Believe it or not, you're completely comfortable when you call yourself an idiot, but you freak out the moment an online stranger suggests that you are.
Total nonsense folks! Almost daily I can't believe what people find offensive!
Not much offends me because I've heard worse from the bully staring back at me in the mirror.
And you have offended yourself more times than you even realize.
A teeny tiny tweet offends us though. Entire groups of people potentially offend us. We're an offended, micro-aggressive, and triggered society. But it's not like we haven't heard worse in our own brains. I'm referring to self-talk.
Have you heard yourself lately?
Self-talk is merely running commentary in your head that can happen without you realizing it. What your self-talk reveals is hardly ever a reality. Most people learn to, or choose to, ignore this little voice.
Negative self-talk comes to you as naturally as breathing. These offensive messages are true or not true based on your own preexisting self-image.
If we paid attention to all our negative self talk it would literally drive us nuts. We all have it to some degree, and people actually listen to it on varying degrees too. The more you listen, give awareness and attention to it, the unhappier you are.The same goes for all the online dialogue or offensive people we give credit (and attention to).
There's two ways of getting attention in our current culture: exceptional positivity and exceptional negativity. People turn their attention to these extremes. Real life is somewhere in the middle. Of course you know I'd like to see more of that represented online, but that's not the current virtual climate.
Let's be honest here! You have called yourself worse names than anyone else. You have wrongly assumed others have offended you even more often than that.
Get real moment: Where does negative self-talk come from? Our negative self-talk can come from something awful we heard directed at us as kids. It can come from people we care about.
I remember my dad calling me stupid for doing poorly on math homework. I must have believed it for a time because I worked really hard to learn more. Some would call that incentive, but after a while I had to give credit to myself, instead of my dad, because he wasn't learning this stuff for me- I was. Apparently I wasn't that stupid. Disinterested in math? That's more like it!
People repeat and project negative self-talk onto others.
We can't help what we've heard, but we can take responsibility to tune out the old broken record and tune out those who support it until it all becomes background noise. When you give others that attention, you are reinforcing that negative script in your head.
Surprising how people are so quick to get offended by others when the dialogue running through their own mind is more self-afflicting.
So how do we get off this merry-go-round?
A technique similar to meditation can help you give less credit to the negative, whether it's your own inner jerk or some online goof who wants nothing to do with brightening up your day.
Meditation is the act of watching thoughts go by, without any attachment, or attention, but instead merely awareness. The ugly words are there in your head- if you spend enough time online, the ugly words are bursting at the seams there too.
Practice acknowledging them, but watch them go by, like thoughts that float past you on a river. They will likely always be there, but don't give them the attention.
If you notice, some people are ruled by the asshole that lives in their heads- they're really down on themselves and it has become society's task to protect them from themselves. I say nonsense; this is a personal task. We are given practice by handling our own inner talk.
We all have that little jerk that tells us we're not good enough; even the most confident people. Staying sane means ignoring that shit! Some people let this asshole rule their lives. Other people let other assholes ruin their lives.
Ultimately, to live a happier life, we have to ignore the inner negative talk AND that rude talk from others as well. Almost anything can seem offensive when you operate from a mentality that gives negativity too much credit.
Next time someone else offends you, ask yourself what it is you're saying to yourself that makes this person right about you? Or that they deserve any credit for upsetting you.
Nobody is there to protect you from your own self-talk. We are meant to adapt to it and learn it's not as important as we think- it doesn't deserve our attention. It would serve us well to ignore the things others say that offend us too.
Wine Advice + Uncommon Sense
Everybody needs to express themselves in some form- mine happens to be written form...with an opinion. Occasionally I get in the mood for some wine and answer life's tricky questions.