People are so easily offended these days and to imagine where the mind-set of a person was few decades ago and where they are now, one must say it is difficult to understand. Few centuries ago people from Africa were sold as slaves in America. In 2009 Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States. India has had both a female Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) and a President (Pratibha Patil), even Islamic nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh have had a female Head of State, but the United States has never had a female Head of State.
Real life is not like that depicted in movies. In movies when the protagonist has to kill his old friend because he’s the villain says, “You know that I have to do this right?”, then they both hug each other, then the hero kills him. This does not happen in real life. When your friend even says something to you that you do not like, you will be fuming with anger.
What was offensive a few years ago is not offensive now. What is offensive now was not offensive a few years ago. Punishing children at school was not offensive until recently. Being a member of the LGBT community was not offensive until recently (only in a few countries). People even get offended if you honk, as they show their frustration by honking back at you, for whatever reason it is. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence”.
Why do people get offended, let us have a look as some of the reasons?
- People are too sensitive: According to a research by Stony Brook University, about 20 per cent of the population are genetically predisposed to empathy that is, they respond intensely to both positive and negative stimuli.
- Ego: This is very powerful three letter word. A silly argument breaks out between two people, because both of them think they are right, and they do not want to compromise. Friendship, relationships are often split by their own ego. A healthy argument is always good, but it is never healthy if you get offended. Holding grudges just to prove a point or just to display one’s power over a subordinate are all traits of ego. Both parties feel that one is more offended than the other.
- Work Place: Stress at work place can cause a lot of behavioural changes. Not loving the work that you do can also lead to stress. This can cause a person to offend others and also get offended easily. This tends to become the permanent character of a person within a few months, and he/she become insufferable. One can develop anxiety with such stress induced behaviour.
- Insecurities : Not having anyone to depend on, developing the thought that “No one is there for me”, can create a sense of not being happy or even put you in a state of depression, which makes you care less about others. This makes you prone to offend others or get offended easily.
- Diet: The type of food that we eat today reduces the life span of a person considerably, mainly due to processed foods (even junk food) which are easily accessible and takes almost no time to prepare. These contain preservatives and MSG’s to give that taste which you do not get from food prepared at home. These chemical are not good over the long haul. Most of the ingredients are also synthetic, artificial or adulterated. These can be allergic or different than what your body can process. Scientifically it is said that these substances do not allow you to produce hormones like serotonin or GABA which are produced as brain calming hormones, so this makes you more prone to anger, hence get offended.