Episode 77 – The Allure of Being Offended

 In Podcast

In today’s world, giving and taking offense is everywhere. We see it expressed on social media and by news commentators and government officials every day. And when we look closely, we also find ourselves frequently being offended by someone or something. When we hear or read something that disturbs our sensibilities – what we think is right – or that seems hurtful to us or another, we often respond by taking offense. Why do we do that? What is the payoff? What are the consequences? In this episode we explore these questions, share our offense triggers and discover how being offended shuts down conversation and blocks our inner calling to “Love one another.”


Taking offfense means

To be/feel insulted or humiliated by someone or something •

Often accompanied with condemnation – declaring the other unworthy

We often take offense when we hear or read something that:

Disturbs our sensibilities (what we think is right)

Creates discomfort, bruises egos, and hurt feelings

Seems hurtful or insulting to us or another

Some examples:

•We receive criticism rather than positive feedback

•Someone doesn’t return emails or phone calls or is otherwise disrespectful

•We hear an opinion that is markedly different from our own • •Someone makes a joke out of something we care about

Someone sounds like they may be hurting someone else’s feelings 

•Our personal sense of what is appropriate is violated

The impact is it shuts down conversation and closes off a potential opportunity for understanding or learning how to just be with opposition or disagreement

The effects:

If coupled with a demand that the other person either change their behavior or issue an apology, it can be an offensive move

Puts us in either an inferior (you hurt me) or superior (you are a bad person) position

There is also a personal impact. Being offended is a burden…on us!

And all this taking offense goes against the teaching of the Master to “Love one another.” John 13:34

Jesus offended and also didn’t get offended

Ask yourself, “Was I harmed?”

Seek information (what opening is there for conversation?)

Go within and find the feeling

Remember Truth – nothing and no one can harm us

Dialogue and Inquiry

What offends you and why? Please be honest.

What is underneath the choice to be offended? What is the payoff? What is the result?

How else can you respond other than being offended?

When someone says or does something that is way outside your comfort zone and you feel that inner tension like you don’t want to be here now, what can you do to not shut down conversation and foster understanding?

Can being offended and Love occupy the same space?

In Truth, can you be offended?

Closing Thought

When I tune in to God within, I remember that I am sufficient and Good. The strength of my Being is unalterable. In Truth, there is nothing and no one who can hurt me. When I encounter another with a different worldview or with behaviors that seem offensive to me, I go within and reignite the powers of Love and Understanding. I make no demands and find Acceptance. I am at Peace with all people and with all Life.   

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