4 Clever Ways to Get Offended Less and Get Respect More

Which is my philosophy? | Difference between insult and offense

Not everything that offends us is an insult and not every insult has to offend us. 

Have you ever seen a small child bump his head and look to you for a reaction before seemingly making the decision to burst into tears? That’s us. The dynamics of getting offended doesn’t change much from the time we’re toddlers. You could say the process just gets streamlined.

Believe it or not, science says that feeling offended is a choice. It’s more interesting than just a blow to our honor. We must interpret an event before we are offended by it. 

GOOD NEWS:

We have control over this process. It is possible to plan ahead right now and decide what will and won’t offend you.

BAD NEWS:

The trouble is that unlike a toddler, we decide to be offended in milliseconds. It is a very very fast choice we generally leave to the subconscious, especially as we get older. Doing this automatically can be a problem for obvious reasons.

The Most Normal And Most Destructive Miscommunication in Relationships

Positivity is a choice, and the first step to making that choice is wanting to change. Tweaking your definition of insult and offense can act as a springboard for the rest of your personal development plan. The difference between being ‘offended’ and being ‘insulted’ is this:

If I insult you, I am doing something.

If I offend you, you are doing something.

This mix up is probably one of the most normal and most destructive miscommunications in English, but if you want to get more respect and improve your relationships, we recommend you start by addressing this seemingly tiny confusion. It is actually a massive massive trap.

You can’t do anything about somebody insulting you, but you have control over whether you will take offense.

What to do

We “take” offense. A paper by Sagu University says a good way to visualize offense is as something we can choose to leave or take. 

1. Clip Your Heuristics

In psychology, the choice to feel offended could be called a product of heuristics. Heuristics are like mental shortcuts we use to organize our thoughts quickly. The link above goes to a whole TED Talk that will make you question whether free will does exist.

Your mighty mind can use biofeedback to overpower even the most entrenched heuristics. The rest of these tactics are actual practices to help you accomplish this strategy.

2. Plan Ahead

The only way to do this is to plan ahead. To avoid getting offended in the future by something you know is a waste of your time and energy, you can plan right now and decide what kinds of things you are okay getting offended by and which you’d like to change.

3. Look For Common Ground. Be Empathetic

Egos and miscommunications have been causing tragedies since the dawn of mankind. Pretty much every religion ever has tackled this problem with rules that help believers speak the same language. 

Isabella Poggi says that when we think the person offending us has the same beliefs as us, we are less offended. 

4. Be Humble

Arrogance and offendedness go hand-in-hand. The way I got interested in offendedness was at a speaking event by Mickey Singer, where he made a point that stuck with me. I still use this trick to this day. 

No matter how terrible you feel, your offendedness will pale when you frame it within the vast spans of the universe. 

Conclusion | Positivity is a Choice

Ask your friends about their pet peeves. Have them ask you about yours. Do these ever keep you from living the life you want? 

Knowledge is power. We hope you will use this stuff wisely in order to captain your life in the direction you actually want.

Zander (1976) defined the feeling of offense by describing three chronological phases. These phases describe how a person expresses feeling offended in the real world. A person has already chosen to take offense when s/he begins to go through these phases: 

  1. The offended person identifies the cause of the offense and works to develop some sort of interpretation.
  2. The offended person attempts to determine the intensity of the feeling of the offense which is based on one’s belief of self and whether the offender holds those same beliefs.
  3. The offended person has some sort of reaction to the offense that is based on a number of factors. 

What is Dopamine? The Motivation Molecule

Vaughn Bell once called dopamine the Kim Kardashian of molecules. It’s popular, sexy (?), and it just pops up where you least expect it.

Dopamine is often called the pleasure molecule, but that is the wrong way to understand America’s favorite neurotransmitter. In fact, dopamine is more like the desire molecule. You could even call it the motivation molecule.

This article is about a misunderstood molecule that secretly determines almost everything you do. Read on to find out more about:

  • What Dopamine is Used For
  • How to Have More Motivation
  • What Jordan Peterson Says About the Relationship Between Responsibility and Meaning

Oxytocin, not Dopamine, is the most aptly called “pleasure molecule”

What is Dopamine Used For

In 2009, scientists published a study that showed an extreme difference in motivation between rats with and without dopamine.

