On the offensive

Brandon Bean

The Charter Opinions

Offending people is a necessary and healthy act… every time you say something that’s offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think”

– Louis C.K.

 

Oh I’m sorry. Did I say something to offend you? Good.

For such a small disturbance, being offended is a bizarre concept that has been taken to extreme proportions in recent years. Nowadays, every moment you speak, someone is out there to call you out on it and saying, “That is offensive.” We need to take our eyes off of the offended emotion and look at the person in question that is claiming to be offended.

What does it mean to be offended? Being offended means you find something to be annoying, insulting, and/or resentful. By definition, the statement “That is offensive” is entirely opinionated and is judged by what the proclaimer believes to be offensive. We know this because a phrase can either be taken positively, negatively, or neutrally. Therefore, the statement itself is neutral.

Furthermore, is being offended really a negative topic and emotion? Not exactly. In fact, it has the potential to be the opposite. Being offended could mean, just as Louis C.K. says, “you have just caused a discussion.” This may lead to an internal discussion. You stop and think about what has been said, why it affects you in such a way, and how you can resolve this inner conflict. The feeling itself is not negative, it’s what you do with that feeling that can result in a positive, neutral, or negative outcome. For example, If I were to tell an anti-semitic joke, how would you respond? Would you feel offended? Why are you offended? What about the joke makes you feel offended? Is there a way to turn that feeling into a positive outcome? These are things to ask yourself and use in the future. Remember, no emotion and feelings are bad.

All-in-all, if I say something that doesn’t sit right with you and you say “That is offensive,” what then? Nothing happens. However, if we were to entertain the question of why it offends you, then a discussion and conclusion can be reached. This leaves us knowing ourselves and each other better.

Sources:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Offending+people+is+a+necessary+and+healthy+act%  E2%80%A6+every+time+you+say+something+that%E2%80%99s+offensive+to+another+person,+you+just+caused+a+discussion.+You+just+forced+them+to+have+to+think%E2%80%9D+-+Louis+C.K.&espv=2&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA1LvD9r3TAhUBH2MKHXblCbUQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=631&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=popld145lXwJuM accessed 5/8/17

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