Dear Guru: Offended


Dear Guru,

I feel offended.


That’s not much of a question but I’ll take what I can get. -Ed.

offendedDear Offended,

I’m a little offended that you didn’t actually ask a question. In fact, I am very put out. I’m nothing if not gracious, though, so I’m going to assume you want me to freestyle.

First of all, feeling offended is your problem, not mine or anyone else’s. That’s because being offended, like all human feelings, is a personal choice.

Me? I sure make that choice a hell of a lot. I’m always offended about something.

What does it for you?

Someone parking in a fire lane to use the ATM or run into the store for a pack of cigs?

A non-disabled person taking a disabled parking space or claiming their pet is a service animal so they can bring it shopping with them at the mall?

People yelling at the top of their lungs right outside your house on an otherwise sunny day? (This is happening real time as I write this drivel.)

Your dinner guest not, at the very least, pretending to reach for his wallet after the meal?

A place setting with forks sorted improperly by size?

Claimed air sovereignty of international borders violated by another country?

People who lie, cheat and steal to make a buck?

Homeless people bothering you to ask for food?

Interminable “loading” animations on Netflix?

People who set poisonous crap on fire, suck it in their lungs, then expel it as a cloud of death over amazingly inconceivable distances?

A shortage at the supermarket of your favorite variety (out of 42 flavors) of Wheat Thins?

The smell version of Pig Pen at the epicenter of a 15-foot diameter of disgusting odor?

Not being invited to the party and/or failure to RSVP?

Those who don’t agree with you about what sexual practice is acceptable and those that are forbidden, and the purpose and meanings (or not) behind them?

No “thank you” card after giving a gift?

Someone opening and playing with a gift before they give it to you?

Giving a refurbished item as a gift?

Double dipping?

Someone quaffing your orange juice right out of the container?

Stealing your sandwich from the office refrigerator?

Cutting you off in traffic? Driving too slow? Driving too fast? Following too close?

A narcissist droning on about the minutia of their everything while never pausing to allow enough time for edgewise words?

Logos on the corner of the screen during your favorite shows? Commercials at the movies? Product placement?

Free speech?

People with different political ideologies saying they don’t agree with you?

Assholes pretending to write advice columns on the internet?

Fake reviews on Yelp?

People telling you that you shouldn’t say should?

The strong picking on the weak?

Those who judge others based on superficialities?

Um, what was the question again? I forgot what this post was supposed to be about.

It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that.” As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. “I find that offensive.” It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I am offended by that.” Well, so fucking what.

–Stephen Fry, I Saw Hate In A Graveyard, The

offenceI don’t know about you, but I spend a good deal of my day (and considerable energy) being offended. Yet, at the same time, I generally go out of my way to not be offensive to others. I call this being “nice.” (That’s a word alien to most folks.)

Some people spend their days pontificating about their rights. Sometimes they are so earnest about it that they become offensive. That is indeed their right.

Tom’s Law #42

People who are overly offensive to others are assholes.

What is it to be offended? Is it really a choice? Can people be too touchy? Or is it the natural reaction to someone acting completely without empathy who only has regard for their own needs, wants, feelings and rights? Isn’t their a psychology word for people who don’t give a shit about the feelings of others? Sociopath? Psychopath? (Someone help me out here.)

Where does that magical line in the sand between one person’s rights and another person’s feelings happen to be? Does such a thing even exist?

We all enjoy freedom of speech to say just about anything we damn well desire. That doesn’t mean we have to do so in every situation all the friggin’ time. We have a choice. And I believe that choice is to try to have at least some regard for the feelings of others. Or do we merely aspire to be the lowest common denominator, essentially becoming nothing more than living human douchebags?

What do you think? Which do you aspire to be? And what is it that offends you?

5 responses

  1. Comic sans font offends me, but I know that’s a common complaint.


    1. Oh, and nothing really offends me. A lot annoys me, but feeling offended is a waste of my energy. Like grudges.


  2. In my experience, someone saying they are offended?
    They are guilty of something related to what they state they are offended about. Or just guilty in general. It’s a great catch phrase to divert attention from yourself and onto someone else.

    Interesting direction for a post. I would have loved to see your facial expressions as this post poured itself out of you today. *grin*


  3. Snoring Dog Studio | Reply

    I’d dread the day that people stop being offended and stop saying they’re offended by what people say and do. To stand there dumbly and not allow oneself to be offended is the ultimate capitulation to the worst instincts of humans. I’m constantly offended – not because I’m guilty of the offense, Blogdramedy. I’m offended by the crap that spews from the mouths of ignorant, bigoted, racist and sexist morons. And I’m glad to tell them I am. Yeah, it might not always change their behavior, but I’ve seen lots of instances in which people – sensible people – will actually take that offense to heart and learn from it. I’m glad Rosa Parks voiced her offense to the treatment of African Americans. I’m glad women all over the U.S. voiced their offense to being treated like second class citizens. Yeah.


  4. Well, I was going to write some sarcastic comment but then I read the comments already made and I thought better of myself. I don’t get offend a much as I see offensive behavior or comments. Usually it happens at an incorrect time. While I’m at a comedy show, a joke won’t offend me but a same distasteful joke in the middle of my child’s elementary school probably would offend me.

    And then there are times I just offend myself with being so stupid. It’s a gift sometimes.


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