The “You Can’t Insult Me Challenge” on My YouTube Channel (My Theory That It’s Impossible to Offend Me with Words because I Don’t Give People Power over My Emotions)

I am testing out a theory on emotional intelligence; and thanks to a video I just released on my YouTube channel this week, I have now made it possible for the free world to attempt to insult me, offend me, hurt my feelings, or negatively affect my emotions by being rude to me; via comments on the YouTube video.

My theory is that it’s officially impossible for the simple reason that I do not allow anyone to hurt my feelings. I do not give anyone permission or power over my emotions, since I am aware that it’s my decision to make, not theirs.

I quickly agree that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is not true for everyone. After all, we live in an “outrage culture” in which people so easily get publicly offended; with a little help from social media.

However, I believe that I am on the complete opposite of the “easily offended” spectrum. Over the past 5 years of my life especially, I have taught myself the important life lesson that formally, I was allowing myself to be a victim, instead of proactively choosing to be a victor.

It’s not that I think I’m perfect. The complete opposite is true: I couldn’t be any more aware of my own shortcomings and faults. In fact, I daily invite the free world to give me constructive criticism so I can make my list of imperfections even longer; whether it’s in the virtual world or the real world.

If I can learn a way to be a better human being, I want to know. I love constructive criticism! I thrive on it.

The only way I can prove that it is impossible to insult me, offend me, hurt my feelings, or negatively affect my emotions by being “rude” to me is to make myself a human social experiment, in real time.

If I am insulted, I will admit that my theory was bogus and end the challenge.

However, I will be quite surprised anyone is able to insult me and it actually hurt my feelings. For anyone who does take me up on my offer, chances are, they will mainly be people online who I don’t even know. Just faceless, nameless Internet trolls and hecklers. As a blogger of eleven years, I’m used to that.

I think their “insults” would ultimately come across as obligatory, juvenile, and unoriginal; and that even if they did a good job, they would simply incriminate themselves as people who are insecure about themselves.

Granted, a person who would consider threatening me would not be participating in the challenge I am presenting. If it takes a threat to insult me, then my theory is proven true; as this is about me being immune to emotional attacks, not physical ones.

It’s fundamentally important to me in my everyday life that I do not allow myself to become easily provoked or quick to anger; from another driver pulling out in front of me only to drive under the speed limit, to a coworker who appears to deliberately try to embarrass me in front of others on a daily basis.

So I hereby invite the world to imply I am not good enough, not smart enough, not right enough, not funny enough, not interesting enough, not thin enough, not heavy enough, not strong enough, not intelligent enough, not good-looking enough, not well-balanced enough, or not normal enough.

I invite the universe to judge me and find me unworthy of their own standard. I predict I won’t be offended. I am fundamentally opposed to allowing other people to offend me. I am not a victim. I am a victor.

The “You Can’t Insult Me Challenge” on My YouTube Channel (My Theory That It’s Impossible to Offend Me with Words because I Don’t Give People Power over My Emotions)

Victors versus Victims

Victor: compliments others

Victim: criticizes others

Victor: embraces change

Victim: fears change

Victor: forgives others

Victim: holds grudges

Victor: always learning

Victim: thinks they know everything

Victor: accepts responsibility for their failures

Victim: blames others for their failures

Victor: has a sense of gratitude

Victim: has a sense of entitlement

Victor: sets goals and develops plans

Victim: never sets goals

The Blog Sniper (or, The Classic Case of the Compliment Intertwined with Condescending Criticism)

Um… thanks?

I’m convinced there are certain people in the world who truly can not (or will not) simply compliment another person- they feel they are doing the person a favor by also incorporating some sort of condescending criticism which picks at a minor detail to negate the positive vibes of the compliment itself.  Sort of like the way certain people can not (or will not) truly apologize, by saying something lame like this: “Well if I did something to hurt your feelings I’m sorry…”  That kind of apology translates as “I’m sorry you’re such a baby and sorry that you’re trying to make me look like the bad guy.”

Just last week when I published What Not to Say If You Want People to Like You 101, one of the points I touched on was “Knowing How to Actually Compliment Someone”.  Then ironically yesterday a random stranger acted out exactly what I had just mocked a few days before.  Click here (healthnutshell: Ketchup Vs. Mustard) to read a post I wrote which contrasts the types of food that ketchup and mustard are generally paired with.

