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Being offended

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I would like to compare the sentiment from: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/and-nothing-shall-offend-them?lang=eng 

"You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. However, we do determine how we will act. ... A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended—and to say with Pahoran, “it mattereth not.”

vs the idea that we should fight against evil, that we can change others for the better, that if we see something that is wrong - "see something say something" to change the situation.   For evil to prevail, good people do nothing... some things do matter.

I agree with not being "easily" offended, but I do not agree with not being offended by anything.  

I think there are things we should be offended at - such as racism or other intolerance, pride, or anything that is unkind.  

Sometimes someone will bring up a legitimate concern, or someone has been hurt - and instead of comforting the victim, they are scorned, and told "you are just being easily offended", the problem is brushed off, and the problem gets worse instead of better.  

To discourage people from being offended is one way to discourage them from sharing their pain and discourage them from getting help for legitimate problems.  

I just think a healthier message than "don't get offended" is - to let people know if they are hurting, they need to share what is wrong so it can be taken care of.  

 

perhaps some of this is semantics, a rose by any other name... 

 

so... 

Oh - they are just easily offended, you can ignore them... 

vs.

They have been through a really rough situation, we need to be extra supportive of them.  They can teach us how to be kinder, and more caring... 

 

Thoughts?

Edited by changed
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Some people tell me that it is important to blow off steam when you are angry and frustrated -- to vent your spleen -- that it is unhealthy to bottle up anger and resentment.  Don't we say that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."  For a parent that may mean that to spare the rod is to spoil the child.

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Perhaps the key is what one does after feeling offended (encountering a threat, or a perceived attack).  Often, the feeling of being offense is a reaction to the perception that something isn’t right, or unexpected, or undesirable.

But, being offended by itself is a only a feeling that will poison’s one own mental well-being.  It’s an unhealthy and weak behavior/reaction.

But, if one takes rational action to address the problem, I think that’s healthy behavior.

Perhaps when we are offended, we would be wise to take a rational approach and ask ourselves what we will DO that is healthy, rather than stew on the victimized feeling of offense.

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I have always been resistant to jump on the social bandwagon and imitate the thoughts and actions of others who are on the bandwagon. Said another way, I don't drink your Koolaid very often. Society creates social golden calves and then demands that everyone bow down to them - I am that guy in the back still standing. I dislike being told that I should be offended about racism or intolerance....when every human alive is racist or intolerant to some degree. People express their preferences almost every minute and I cannot understand anyone getting overly bothered that human X has preferences in the same way everyone does.

If we are going to take offense about the things of God then I can be offended. I agree with Calm above - it is in how we express our taking offense that is the key.  If we are going to be offended by something I am not going to march in the streets, burn down businesses, or wear a pink hat on my head. It is not something I am comfortable with at all. I have no problem talking to those in politics on the local level about my concerns and interests and vote for those people who most closely support those things I hold most dear.

That is my reactive soapbox for the day.

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6 hours ago, changed said:

Oh - they are just easily offended, you can ignore them... 

vs.

They have been through a really rough situation, we need to be extra supportive of them.  They can teach us how to be kinder, and more caring... 

Because this is about how we respond to how someone else acts when they are offended, I would paraphrase the talk to say, "You and I cannot control the reactions of other people. However, we do determine how we bring the Spirit into the situation. ... A person may be offended, but you and I can choose to minister to them—and to say with Pahoran, “I… do rejoice in the greatness of your heart.” 

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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

A friend bore her testimony last Sunday. She is an elementary school secretary, on the front line that faces angry parents and teachers every day. She told of one parent who stormed into the office. Our friend’s greeting was met with an angry countenance and some very harsh words about how she hated everything about this place and couldn’t wait to get transferred to another city for her work. 

Our friend tried to respond nicely, as she was trained to do, but later she started to think about this woman. She could have taken offense and responded in kind. Instead, she determined that every time she came back to the school, she would greet the lady warmly and kill her with kindness. By the end of the year, they had become good friends, and the lady expressed her thanks for the way she had been welcomed at the school, and was sorry she would be leaving.

i think this is what the Brethren are talking about.

 

 

In situations like this, I think there is more than just "being polite and nice" is needed, no one wants to get dragged into some situation, but the best response would probably be to ask what was wrong - to ask why she was angry, and then find a way to change what needed to be changed.

