends you? Why do we take offense? How has political correctness been used to avoid offending others? Find out now.

    annoyed angry man with bad attitude giving talk to hand gesture
    © pathdoc

    Hi everyone! We are going to be discussing offense, taking offense, as well as the avoidance of expression through censorship to avoid offending others, or political correctness. Taking offense is something we do when people are making fun of us, saying something that disagrees with our beliefs or ideas on life, or even putting others down.

    Woman is a Victim of Stalking, Bullying, Bullying and Insult
    © Dan Race

    We may avoid trying to offend others and when we find something offensive, we tend to feel hurt and filled with sadness, or even anger. We can go so far as to take the defensive route and attack back, verbally or even physically. This creates another whole set of problems, including what we call hypocrisy. Being a hypocrite is something that lies within all of us. We have beliefs of how others should behave and think, yet we don’t conform to the very same rules. It’s almost like a control we want over others, but we want to be exempt from the very same rules.

    hearts and broken heart. love and hurt - vector
    © angkritth

    How does political correctness tie into this? Well, the act of being politically correct essentially means that one avoids using terms and saying things that others may find offensive. But the truth is, we don’t always know what will offend others because of its subjective nature. Rather, political correctness is a form of silent censorship that prevents us from actually expressing our views out of the fear of offending others, which is the very same fear that we dislike to receive from the person who took offense to us. In other words, we have fear of expressing our views about something because we fear that we will offend others. Likewise, the person who took offense to something we may have said may fear hearing these things from us as they could be ‘triggering’ to them. The act of ‘triggering’ is a concept where one will react in a specific matter from the offense that they perceive. A classic example with people who cannot handle criticism is that a certain word or phrase will ‘trigger’ their negative emotions, that they may be unable to properly cope with. Some individuals even going so far as to avoid being in an environment where other’s views are opposite theirs, and would prefer an environment where everyone agrees with them and is on their side, to avoid that confrontation. This is impossible and not the world we live in for the simple fact that we all are different and have varying views.

    East woman holds prohibiting black ribbon
    © Andrey Zametalov

    So how then can we stop worrying about being offensive and taking offense? Let’s talk about that now.


    Why We Cannot Worry About Being Offensive

    One of the first things to realize when someone takes offense to something you say or do is to realize that you cannot control what offends someone. In other words, taking offense is subjective. We live in a society that we avoid hurting others feelings, that we avoid offending others. Even talking about taboo topics is something many people may frown upon as we shouldn’t be talking about it because it may hurt someone else. The honest truth is, it’s impossible to not offend others. No matter what, we will offend people, and we need to learn, as the giver of the offense, that this will happen. Even just saying to someone, “Have a nice day,” can be offensive to them, even if you thought it was a gesture of kindness. We cannot worry about trying to not offend someone as it will never work.

    Portrait of young beautiful woman with finger on lips isolated on gray wall background
    © pathdoc

    Likewise, we cannot please everyone. We simply cannot cater to everyone’s wishes, especially if the ideas that they want you to have are outside your own scope of knowledge and views on life. For instance, let’s say someone wants you to think or behave a certain way around them, yet you have no knowledge of these things they expect from you, and furthermore, their demands are conflicting with your own ideas on life. They expect you to accept these things about them, yet they cannot accept that your ideas are different from theirs. In simple terms, it’s hypocritical of them to expect something from you, when they refuse to accept the way you are. If you do try to please them and make them happy by giving them what they want, it will conflict with your own ideas and beliefs. This will cause you stress and only get the point across that the person making demands of you can expect as much as they want from others. I have a video that goes into much more detail about how it’s impossible to please everyone. So, I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description if you would like more information in this area. [Pleasing Others]

    Next, taking offense is a personal problem. Hearing something that is offensive and taking it personally is not a problem with the giver, but rather the receiver. It is solely a personal problem. The reason is because it’s subjective in nature. What one might find offensive, another will find humorous, and another will agree with the message, and so on. There are so many rules we must follow to avoid offending others. Political correctness is where the problem lies since we have all these labels and terms we must all, as a society, learn so we don’t offend others. We censor ourselves and the ability to speak our mind because of fear of offending others. Learning to take criticism as what it is and moving on from it is key. I have a video about taking critism that I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description that goes into more detail. [Taking Criticism] Now I have to mention here, it’s one thing to offend someone by your words or actions that you don’t feel as though are offensive, and another to belittle and berate them. The difference being the place you are coming from and your perspective. Coming from a negative space shows that you are having more problems in your life than the person you are criticizing. You don’t have to be nasty and hateful about your beliefs and project them onto another, but you also don’t have to hold back expressing yourself. Stand up and make your voice heard.

