"No one has the right to not be offended."
We all make choices. There will always be people in the world who don't agree with our choices. There will always be people in the world who will loudly vocalize that they don't agree with our choices. Are we entitled to having our choices insulated from criticism? Nope. Whether we choose to wear floor length dresses, are gay, exercise, are a vegetarian, abstain from alcohol, party non-stop, have short hair, have long hair, worship God, worship Buddha, worship stuff or pitch all our stuff to travel the world, our choices are not exempt from other people's opinions. (side note: especially if every little thing is posted on FB, Twitter, blogs & the moon, expect to get some offensive feedback)
Then on the flip side, I started noticing the "watchdog" groups that can't wait to get offended (remember Don Imus?). The Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Muslims, modesty groups, feminists, LGBT, academia, unions, sports nuts, etc. all watch each other and end up sitting around just WISHING to be offended about something. There's no better way to complicate life & invite unnecessary drama than to sit around asking to be offended. Besides, it instantly puts us in the role of the victim.
There's a balance between expecting 100% acceptance and expecting confrontation. First, be careful where information is spread and absorbed. If you aren't ready for critical feedback, don't put anything out there and don't expose yourself to groups or people you know can easily offend you. When offended, it's time to evaluate:
- Was this healthy criticism that can help me or is it nastiness for the sake of being nasty?
- If I started it, was my original statement intended to offend or make fun of someone?
- Why did this offend me?
- Waaaahh! I feel bad! Help, help! I'm being repressed!
Next time you feel offended, please picture the offender with this tone of "voice". It might just help with the getting-over-it bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73W7G2fRuH0.