Q/A : Are we encouraging young people to be offended and derailed about things that their parents would have shrugged off while growing up? This has to do with the ease that people are taking offense, given permission to not get over it and have permission to go to a safe place.
Google, micro aggressions and you get pages of things some people have decided shouldn’t have been said or didn’t say correctly. My concern is people are learning to be offend when no offense is meant, exists or necessary.
Where are you from? (no offense is meant) — great conversation starter
America is the land of opportunity. (one person’s opinion)—again a great conversation starter.
Bullying is a verbal GAME where someone is purposely intending to hurting your feelings by saying mean things—“You are so stupid, or ugly, etc”. (It is not physical. If there is physical intimidation—that may be criminal.) The purpose of every game is to WIN and not to lose. So how do you win this verbal game?
Do what my Dad told me: “Don’t get sucked into a JERK* contest.” Allow the focus of attention to be on the person who is verbally provoking you with the intention of hurting your feelings.” He/she wants to upset you.
Let any mean/hateful words just roll off your back by (this requires a straight face), 1. don’t act offended just calmly continue the conversation, OR 2. let it go right past you as though you didn’t hear it or get it, OR 3. just go with it in a humorous way. In short, don’t play the game; be funny, or kind or gracious or agree with it ( I wish I could be just like you—you definitely need a straight face and a tone that really signals “not really”). Two important prerequisite for this strategy to be successful: 1. a straight face and 2. the ability to look and sound sincere when you are not.
Bullying is nothing more than a game of winning and losing. When people lose they don’t like playing the game with you. They get sssooo offended when you don’t play. It upsets them to lose particularly if this is played out in public.
The great thing about this is: you become the person who can’t be offended which becomes one of your greatest assets because:
2. You will have more friends and crazy fun conversations (a lot about nothing.) like humor. Nobody will be offended because nobody there wants to be offended. If someone REALLY means to be insulting, they don’t want to be subtle. They have to go big. The end result, They look like a JERK.
* Once upon a time, being referred as a JERK was the ultimate insult.