In a spill response - the first thing you do is to contain the spill - it does no good to start mopping up the floor to make things look pretty if the pipe is still spraying out refuge.  

No one wants to admit that problems exist - it requires repentance, saying I am sorry to someone who is frazzled, angry, and not being nice... A genuine "I'm sorry you have been hurt, let's try to fix this thing" - that is better than superficial forced politeness.  

Edited by changed
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4 hours ago, Calm said:

I don't think the example of Pahoran is meant to imply one shouldn't do anything in the face of offense, but rather that offense shouldn't get in the way of you doing things.  If you spend much time focusing on how one has been offended, in some cases one might prevent oneself from accomplishing change.  

And it is not like the BoM lacks for taking action against evil, but in the case of Pahoran the reason for offense was one of error.  Moroni did not understand what had happened.  There was no reason for him to be angry at Pahoran and he was in error because instead of trusting Pahoran or at least finding out for sure before judging, Moroni wrongly accuses Pahoran and threatens him.  Why would Pahoran respond back in anger when there is no need for the anger in the first place?  What good would Pahoran accomplish for his goal to keep his country stable by arguing with his commander in chief?

 The lesson of Pahoran and Moroni is not to get offended for the wrong reason.

This is very different situation than the one with the actual kingmen, where both leaders acted against those who offended them with all their resources and prevented an overthrow of the government.

It is important to take the counsel in context and not apply it to all situations when it is not meant to be.

 

Moroni and Pahoran were both "offended" by the Lamanites - perhaps they should have been kinder to the Lamanites :)  

I agree, the Pahoran letter is not really a good example of not taking offense, because it was a case of mis-communication, not a situation where anyone had actually been offended.  

 

The Savior's words - turn the other cheek... Does that really work in all situations?  The Savior himself did not always turn the other cheek.

Edited by changed

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This is a great thread. Excellent topic and thoughtful responses. I have nothing meaningful to add but wanted to say thanks.

 

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Perhaps the key is what one does after feeling offended (encountering a threat, or a perceived attack).  Often, the feeling of being offense is a reaction to the perception that something isn’t right, or unexpected, or undesirable.

But, being offended by itself is a only a feeling that will poison’s one own mental well-being.  It’s an unhealthy and weak behavior/reaction.

But, if one takes rational action to address the problem, I think that’s healthy behavior.

Perhaps when we are offended, we would be wise to take a rational approach and ask ourselves what we will DO that is healthy, rather than stew on the victimized feeling of offense.

 

I'm stuck right now with feelings of bitterness and anger - over something real that is impossible to resolve - over this evil high priest who wronged so many innocents and I cannot let go of the bitterness, of resentment to the organization who called him to leadership positions, that appears to support abusers more than victims - I am just filled with anger and I don't know what healthy thing there is to do.

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

I have always been resistant to jump on the social bandwagon and imitate the thoughts and actions of others who are on the bandwagon. Said another way, I don't drink your Koolaid very often. Society creates social golden calves and then demands that everyone bow down to them - I am that guy in the back still standing. I dislike being told that I should be offended about racism or intolerance....when every human alive is racist or intolerant to some degree. People express their preferences almost every minute and I cannot understand anyone getting overly bothered that human X has preferences in the same way everyone does.

If we are going to take offense about the things of God then I can be offended. I agree with Calm above - it is in how we express our taking offense that is the key.  If we are going to be offended by something I am not going to march in the streets, burn down businesses, or wear a pink hat on my head. It is not something I am comfortable with at all. I have no problem talking to those in politics on the local level about my concerns and interests and vote for those people who most closely support those things I hold most dear.

That is my reactive soapbox for the day.

 

Racism, LGBT issues, women's rights, political offense - I'm a moderate so politics I can stand in the center of.  People do not want to admit it, but there is some real racism going on right now, and there is some real persecution of LGBT - people protesting and standing up against it has changed society for the better I think.  As with Pahoran communication is the key - and not just communication, but getting rid of cognitive dissonance, to admit we have not been the best we could be - to walk a mile in another's shoes, to really listen, and to change.  

Some are becoming more racist right now. 

Others are listening, repenting, and trying harder to connect with all humanity - trying to get rid of the bad traditions they might have grown up with...

