My Theory Proved True on My “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge, So I Launched an Anti-Bullying Video Series: Bully Backup

My Theory Proved True on My “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge, So I Launched an Anti-Bullying Video Series: Bully Backup

Two weeks ago, I released a new video on my YouTube channel which invited the free world to attempt to offend or insult me. I had theorized that since I don’t give other people authority over my emotions, it would be scientifically impossible to hurt my feelings.

Not only did I predict correctly, as indeed no one successfully emotionally attacked me, but hardly anyone even tried.

I did have one Internet troll ridiculously attempt to plant doubts in my mind that my wife might leave me for a younger guy, while implying that I was probably seeing other women (or men) on the side anyway.

But clearly, the comment instantly translated into comedy for me. So yeah… officially not offended.

So that got me thinking. Why is it that no one can offend me? Is it simply because I’m wired this way?

The answer is no. I wasn’t always this way. I became this way over the course of my life, as I made myself more and more familiar with what emotional intelligence is all about:

Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

Five years ago, or even two years ago, it was possible to attack my emotions. Not anymore; not after I simply recognized that I could be 100% in control of my emotions, instead of handing the keys over to people.

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After receiving the clever suggestion from a friend to consider doing a video series on anti-bullying, I figured I would give it a shot.

I feel that what sets apart the theme of my anti-bullying series is that I am attempting to help the viewer focus on psychologically preventing the issues. So far, I have created over 10 videos, currently viewable on my YouTube Channel:

It’s Impossible to Offend Me

Being Offended Vs. Constant Mindset of Forgiveness

The “You Can’t Insult Me” Challenge

Psychologically Outsmarting Bullies

Find Your Allies

People Care about You

Do You Respect Those Who Insult You?

Are You a Victim or Victor?

I Know How You Feel

The Proximity Effect

You Too Can Choose Not to Be Offended

In my anti-bullying series, I challenge my viewers in many ways, in hopes they can ultimately outsmart potential bullies through strategy. To summarize it…

Realize that perceived bullies can’t force you to be offended; you have to allow them first. You have to respect their opinion for it to matter to you.

Be ready to openly acknowledge others’ perceived flaws in you, so that when they “attack”, you’re able to beat them to the punchline, surprising them with your lack of emotional response.

Find and create a network of people from the friendliest people from as many different cliques as you can; who will be there to socialize with and support you wherever you are.

I hope my series helps people. If nothing else, I hope I can remind you today that you too can choose to not be offended.

It is my passion to help the world realize the importance of choosing to live like victors, not victims; which is ultimately what emotional intelligence is all about.

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

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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

“Should I Be Offended by That?” (Victorious Mindset versus Victim Mentality)

“Should I Be Offended by That?” (Victorious Mindset versus Victim Mentality)

Should I be offended by that?

No.

No, I should not.

The answer is simply no. Whatever it is, you shouldn’t be offended by it.

Because you can choose to be more intelligent and psychologically stronger by making the decision to not be offended.

There’s no question that in an age of social media serving us in the likeness of Big Brother, word travels quickly and even makes national headlines when someone or some group out there gets offended by something.

Some of these cases seem more legitimate than others, of course.

But my challenge to you is that whatever the offense, choose to not be offended.

Here’s why.

I am a believer in choosing to be victorious.

(After all, that’s literally how my name translates. Nicholas is Greek for victorious.)

My observation is that if you don’t proactively choose to adopt a “victorious mindset,” you by default fall in danger of having a “victim mentality”.

I can choose to be on top of this thing, psychologically.

Or, I can choose to allow someone else to “do me wrong.”

If I believe that the entire free world has the ability to offend me (or for lack of a better term, “hurt my feelings”), then I am fair game to constantly being a victim.

But if up front, each and every day, I decide that no one has the ability to offend me, then I instead place myself in a position where being offended by someone else is always one less thing I can worry about that day.

My observation is that most of the time, people aren’t intentionally trying to offend each other.

And even if they are, that simply reflects the offender’s own character.

I’ve learned the best thing to do when someone says something seemingly offensive, whether they are outright intending to offend or not, is to simply acknowledge what they are saying, with confidence and a smile, but no sarcasm nor biting remarks.

In the past year alone…

-Taller men than me have pointed out that I am shorter than they are.

-Men with lower hairlines and no thinning spots at the back of their head have pointed out that my hairline is higher and that my hair is thinner in the back.

-Smaller nosed men have pointed out my nose is bigger.

Consider those things. Other grown men have taken time and energy out of their day to point out perceived imperfections about me.

