People all over the world are thin skinned whiners! This is reflected by billions of people who think it’s their right to NEVER be offended? I find it amazing when adults get “offended’ by words they don’t like; as if other people are only supposed to only express ideas that they want to hear. People have a right to express their ideas and are free to use whatever language they want, particularly in an “innovative” setting where the free exchange of ideas is essential.
Being offended means feeling upset and/or angry. Unlike being annoyed, which passes quickly, the effects of being offended can last much longer. No one can make you feel offended over their words. That is a self-inflicted problem based on how words are processed (or “misprocessed”) in the receiver’s brain. It seems absurd, and even immature, to make oneself upset when someone fails to meet one’s idea and language demands. While everyone has the right to make themselves upset over words, it’s illogical to so because it doesn’t solve anything. No one is going to change their opinion just because you are offended by their words. All the negative effects of being offended accrue to you, not to them.
Political correctness (the idea that one has a right to never hear words one thinks are offensive) is an anti-free speech method to solve a problem the offended create for themselves. This leads to the opposite of free speech. The problem with political correctness is that it has gone far beyond the reasonable expectation that people avoid using racial slurs. It has evolved into the nutty expectation that no one should say anything you don’t like … the right to never be offended. Even worse is that the offended set unreasonable standards of what is correct. The result is millions of people who are afraid to speak their minds. That is just crazy! Political correctness is like communism for the brain. Do your part to reverse this nutty trend … express your ideas freely to as many people as possible!
Everyone likes the idea of free speech, but free speech applies to everyone, not just the people who agree with you. Free speech includes all ideas, even ones you don’t like. If someone’s opinion or ideas offend you, too bad, get over it! Maybe you are the one with a problem and has to change. At minimum, accept the fact that people differ in opinions and thinking.
In grade school, I remember learning a rhyme: “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.” The moral of the rhyme is just as true for adults as it is for kids. Unfortunately, adults learn and reinforce the habit of using words to make themselves upset.
Mature, rational and well adjusted people don’t use words to make themselves upset. That would make no sense because one would just end up worse off. They don’t expect people to only say things they like; that would be an irrational expectation. In fact, these irrational expectations are part of the mechanism the offended use to make themselves upset. No one should restrict their right to free speech to appease these people. They have a problem that they need to fix. I had this problem myself, but after reading “A New Guide to Rational Living” I seldom make myself upset and it really makes my life better. It could work for you too.
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- For more ideas, check out my book