“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.

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Self-Depreciation and Self-Denial are Forms of Self-Help

Help yourself to telling the world how inadequate you are.  Evidently, it’s good for you.

When I see a person make a habit of letting all their friends and acquaintances know (in general terms) how unpopular, unappreciated, and unloved they are, I look at it as a subconscious method of helping themselves feel popular, appreciated, and loved because they are unable to feel those ways otherwise. 

Facebook is currently the most fertile ground for this to take place.  Like people using their status as a way to tell everyone how “Yet again, another date gone wrong.  I guess I’ll just be single forever…”  (I’m assuming the guy or girl they went on the date with is a facebook friend and will pretty much immediately read the comment.)

And “Tell me this.  How could someone actually say that to another human being?”  (This vague sort of comment opens the door for people to ask, “Hey, what happened?” and “What did someone say to you?” and “Who’s doing this to you?”)

Both of those status updates of course are soon followed by 13 comments.  And jackpot, the plan worked.

While I’m generally an upbeat and positive person, I definitely get into ruts just like everybody else.  And I don’t fake being happy when I do.  If someone asks me how I’m doing, I tell them the truth.  But what keeps me from broadcasting my gloom to others, publicly?

I learned the hard way a few years ago (2005) on Myspace and I hated the way it made me feel: I admitted in a “blog” that I was feeling “depressed by all the winter weather”.  It didn’t take long for Myspace friends to come “rescue” me by leaving positive comments.  So even though it was just an off-hand thing I wrote, I realized it could be perceived as “help me feel good about myself”.  Like I was fishing for compliments. 

Not that I wasn’t grateful that those people cared enough about me to show their concern.  It just felt weird and unnatural for me.

In public, I have to feel like (and know) I’m helping myself get out of the funk.  I do ask for help, advice, and encouragement- but I do it all in private.

So now when I write, I am always reluctant to present a personal problem without finishing the post by providing the solution or how I will help myself get through it.  And most likely, to get that solution, behind the scenes I’ve already asked for advice from a trusted friend or family member.

I don’t assume that the way I deal with feelings of inadequacy (privately) is the superior way- it’s just the best way for me.  All I can assume is that people who publicly deny themselves are doing what’s best for them, and that’s why they continue to do it.

On a different token, however, self-depreciation has made Conan O’Brien’s career.  In every monologue, he makes fun of his pasty, lanky, 6’ 4” body and his own off-beat style of humor.  His confidence is shown in his ability poke fun of himself.  But when this comes from a place of confidence, a person can totally put themselves down and have it work for them.

So self-depreciation and self-denial definitely work for certain kinds of people.  Those who gain their confidence from a public array of encouragement and those who already have confidence yet ironically bring attention to the very things about themselves that others may find cause for low self-esteem.