A while ago I was having a conversation with a Christian friend. I mentioned how it was sometimes fun to offend people who were brittle with a thin skin. She got mad at me saying it was never good to offend someone. This put an idea in my head that has taken a while to percolate. It has come to light after the cancer of Islam once again raised its brutal head in France.
Let’s take a look at the process of offense.
- I say something.
- You hear the words
- Your brain processes the words
- You grasp the meaning of the words
- You determine the source, context and circumstance of my statement
- You give me power over you … the power to offend you
- You become offended.
- You act offended
- You get a rush as your fight or flight relax kicks in.
The key here in this process is step 6. It is a simple fact that no one in this universe can offend you unless you give them the power to do it.
Now as a society we react to underdogs by nature. A person becomes an underdog when they give power away and it is used against them. Yet in this case we have to step back and look at the process. A strong person will never let anyone offend them. They may take pity on the offensive person for being ignorant and rude. But the act of taking offence is an act of surrender.
Since we are on topic of fake emotions. Let’s also take a look at anger.
Anger is almost always a process as well.
- You expect a result.
- Your expectation is not met
- You allow yourself to become frustrated.
- As you dwell on this frustration and amplify it, it becomes anger.
- Anger triggers the body to be ready for action, it is the flight or fight reflex.
Many people become angry after being offended if they do not get the desired response to their declared frustration. This is because these people are not in tune with reality.
We have people who become addicted to the adrenaline rush that occurs from offence, frustration and anger. These people can be called Offendoholics though women are often called Drama Queens. The offendoholics have unrealistic expectations of people’s responses to their self-induced misery.
Unfortunately these Offendoholics often need greater and greater rushes so they will also turn towards physical violence. They are manipulators like all addicts and will either incite the violence or cause it with direct action. While it is good to understand these people, it does not diminish their danger, to themselves and others.