The conclusion of the experiment is that the dopamine-ful rats would develop cravings so strong that they would keep pressing the lever that signaled food until they literally dropped from exhaustion. Meanwhile, the dopamine-less rats would not get out of their little rat bed even for food or water.

The rats that had dopamine blocked were still capable of feeling pleasure if food was put in their mouths, they just lacked all will to live.

How does this apply to me? It applies to you, friend, because you live in the most dopamine-drenched time in human history.

Social media, junk food, and masturbation are all dopamine-intensive activities.

This is a problem because our bodies quickly develop a tolerance for dopamine, like with alcohol. Our body’s homeostasis automatically defends us from over-motivating. The problem is that this doesn’t stop at junk food.

If your dopamine pathways are overstimulated for too long, your motivation plane is destined to plummet and crash land in depression valley.

So what causes your brain to produce dopamine? The simple answer is anything where you anticipate a reward.

How to Summon Motivation

photo by @LievanoFreeman

Meaning automatically leads to motivation

Verse Lozano

Have you noticed how there are weirdos out there who don’t seem to dread going to the gym? Some people have so much motivation that they somehow don’t mind coming home from their 9-5 to stay up until the wee hours working on their side-projects.

Highly productive people have made friends with their dopamine glands. Sometimes, without even knowing what dopamine is or what it’s used for.

One surefire way you can infuse your life with chemical motivation is by discovering what brings you meaning. Meaning is a sustainable source of the reward feeling that is triggered by dopamine.

For many people meaning is the pursuit and/or maintenance of artistic ability, love, responsibility, or family. Let me know in the comments what other things I haven’t thought of that can bring us meaning.

How to Get Respect and Motivation at the Same Time

Jordan Peterson likes to talk about the relationship between responsibility and meaning. If you begin to accept responsibility over things in your life, you will generate meaning and therefore, align your dopamine homeostasis with things you actually care about and are good for you.

Meaning aligns your dopamine levels with healthy activities

If you embrace responsibility over something, this relationship becomes a tool you can use to boost yourself into a meaning-rich lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if your responsibility is over a child, a dog, or a manager position at the Barbie doll factory.

Before we talk about positives such as respect and meaning though, let’s just try to imagine the life of a very frustrated person who suffers without meaning and enjoys very little respect in his/her life for some one reason or another. The reasons don’t matter. What matters is that this person would obviously be better adjusted with respect and esteem. Likely, the person knows this.

Practical Applications

Philosophy without an application is pointless. So we have included two ways you can actually re-structure your dopamine balance.

These tips will help your body begin to crave productivity.

Get a Simple Elephant Agenda:

This particular agenda is better than others because it leverages positive psychology to propel you toward your long-term goals. It comes with a generous amount of blank pages in the back that let you express yourself creatively, loosely, and spontaneously; it includes a vision board and mind map in the front that keep you aimed toward your goal; and it includes random appearances of an elephant icon throughout the regular entry pages—when you see this icon, you are supposed to go back to the mind map and vision board in the beginning and reflect on your progress.

Learn What is Meaningful to You:

Meaning aligns your dopamine levels with healthy activities. Psychologists talk about the relationship between responsibility and meaning.

If you begin to accept responsibility over things in your life, you will generate meaning.

If you embrace responsibility over something, this relationship becomes a tool you can use to boost yourself into a meaning-rich lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if your responsibility is over a child, a dog, a company, or a job as a busboy.

Jordan Peterson’s Advice

Peterson uses the relationship between responsibility and meaning as a recurring theme in his bestselling book Twelve Rules for Life. He believes it is a valuable relationship to explore because it is so dang underrated.

Twelve Rules for Life offers psychology’s solutions to the mental health problems of modern society.

Peterson’s twelve rules are:

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
  8. Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
  9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Conclusion

Dopamine is a misunderstood molecule. Its use is not pleasure, but chemical motivation. Learning to recognize when your brain is launching a dopamine campaign on your affect can be a useful tool in your personal development arsenal.

If you want to learn more about psychology in an artistic way, check out our debut book on Amazon. Our books are made to feel like the paperback form of an educational YouTube channel.