In case you didn’t click on the link and haven’t read the comment I’m referring to, here it is again: Bahaha… you make a good point, but I doubt that by avoiding ketchup, you have succeeded in eating healthily. XD This is good stuff to know, but I also feel that it is a little fanatical. Thanks for the information, though!”

Here’s a breakdown of that comment:

“Bahaha”- A condescending laugh which translates as “that’s ridiculous”.

“You make a good point.”- An honest compliment.

“But I doubt that by avoiding ketchup, you have succeeded in eating healthily.” – A correction of my quirky lifestyle.  Totally missing the point, since I didn’t write the post in a tone of absolutes: “Because ketchup, in most cases, is paired with unhealthy foods that are either processed or fried.” Throughout the post I downgrade ketchup, yes, but I never say I refuse to eat it or that I don’t ever eat it.  Nor did I say that I am trying to eat healthy by simply avoiding ketchup.  Instead, I said: “So my general rule of thumb is, I stay away from foods that are enhanced by ketchup.”

“XD”- A slang symbol meaning “big smile”, an attempt to lighten the mood back.

“This is good stuff to know…” Another compliment.

“But I also feel it is a little fanatical.” – A call to put me on the defense.  Really?  I’m a fanatic just because I made an observation that typically ketchup is a condiment for less healthy foods, namely processed and fried?

“Thanks for the information…”– A expression of gratefulness.

“…though.”- In other words, “Thanks for the info, despite how laughable most of it was.”

Looking through each line of the comment, it is interesting the way this reader used the pattern “negative, positive, negative, positive…”  In fact, this may be the most perfect example I’ve ever seen of the classic case of the compliment intertwined with criticism.  That takes talent.

I literally laughed out loud when I read the comment.  Because it’s so tacky.  I think, “Make up your mind, either insult me, or compliment me, but don’t do both at the same time.  Commit.”  I totally respect someone’s opinion if they truly disagree with mine and don’t have a subtle motive to undermine my efforts.  But they have to be cool about it.  Etiquette still exists.

Otherwise, like in this case, it just becomes a joke to me.

But it’s evident from that comment that the person probably makes a daily habit of correcting everyone else, likely with a sarcastic tone, in an subconscious effort to feel in control.  Similar to the case of Some People Like Being Offended and/or Taking Advantage…

Be excellent to each other.

This event also reminds me of an excerpt of Christian Lander’s book, Stuff White People Like.  He is explaining that some white people let a little bit of positive feedback go to their heads too easily and that it eventually can get out of hand.  Therefore, he gives this advice to prevent that from happening:

“Do not dole out your praise like pinata candy… it is best to tease them with little bits of praise, balanced with a few barbs: ‘I have to hand it to you for putting KRS-One on that party mix.  I mean, you went with a pretty well-known song, but still, good job'”.

It’s just funny that in the Internet world it’s somehow more acceptable to go around criticizing people for the sake of trying to sound smarter than someone else who was creative enough to invent.  But I guess with the wave of online writers come just as many online critics.  And my guess is that the critics aren’t themselves inventing any original content- just looking to start a sophisticated food fight about ketchup and mustard.

I say let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”.  And when possible, find ways to truly compliment people, not find perceived fault in their creativity.  There’s not enough of sincere complimenting going on in the world.  Especially when “compliments intertwined with condescending criticism” are so popular.

Sammy sings praises, not pious put-downs.

Remorse Prevents Revenge; Humiliation Prevents Bitterness

“I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“I didn’t do it on purpose.”
“I was just playing with ya; you know that, right?”
“I’m sorry, I was wrong when I did that.”

The motive. Somehow it changes everything. From a forgotten detail, to a borderline insult of character, to a practical joke that is taken too far. If the motive wasn’t malicious, it makes a difference.

Or even a simple, sincere apology will quench the fire. Just knowing the crime was an accident or is regrettably acknowledged; it helps. Forgiveness is much easier when it happens sooner rather than later.

But when the damage was indeed intentional, we immediately go into defense mode, or at least struggle to hold back. Our DNA code is imprinted with the phrase “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Revenge is the natural response. Retaliation is easier than healthy communication.

There are many times the offender did mean something by it, they did do it on purpose, and they weren’t just playing around. Then it becomes an issue of both parties trying to prove to each other than the other really is the one who is morally wrong and/or more incompetent.

And that sparks the “who’s better?” contest. A competition that leads to grudges, insults, hurt feelings, arguments, fights, and as the course of history has proven, even war.

Being humble sometimes means being humiliated. That’s why it’s so hard to be wronged.