What does that say about their own level of confidence?

More importantly, what does it say about my level of confidence when I am quick to respond that I indeed am shorter, have thinner hair, and a bigger nose than those who are pointing it out?

I simply own up to their perception.

What does it hurt me?

I go on with my day. And they realize that their lack of self-confidence was unable to bring down my level of self-confidence, which ironically is something they don’t have.

Should I be offended by anything?

Try me.

What Not to Name Your Kid

There are some topics I would love to write about but I know they’re way too controversial or potentially offensive- this is one of them.  But if I am vague enough and only give over-the-top examples, I might be able to pull this off.


When naming our son who is due to arrive in November, a few ground rules were that the name had to be easy to say and spell, easily recognizable, and not made-up.  So that’s one of the many reasons we went with the classic American “Jack”.  Other than my dad, I don’t know anyone else with that name, yet it’s highly popular in movies and TV- therefore making it popular but not overused.

I do take requests as far as topics I write about.  “What Not to Name Your Kids” was an idea suggested to me by a few different people and I decided to take the challenge.  After all, we all are familiar with baby names that we say, “oh, I like that” when the soon-to-be mom tell us, yet we later tell our friends “you gotta hear this name, it’s so weird…”  So I have come up with a list of “no no’s” when it comes to naming a North American child.

Last names for first names that are not classic or already decently popular. Madison and Mackenzie are acceptable.  But when I hear more obscure ones like Middleton, Smithwell, Dresden, Spurlock, Applegate, and Hester, I can’t help but feel sorry for that kid.

Wrong gender names. Obviously names like Jordan and Taylor are good names that truly are completely neutral and work well for a boy or a girl.  But when I hear of a girl being named James or Scott or Todd, or if a suffix is added to a boy’s name to make it feminine like Markley, Davidanna, or Johnlyn, I get irritated.

Funny names. Jack B. Nimble, Robert Robertson, and Sunshine Day.

Random, made-up names that are supposed to be cute. Spiffet, Tindle, Gladdon, and Marxon.

It used to be that a person’s middle name might be a little different or off-beat.  But nowadays, parents are going all out on the first names.  That will surely be a trait of the Class of 2030.  Weird names.

Mixed Reviews

Being a movie critic would be a fun job, but it would be the epitome of the phrase “you can’t please everyone”. Reviewers of movies ultimately are bias to a certain degree. Professional critics base their judgments more on artistic values, along with production quality and script. Whereas when random Joe’s like me write up a review, it’s based more on the factors of likeability, “re-watchability”, characterization, and comedic elements.

And then there’s that intangible element of “offensiveness”, which transcends both my reviews and professional ones as well. A few months ago my friend Jake sent me a link to this article that referred to the concept of the “Christian disclaimer” that is commonly given by Christian movie reviewers. Here’s one I’ve heard several times: “The Wrestler is great movie, focusing on the depravity of man, loneliness, and not giving up on your dreams, but there is a lot of bad language and his girlfriend is a stripper so there are some scenes you may need to close your eyes and cover your ears.” What it comes down to is the ability to separate the counter-Christian content from what makes a good movie. And for many people, understandably, that’s not easy.
http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/2009/05/543-throwing-out-disclaimers-before-you.html

In recent years I’ve had several people half-jokingly tell me that I only like movies with a lot of swearing and nudity. I do admit that R-rated movies typically have more depth to them and speak to me more than the typical PG-13 movie. Among my personal favorites are Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, Garden State, I Love You, Man (obviously), Fight Club, Vanilla Sky, Lost in Translation, and Pineapple Express. All of which are rated R and most of which contain some nudity.

My ability to separate what many Christians find offensive in R-rated movies comes from my inability to blacklist PG and PG-13 entertainment that goes against my spiritual beliefs to the same or worse degree, as I would feel I would be using a double standard to judge entertainment based on the obvious offenses versus the subtle offenses. Most of my favorite sitcoms, like Friends, have a constant occurrence of casual sex. I strongly disapprove of the way the writers and actors make it seem normal, guiltless, and… well, casual. And I strongly disapprove of the phrase “oh my God” that is constantly used in dialogue.

Part of me actually thinks it’s worse to be exposed to a daily stream of the more family friendly sitcoms which subconsciously tell us these things are okay as we overlook the “smaller stuff”. Because they are more easily accessible, less offensive, and such a staple of everyday American culture. They’re not as blatant as an intentionally crude R-rated movie by Judd Apatow. But I see the real threats to our spiritual lives being the quiet, common subtleties, not the obvious threats that we are already distancing ourselves from.

rated R