Some folks are easily offended

Not sure what’s up with that.

They take your choices about things as personal indictments of theirs.

They take factual statements as personal indictments of their preferences.  I blame Fox News for that one.  “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” (Colbert, White House Correspondence Dinner 2006.)

They think you actually care more about dictating their lives than you do your own.  When in reality you really don’t notice them unless they bring things to your attention.

These folks live in a little cloud of drama and if you get sucked in, it can be very draining.  Molehills become mountains instantaneously.  Greys turn into sordid blacks and whites.  Snowballs become avalanches.  If you’re not the same as us or incredibly apologetic, you’re against us!

And if you suggest that maybe people don’t care about their lives as much as they think people do, they bring up myriad counter-examples, which probably actually just prove your point.  Or would if you could talk to the accused offender.

Once they get out of your life, when they decide to cut you off, life either stays the same because you didn’t notice the drama (though they rarely cut you off without telling you precisely why and precisely what is wrong with you), or your life improves immensely.  Perhaps a bit less entertaining, but it’s probably not healthy to get your entertainment from someone else’s negative delusions.  (Why are they never positive delusions?  Because little rays of sunshine tend to be self-fulfilling.)

Are we talking about you?  Well… the answer to this question is:  Do you think we are?  We don’t think we are, but your answer to our question is also the answer to your question.

25 Responses to “Some folks are easily offended”

  1. Alyssa Says:

    I heard the other day that one of the most prevalent addictions in our society is righteous indignation ( Apparently we can get a rush of endorphins when we angrily defend our opinions or choices. Maybe that’s why people are so quick to be offended!

  2. feMOMhist Says:

    tempest … teapot … so anyway back to me. I blame the puritans.

  3. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Sadly, my parents are this way. And my life and opinions are so completely different than theirs along so many dimensions, that almost any substantive conversation turns them into embattled warriors. For that reason, I have severely curtailed the amount of time I am willing to spend engaging with them, and when I do engage, I maintain a completely featureless facade.

    It is quite exhausting, and I frequently fantasize that they would “cut me off”, but so far they haven’t.

  4. Molly (Mike and Molly's House) Says:

    Some of my most offensive friends are the most easily offended.

  5. oilandgarlic Says:

    Hmm..I struggle with this. While in most cases I agree with you. I do think that some people’s choices can reflect judgement. Example: My stay-at-home SIL has said on several occasions that leaving her dog with doggie daycare makes her a bad dog owner; and also that she could never leave her kids and don’t know how others do it. She said this before I had kids. While she has never said anything directly to me about me choosing to work, it’s hard not to assume that she is judging me. Hope that makes sense.

  6. becca Says:

    I really can’t say enough for positive delusions. They are highly underrated. The unicorn told me so. Although the unicorn also tells me she is not self-fulfilling, so there.

    “People definitely have a tendency to most easily the weaknesses in others that they, themselves, possess.”
    (I am assuming the missing verb between ‘most’ and ‘easily’ was “spot” or “detect” or somesuch)

    I wonder if the same is true for strengths? That is, is it a function of our attention easily focusing on what we find important (in which case, it would apply to strengths too), or is it that we observe other people’s weaknesses equally well whether we have that weakness or not, but only get riled up about the weaknesses we’re actively trying to defend against (in which case, it wouldn’t particularly apply to strengths)? I had been assuming the later, but the unicorn pointed out it could be both.

    • First Gen American Says:

      becca – I think you’re right. We tend to be hyper focused on our own strengths and weaknesses and it’s easy to zero in on the same things in others. For example. It drives me nuts when someone is late (because I”m always punctual), but I’m also in awe of people who are extremely good at reading others (I almost always have the wrong first impression of someone and it takes me a while to really get to know what they’re really like.). I used to notice more of the things I was bad at that others were good at…until I too became competent with those skills.Now I don’t really notice anymore if someone’s a really good public speaker or a great strategist because it’s not so much of a mystery to me.

  7. chacha1 Says:

    I used to be easily offended. Short-tempered, too (very commonly related character flaws). 18 years of yoga practice have settled that sh*t right down. Now I just don’t care what other people think (or say, or do) unless they can materially affect my employment, primary relationships, or activities essential to overall quality of life.
    Most people can’t.
    But I will still rant occasionally about systemic stupidity and the proud display of wilful ignorance.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Can I get 18 years of yoga in, like, an hour?

      • chacha1 Says:

        LOL no. But my practice averages 15 min/day. Adopt a practice of 1 hr/day, that’s 4.5 years. So theoretically you could achieve the nirvana of “just can’t be bothered” in less time than it takes to complete the average ph.D. (Basically, that’s what I did. Stopped at the M.A. and took up yoga.)

        In all seriousness – there’s an important caveat, however. The yoga of disengagement is not the yoga of Bikram and Hard Tail. In fact, a “celebrity” practice is (arguably) antithetical to disengagement. Getting over myself was not my aim in beginning the practice but it’s a large part of it now.

  8. MutantSupermodel Says:

    There’s no way you’re talking about me because I am an eternal ray of sunshine. Fact.

  9. Anthea Says:

    Oh I love your post. I had to point out to a colleague of mine from grad school – mind you I left that place about 4 years ago as to the manner in which I had to relate to our colleagues from grad school. Now, we’ve all graduated at least 5 years ago. I’ve known her for a while …(more than 8 years) I’d no idea how fixed her ideas were as to each person’s role in life, work etc etc …..until I said after the nth time of having to hear that I was supposed to be doing work wise..i.e. how I earn an income and which professional world that I was to belong to. Apparently wasn’t good enough for the academic world! I was rather taken aback since I don’t think that she’s really in a position to tell me what to do. She’s a research assistant to a bunch of researchers. We’re in an entirely different discipline. Nothing is wrong with her job she has to earn money but I don’t really grasp why she believed that she had to tell me that I’m worthless. So, I wrote her an email to tell her, since she didn’t want to hear on the telephone, why was she making statements about this sort of thing and really it wasn’t up to her to make decisions as to my professional work life. Oh well…she freaked out and got all huffy as if I’d insulted her despite the fact that I’ve been trying politely to tel her that I didn’t appreciate being told what I ought be doing in my life. Ach ..good grief. I think that she’s offended that I even just said “please do you mind listening to what I have to say”. Oh well…I can’t stand the stress anymore of having to talk to her. Yes, some folks are easily offended.

  10. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    I notice I get irritated by people making absolute statements designed to make one group of people feel like crap.

    Even if I don’t belong to that group of people.

    I wonder if I’m getting personally offended on behalf of other folks. Or if it’s just my idealistic sense of justice poking through again. Maybe that’ll be gone by the time I hit 40.

    • Debbie M Says:

      Not if you’re like me. I sometimes fantasize about claiming that “Actually, I am a [member of dissed group]” (especially when I am obviously not a member). I so far haven’t had the guts to do that, though. (And fortunately, I rarely get the chance to try, almost never when people are talking to me–more like when people are talking to someone on their cell phone but in my hearing.) Maybe by the time I hit 50.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: