One only needs to pick up a paper or to go on social media see how common it is for people to be offended in today’s world. Nowadays, it is often said that offence is given, not taken; whereas in the past, it was typically seen as something that was taken, not given.
A Lot Has Changed
This would have been a time when not much thought was given when someone was offended by something. At the same time, it might be more accurate to say that this wasn’t something that was seen as an issue in the past.
People’s feelings were generally overlooked and not given the attention that they deserved. The western world has then gone from one extreme to another, which is no better.
So, if it was normal for people to do and say anything in the past, it has now got to the point where people are expected to walk on eggshells. It no longer matters if one has got something important to say; what matters is not upsetting other people.
As a result of this, freedom of speech is often seen as something that is no longer necessary. This is of secondary importance; what truly matters is that people are not made to feel uncomfortable.
Everything their ancestors did (may have done) to give them the opportunity to express themselves is now being overlooked. It could be said that the reason someone like this doesn’t appreciate what they have is because they have always had it.
If, on the other hand, they had experienced life differently or took the time to understand what these people went through, they might soon change their behaviour. Alternatively, they could spend time in another part of the world where people don’t have this option.
The Big Cover Up
While something like this would allow someone to wake up and to see how fortunate they are to have the ability to express themselves, there is going to be no reason for them to change. Therefore, even though one will be against something that is so precious, they can believe that they are doing the right thing.
In their eyes, offending another person can be seen as one of the worst crimes imaginable, and one could believe that people have the ‘right’ not to be offended by others. There is then going to be what they will do to enforce what they believe.
A Number of Options
If they were to be offended by something online, it is going to be relatively easy for them to do something. One can end up blocking or ‘unfriending’ someone, or they could report them.
What will also make it easier is that they are likely to be using a social media site that is also against free speech. The fact these kinds of companies are against free speech can be seen as a sign that free speech is no longer needed.
When one is focused on doing everything they can to control what people can or can’t say, it can cause them to overlook the effect it will have on their own life as time goes by. But as one is so busy trying to control what other people can or can’t say, it is likely to stop them from being able to see this.
Along with this, there are going to be plenty of people who have the same outlook as they do. One can then believe that they have the moral high ground and that it is down to them to make the world a better place.
On the Surface
On one level, making sure that people are not offended can sound like the right thing to do; after all, why would someone want to cause another to feel angry or upset, for instance. Based on this, it would be right to say that someone like this is a virtuous human being who actually cares about others.
However, while this might seem to be the case, it is likely to be nothing more than an illusion. For one thing, whether or not someone is offended is largely defined by how they interpret what has been said or done.
Another Form of Tyranny
Thus, if one is offended by what another person has said or done and wants to silence them, it shows that their feelings are seen as being far more important than anything else. It is then irrelevant as to whether what another person has said is true or accurate, as it won’t matter.
Also, one won’t have taken the time to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and to consider their point of view. What is taking place within them will be what has consumed their mind.
So, although one will create the impression that they are thinking about other people’s needs as opposed to their own, this is going to be nothing more than a cover up. In reality, this is simply a way for them to focus on their own needs whilst looking selfless in the process.
If one actually cared about other people, they wouldn’t try to stop them from expressing their views. To do this, one would need to put their own needs and feelings to one side and to connect to the other person.
Maybe one of the reasons why so many people are easily offended is due to the fact that they didn’t receive the kind of care that they needed when they were growing up. Not only will this have stopped them from being able to manage their emotions, it will have also caused them to be self-absorbed.
Through experiencing trauma during this time, it can seem as though they are being physically harmed when someone say or does something that offends them. What someone says or does will have triggered these early wounds.
If this is the case, it will be a good idea for them to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.