Edited by changed
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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Because this is about how we respond to how someone else acts when they are offended, I would paraphrase the talk to say, "You and I cannot control the reactions of other people. However, we do determine how we bring the Spirit into the situation. ... A person may be offended, but you and I can choose to minister to them—and to say with Pahoran, “I… do rejoice in the greatness of your heart.” 

I think we can to a large extent control the reactions of others - if you are kind and show forth love - most will return that.  If you are stiff / fake / prideful / skeptical - you will get that back too... do unto others as you would have them do unto you - it is a law of nature, others do unto you what you do unto them... our actions control the responses we get for most situations.

Edited by changed

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57 minutes ago, changed said:

Racism, LGBT issues, women's rights, political offense - I'm a moderate so politics I can stand in the center of.  People do not want to admit it, but there is some real racism going on right now, and there is some real persecution of LGBT - people protesting and standing up against it has changed society for the better I think.  As with Pahoran communication is the key - and not just communication, but getting rid of cognitive dissonance, to admit we have not been the best we could be - to walk a mile in another's shoes, to really listen, and to change.  

Some are becoming more racist right now. 

Others are listening, repenting, and trying harder to connect with all humanity - trying to get rid of the bad traditions they might have grown up with...

 

I don't think we will disagree on a lot of things - I am just a bit of a misfit; I don't join in easily. 

Hypocrisy is so rampant and I have a major issue with it. Following great people is much easier than following hypocrites. An example, this past week a restaurant would not serve a member of President Trump's staff. Many were very supportive of the action of the owner that said because of her convictions she could not serve the woman and asked her to leave. (We are not talking about making a cake, taking pictures at a wedding - we are talking about eating in a restaurant). Then you had Congress's all-time most stupid representative, Maxine Waters, give at least two speeches asking all people to attack, heckle, and refuse service to everyone that works in Trumps administration. 

The very next day I saw another article about a D.C. restaurant that refused to allow a man dressed up as a woman enter the women's bathroom and asked her to leave....and folks were up in arms about it.  

So now we have people thinking it is okay to deny service in a restaurant based upon what one thinks and the same group thinking that it is atrocious to deny service to what someone does.  Thoughts have become the enemy rather than actions.

Now, my problem is I detest these people for their hypocrisy. Why should I get excited about their social agenda when they are such horrible people? 

Let me be clear about something - I intensely dislike President Trump. He embarrasses me and he demeans the office of the President of the United States. 

I am just one individual. I cannot possibly connect to all of humanity. I strive to focus on the humanity I come in contact with daily. They are important to me. If I can give a smile to each person I meet and attempt to be a source of peace in the world then I do not live in vain. These are the traditions I grew up with as a child. My father was in the military and served faithfully for over twenty years. He was never a LDS or a member of any church, but he knew the difference between right and wrong. He was not perfect; to the contrary, he was very, very human. However, both he and my mother taught each of us how to treat others.

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1 hour ago, changed said:

 

Racism, LGBT issues, women's rights, political offense - I'm a moderate so politics I can stand in the center of.  People do not want to admit it, but there is some real racism going on right now, and there is some real persecution of LGBT - people protesting and standing up against it has changed society for the better I think.  As with Pahoran communication is the key - and not just communication, but getting rid of cognitive dissonance, to admit we have not been the best we could be - to walk a mile in another's shoes, to really listen, and to change.  

Some are becoming more racist right now. 

Others are listening, repenting, and trying harder to connect with all humanity - trying to get rid of the bad traditions they might have grown up with...

http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/political-tribes-0

I listened to this podcast last night, it discusses the groupthink, and how people group together. They did a study and set up a mock wine tasting class, where one glass had some vinegar added to it. And the wine experts that were there picked the one with vinegar to trick the others. Turns out the ones that were unaware (but were intelligent), picked the wine with vinegar, and knew it tasted awful but wanted to do what the experts did (there was a list or something of the top listed wine).

And they mentioned how as a country we need to be careful how overboard we become from one end to the other. They said how strong the divide has become between the Dems/Republicans. And how this could have a devasting impact on the country.

Not saying this has much to do with your thread, but in a way it may. People do need to understand other's views etc. And not be so vitrol about it. But you on the other hand have a good reason to be angry with someone who is hurting another. My comment was meant for those that have hatred for someone's beliefs I guess. 

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1 hour ago, changed said:

I think we can to a large extent control the reactions of others

Really?  I don't think we have any control over how others react.  What we can control is what we do that they are reacting to. 

