What’s the Deal with Easily Offended People?

“Humans are nervous, touchy creatures and can be easily offended. Many are deeply insecure. They become focused and energized by taking offense; it makes them feel meaningful and alive.”

                                                                                                                        ~Michael Leunig

 

I believe we should be offended by things like mistreatment of people, animals and the environment to name a few. But lately, I have noticed an increasing number of people who are easily offended.

 

I saw a recent Facebook post where a friend used the term “folks” at an event and their waiter acted offended and asked her not to use that term again. Really?!

 

I bet you have examples of Easily Offended People (EOP) in your life.

 

Why are people easily offended?  Here are my thoughts.

 

First, I think they like drama.

 

I blame TV for some of this, especially reality shows. The “Real” housewives are EOP and definitely NOT real. However, there would be no show if someone wasn’t offended and acting out, after all, drama boosts ratings.

 

EOP have someone or something to take issue with and that means they are upset or angry a lot. My guess is they are the same people who say “I hate drama!” but drama keeps showing up.

 

EOP also like to go on rants to prove how much they’ve been wronged. How many times have you seen those social media posts? DRAMA!

 

I don’t have drama because I choose not to even entertain it.

 

“To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”           ~David A. Bednar

 

Second, I believe being an EOP makes them feel powerful. THEY would never use the word “folks” so they get to feel superior. Although, I think it’s a facade for a feeling of inferiority.

 

Third, when someone is easily offended it immediately stops the conversation. It’s a wall that shuts out any intimate, authentic connection because we’re walking eggshells trying not to offend.

 

I find it’s virtually impossible to cultivate a friendship or intimate relationship with EOP because I’m constantly having to apologize for something I said or did.

 

However, EOP are unwilling to forgive and seem to love holding grudges. At times, we may not even be aware that we’ve offended them. We may be stunned that something trivial, such as using the word “folks,” or an equally benign comment, was offensive to them.

 

If you’re an EOP, you’re probably offended by this post and have stopped reading by now. Or, you are crafting a rant to post on social media or in the comments below.

 

If, by chance, you are interested in changing, I recommend you seek out a professional, either a therapist or a coach. They will help you learn why you keep this pattern of behavior in place and help you shift it.

 

I imagine the weight of carrying around all your offenses must be draining. Think about the time and energy it takes to look for things to be offended by. (You’re probably offended because I ended the sentence with a preposition:).

 

Let go of the Dark Side and join us DOP (Difficult to Offend People)! I promise you that life is glorious!

 

If you’re dealing with EOP, I don’t have much advice. Should you have the courage and bandwidth to call them out on their shiz, then do it.  Just know that there will likely be DRAMA. They will be offended and not talk to you and may even talk shiz behind your back or post something on social media.

 

FYI- If your EOP is a waiter then I recommend you be polite, you don’t want something unfortunate to happen to your food.

 

You need to decide if it’s worth it to keep EOP in your life.  If you’re honest, they probably weren’t a great friend to begin with so no big loss.

“Everyone is so offended all the time. The new police force that we weren’t told about: the moral police. No qualifications, no training, no understanding of actual morality, but they have a degree in the art of being offended.”                                                                                ~Karan Johar

 

Personally, I try to avoid EOP. I find them draining and too much work so I practice what I call, “bless and release.” In other words, I send them a hit of compassion and release them to the Universe. When I encounter them or another EOP, I am polite, keep the conversation light and quick, and quietly wish them well when we depart.

 

If you decide to continue to walk on eggshells around your EOP, you might consider limiting interaction. It’s also not a good idea to be around them when you’re tired or stressed as they will likely trigger you and could end up in drama (do you see a pattern here?).

 

I want to live a happy life so I choose not to be easily offended and these two practices make it possible:

  • Forgive everyone, everywhere, everything
  • Assume best intentions

 

That’s really all I’ve got. If you liked this post, please share and post any other advice or tips you may have on dealing with Easily Offended People, I promise not to be offended.

Beware Your Sunscreen

My husband and I recently spent a couple of days staining our deck. Now that I’ve hit a certain age, I am no longer interested in hastening the onset of skin cancer so I grabbed the sunscreen spray, SPF 70, and liberally sprayed it on my arms and legs.

 

I did this faithfully both days we worked out in the sun.

 

The day after we finished the deck, however, I felt like I had a sunburn even though my skin looked perfectly normal. The burning sensation lasted one day and was replaced by itching that took a full week to completely disappear.

 

This was not the first time this happened to me. I used another spray-on sunscreen a few years ago and had the same reaction. I dismissed my itching as having sensitive skin and decided to try this brand that I thought would be less likely to cause a reaction.

 

The following week, while listening to a podcast called Travel Snacks, the host, Allison Sharpe, recounted items that she would not bring again on future trips.

 

Allison told how she brought a sunscreen bar with her on one of her travels and when she used it, her symptoms were pretty much the same as mine. Not thinking that her symptoms were sunscreen induced, she used it again when she got home and the results were the same, itching, itching, itching!

 

She went on to say that she did some research and found that people can develop an allergy to a chemical found in sunscreen called oxybenzone.

 

I immediately felt a sense of relief when Allison reported her findings (and a little stupid for not having done it myself:).

 

This wasn’t all in my head, it really WAS the sunscreen!

 

I decided to do some research myself.

 

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (acaai.org), oxybenzone can cause a “photo-allergic reaction or photo contact dermatitis.”  Red, Itchy Bumps Wearing Sunscreen Outside? – acaai.org

 

What happens is the sunscreen plus the UVA and UVB rays of the sun can cause you to develop an allergic reaction. Some develop red swollen and itchy bumps but others, like Allison and me, have no visible symptoms, just itching.

 

I also learned that Hawaii and Key West have not only banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone but also those containing octinoxate. They believe that these chemicals are contributing to the bleaching of the coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean.  Key West Bans Sunscreen Containing Chemicals Believed To Harm Coral Reef- NY Times article

 

To all of you who thought you were doing the right thing by applying sunscreen and ended up losing your mind because of the itching, you are not alone and you are not crazy.

 

Be sure to look for an oxybenzone free sunscreen. It can be difficult so here’s an article that lists 9 products. 9 Oxybenzone Free Sunscreens- Health.com

 

And please, if you’ve been using this on your child and they have been complaining about burning and itching, CHECK THE SUNSCREEN INGREDIENTS. They are not exaggerating how much it itches!

 

This is a different post than I normally do but after learning about this, I felt compelled to get the word out but don’t take my word for it, do your own research. Let me know what you find.

 

Take good care, my friends, and have a safe, healthy, itch-free summer!

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