Monday, March 15, 2010

Your Offense Offends Me

Is it just me, or are you tired of people becoming "offended," especially over seemingly insignificant things? I never cease to be amazed at the variety of thoughts, words and actions that can cause people to find offense.

There's a line from the movie, "Pulp Fiction." Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vincent (John Travolta) are talking, and he wants to ask her something, but wants her to "promise not to be offended." She replies with, "No, no no. You can't promise something like that. I have no idea what you're gonna ask me. So you can go ahead and ask me what you're going to ask me, and my natural response could be to get offended! Then, through no fault of my own, I would have broken my promise."

While the line is meant to be facetious, I think too many people agree with this idea. Allow me to expound.

Your gut reaction to something may be anger, frustration, or yes, even offense. But by saying that you can't weigh your reaction implies you have no control over your emotions. Isn't that very control something that separates adults from children? If my child stomps and yells because of something I've said, I chalk it up to youth and a need to learn better. If my husband displayed the same kind of behavior, well, we really wouldn't be married. Adults (hopefully) have better control than that. There is a word to describe adults who can't control themselves, who throw childish tantrums, if not in a more adult way, and that word is "offended."

Strong, negative emotions will destroy your life. If left unchecked, you will become one of those spoiled, tantrum-throwing children who have no friends. Take control, own your emotions, and don't let someone else get the best of you.

One of my favorite quotes is by Brigham Young, a prophet for the LDS church and a founder of the state of Utah. He said, "He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."

I couldn't agree more!


  1. Debbie, only you could include a quote from Pulp Fiction and Brigham Young in the same post and make it work.

    I hope you know that's a compliment and you're not offended.

  2. Linda, you did offend me. But only because you managed to be funnier in your one comment than I was in my WHOLE POST!

    I just may never speak to you again :)

  3. I love that Brigham Young quote!!! That was awesome.

  4. Nice Linda! Excellent point about Debbies amazing persuasive writing abilities. Love the post Debbie. You make an fabulous point as usual.

  5. I agree - being offended or taking offense is a choice - not an emotion. When you choose to be offended, you have allowed the offender control over your being.