 

1 hour ago, changed said:

if you are kind and show forth love - most will return that.

I agree with this, but would maybe change most to many, or some other word like that. 

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This is a weird thing..but it works.☺️  Often in many places I have worked, there have been two friends/co workers that just did not get along..who were offended by dumb things that just didn't matter.  Because it caused such tension...I made them mad at me.  Give them a common enemy and they become friends..then, of course, I apologize.

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1 hour ago, changed said:

I think we can to a large extent control the reactions of others - if you are kind and show forth love - most will return that.  If you are stiff / fake / prideful / skeptical - you will get that back too... do unto others as you would have them do unto you - it is a law of nature, others do unto you what you do unto them... our actions control the responses we get for most situations.

I look at my participation in the exchange more as influence than control, which I think this is the spirit of the golden rule.

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5 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

This is a weird thing..but it works.☺️  Often in many places I have worked, there have been two friends/co workers that just did not get along..who were offended by dumb things that just didn't matter.  Because it caused such tension...I made them mad at me.  Give them a common enemy and they become friends..then, of course, I apologize.

Love it! You became the guinea pig in a test lab and it worked! ;)

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One is a behavior and the other us a feeling. Obviously, we should not behave offensively. We shouldn't be hurtful and unkind or worse. Taking offense is a feeling of response to a behavior that is offensive or seemingly offensive if you don't have all the info needed.

Feelings of hurt and anger come naturally. Feelings that you work through strengthen you. Feelings that you hold inside and let fester just poisen everything.  

So if an offense (behavior) is done we can respond with a behavior by saying or doing something that says "this should not be done. This should be stopped."

Taking offense is different. It is the feeling of anger or desire for revenge or to pull away over little things that we can't see past. 

Do you do something to stop a behavior that hurts people or do you do it to hang on to the feelings inside?

 

Edited by Rain
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55 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Love it! You became the guinea pig in a test lab and it worked! ;)

☺️Whatever works...but it was amazing..and quite fun to see the change!!

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55 minutes ago, Rain said:

One is a behavior and the other us a feeling. Obviously, we should not behave offensively. We shouldn't be hurtful and unkind or worse. Taking offense is a feeling of response to a behavior that is offensive or seemingly offensive if you don't have all the info needed.

Feelings of hurt and anger come naturally. Feelings that you work through strengthen you. Feelings that you hold inside and let fester just poisen everything.  

So if an offense (behavior) is done we can respond with a behavior by saying or doing something that says "this should not be done. This should be stopped."

Taking offense is different. It is the feeling of anger or desire for revenge or to pull away over little things that we can't see past. 

Do you do something to stop a behavior that hurts people or do you do it to hang on to the feelings inside?

 

I agree with this. People may do things that could be considered offensive but our being offended is a feeling that will make us upset and can make our lives miserable if left to fester.
I think the best attitude to deal with this is to try and put emotion aside and figure out logically how the situation can be corrected. One can be offended but we don't need to react in an offensive way in response.
Try to fix or correct what is wrong without letting emotion or feelings control the response. 

 

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3 hours ago, changed said:

In situations like this, I think there is more than just "being polite and nice" is needed, no one wants to get dragged into some situation, but the best response would probably be to ask what was wrong - to ask why she was angry, and then find a way to change what needed to be changed.

In a spill response - the first thing you do is to contain the spill - it does no good to start mopping up the floor to make things look pretty if the pipe is still spraying out refuge.  

No one wants to admit that problems exist - it requires repentance, saying I am sorry to someone who is frazzled, angry, and not being nice... A genuine "I'm sorry you have been hurt, let's try to fix this thing" - that is better than superficial forced politeness.  

My friend did ask what was going wrong for her and was met with the bitter outburst I described. The lady stormed out of the office. My friend, knowing the parent would be coming to the school frequently, made the determination to win the lady over with genuine kindness. Over time she gained a friend. I don’t know why you came to the conclusion she was feigning a superficial politeness.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

 

So now we have people thinking it is okay to deny service in a restaurant based upon what one thinks and the same group thinking that it is atrocious to deny service to what someone does.  Thoughts have become the enemy rather than actions..

I agree that there was a double standard (if one assumes groups in both restaurants would respond the same in terms of applauding one exclusion while booing the other).

However, choosing working for someone is also what someone does and not what they think.

Edited by Calm

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