    Finally, if you are offended easily, the honest truth is don’t take things personally. Life isn’t as seriously as you think it is. Learn to laugh and enjoy life. Joke once in a while and don’t take things so personally. That is not why we are here on this Earth. We are here to learn and grow from one another, enjoying every moment of this human existence we can to the maximum potential. We cannot worry about or be brought down by people making fun of us or attacking our beliefs. Rather, we have to learn to accept that others have different views from our own and we cannot please everyone. Acknowledge and embrace the differences people have with how we look, think, and behave. We will never be able to live a satisfying life, filled with learning experiences, if we take offense to every little disagreement someone makes with us. These disagreements are here to help us learn and without them, we will never find peace and instead live in a world of terror where around every corner we fear being verbally attacked and harassed.


    My Views & Experience

    Now I’d thought I’d share my own views and experience with taking offense. For any of you who have watched my earlier videos, you can tell that I use to be someone who would hurt very easily. I took people’s opinions and views way too seriously and it affected me and made me upset and depressed. I would fear criticism and ideas that were foreign from my own because I didn’t want to hear opposing sides. But, it was exactly those opposing views that gave the greatest potential to learn from. When I saw people disagreeing with me, I had to go on the defensive and try to prove them wrong in some way. I had to show them that my ways and information was right, and they were wrong. Looking back on that now, I see it as a sign of narcissism since I felt I always had to be right. But, I’m not always right and will never always be right.

    While there were things during these past times where I could laugh at criticism, these days it’s much easier to not take things so personally. Someone could call me every disgusting, hateful name in the book and will it put a damper on my day? Not if I let it. Is the person saying these things a bad or wrong person for expressing their views of me? No, it only shows that they are dealing with some sort of problem in their life that they need to take their anger out on me. Taking offense to what someone says or does now is a foreign concept to me these days. There are very few things that actually upset me and offend me. In other words, I don’t let any negative or conflicting opinions opposite my own affect me negatively. I get what I need from them and move on.

    What are my views on political correctness? It’s never been a concept I could stand behind, and will never be one I stand behind since it essentially is a form of censorship that makes people question if what they are saying is going to hurt and offend someone else. I feel it segregates us more since we put more emphasis on making everyone equal, when we should be embracing the fact that we are all different. Fundamentally, we are all equal. But how we look, think, and behave are unique to us. There are, of course, plenty of things I can do and say to others to make them feel better about themselves, but I’m not going to go so far out of my way and own beliefs to make my voice and thoughts censored. I will express myself, some people will be offended, and I will learn not to let the recoil of their offense affect me. My views are that the answer to why you find things offensive lies within yourself, and only you can learn to not take offense. You cannot expect others to cater to your need of wanting to avoid taking offense.


    Conclusion

    So in conclusion, taking offense is a personal problem and can only be resolved within ourselves. Learning to not take criticism personally and acknowledge and embracing the differences we all have with how we look, think, and behave is how to handle offense being given to us. Furthermore, to express ourselves and our ideas to the fullest, we have to realize that we cannot control what offends someone else and cannot please everyone. I hope this information was informative and helpful to you. Have a wonderful day!

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    Notes

    This was an important topic to discuss since I feel many people are worried more about not offending others than they are at speaking their mind about a situation. Or even being worried about not hearing anything that disagrees with their views that they shelter themselves in a bubble to avoid the reality of the world around them. That’s what I’ve seen from political correctness which is why I could never stand by it. Needless to say, I never try to offend or hurt someone, and try my best to avoid such things. But, I will make my voice heard, even if it does offend people, since I know there are plenty of people out there that will take offense to even the slightest thing I have to say. My view is, it’s not my problem is someone gets offended since it’s on them.