How Does the Puppet Let the Puppeteer Know He Is Alive?

By accepting that the puppeteer is a person too and then using the word “gaslighting” very liberally in his day-to-day.

Does somebody else control how you feel and act? Around this person, you are not yourself. You feel mentally weak compared to this person and you wind up doing what they want more often than not. Do you know what it feels like to be hopelessly manipulated?

This is an article that seeks to capture and describe a vision of manipulation and control called The Puppeteer Archetype.

Sharie Stines, a California-based therapist, says that a manipulative person might twist what you say and make it about them, hijack the conversation or make you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you’re not quite sure you have.

Please, reader, just read the disclaimers before making any judgements about the person who manipulates you.

  1. Puppeteers are people. People are complex. There is more to a person who embodies the Puppeteer than just that one archetype. In other words, they can evolve.
  2. The Puppeteer archetype is just one of many. Not only do many manipulative individuals fall outside of the vision that this article will try to illustrate for you, but those who reside within this vision do not often do so permanently. In other words, take this article with a grain of salt. It will not apply perfectly.
  3. The Puppeteer archetype seems like a natural manifestation of the nature of some people. Historically, puppeteers are born from self-defense and a form of entertaining themselves. In other words, manipulation is nothing but a game they are good at and you are not.

You Need to Know How to Get Respect

After all, most puppets are deader than a doorknob. Unfortunately, this applies to you too if you are a person who is being manipulated. You have to prove that you are alive.

This is a question of limitations, control, and probably most importantly, it is a question of respect. You have to respect yourself before anybody else will respect you. So how do you do that?

  • Address micro rejections
  • Use the truth as your shield
  • Whatever you do, don’t take it personally
  • Use the word “gaslighting liberally

1. Dealing with Micro Rejections

Did you know that the pain from social exclusion activates some of the same pathways activated by physical pain?

It’s exactly what it sound like. Micro rejections are a habit. They are a common habit. In a relationship, they can lead to abysmal feedback loops that leave love shredded.

Visually, micro-rejections are often talked about in psychology as a tech replacing human interaction phenomenon. Visualize the girlfriend who automatically checks her phone while you are talking with her. It can also be any kind of automatic shutdown that is not thought through.

These are easy to brush off individually, but if you are have a problematic relationship with somebody who doesn’t respect you, you need to be aware that these micro-rejections exist and they DO mean something.

2. Why is Telling the Truth Important

The truth is a powerful Spartan shield that you can do all kinds of cool moves with.

For starters, it keeps you and your values straight. If you are truthful with yourself and others, you will always be able to defend a past position. Admit it to yourself when you’re wrong!

If you are truthful with others, but not with yourself, you have built yourself an unwieldy lead shield that will do nothing but drag you into the mud. If you have a manipulative person in your life and you need him/her to respect you, you will need to be nimble and solid.

Telling the truth brings you

  • Peace of mind
  • Bigger man-ness
  • Growth for you and those around you

3. Don’t Take it Personally

Oh yeah. You need to get over yourself too. Manipulative people suck, yes, but I’m sure you have problems and peccadilloes too.

Mickey Singer, author of The Untethered Mind, puts a great deal of faith in the value of not being offended. If you expand this idea, you can apply it so sooo many things.

Things we are daily offended by:

  • Poor manners
  • Loud personalities
  • Slow computers

It’s easy to forget that a whole multiverse exists out there and our problems are a 0.000000001% of it.

4. Learn and Use the Term “Gaslighting”

Words matter guys. This particular word means: “when somebody else tries to make you out to be somebody whose thoughts have no value because you are crazy.”

It’s a very common strategy among the puppeteers of the world. You have to be careful not to use the word so so often that it loses its potency, but it will serve you well as the basis for your honest, unoffended confrontations about how he/she is micro-rejecting you and playing silly games with your heart.

Conclusion

Honestly, guys, respect is a very easy thing to get if you are brave and honest with yourself. You need a word-tool or two to leverage your ballsiness, sure, but why not give “gaslighting” a try? You might just reverse the puppeteer-puppet dynamic you have going on in your life.

Who are you, puppet, or puppeteer? Personally I’m actually more of a puppeteer 🤷‍♂️