You’re Easily Offended – 7 Takeaways No. 184

Grief as a measure of love. People problems. Being liked, or not. You know nothing. But offending you is easy. Criticism will do it. Worrying about the wrong things.

A woman taking offense at some perceived slight. She has a short, blonde bob haircut, is wearing trendy clothes, and has an indignant expression on her face. Her hands are on her hips, and she is standing in a modern, well-lit retail store. Other shoppers in the background are glancing at her with curiosity.
(Image: DALL-E 3)

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1. “Scars are a testament to life.”

Comment on My friend just died. I don’t know what to do. – GSnow – (Reddit)

This has been around for a while (13 years), but it crossed my screen again this morning. It’s a powerful reminder that grief is both natural, and inevitable. In a sense, it’s even good.

My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love.

We all have scars. And if we’re fortunate to live a long time, we’ll collect many more.

Do this: Love deeply. (The comment’s worth a read, and worth saving for the day you need it.)

#love #loss #grief

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2. “People problems masquerading as technology problems”

Fixed Growth – Steve Makofsky – (Makoism blog)

Sometimes it’s just a well-turned phrase that gets my attention. The takeaway above is one example. Probably because it’s something I see so often. Not in the project management and business setting that I think Makofsky is perhaps focusing on, but in individual attitude.

When it comes to well-running technology, we are often our own worst enemies.

The essay has several other interesting points, but that’s the one that stuck.

Do this: Look for the problem behind the problem. (Often in a mirror.)


3. “Beholders gonna behold”

I Don’t Give a Fuck About Being Liked – Sarah Knight – (Substack newsletter)

Yes, Sarah uses expletives. Like, a lot. The takeaway crosses the old adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, with the more modern “haters gonna hate”.

People will judge you no matter what.

You cannot control whether people like you. Which means that giving a fuck—i.e., caring and worrying—about if they like you and/or how to make them like you is a waste of your precious resources.

Full stop.

It’s not easy. It’s right up with not caring what other people think in general. Except we do. Of course we do. But it’s a great reminder that you may be spending precious energy and some of your limited time in a futile pursuit. Sometimes not caring, being yourself, and attracting those who find that likeable from the start is a better approach.

Do this: Choose what to care and worry about wisely.

#judgment #caring #worry

4. “Beliefs are Mostly Mind-Candy”

Nobody Knows What’s Going On – David Cain – (Raptitude)

This is a really interesting dive into how much we, as individuals, don’t know, or are completely wrong about. So much of what we “know” is ultimately second hand information that’s been through multiple filters, and multiple levels of expertise and validation, each often causing a little, or a lot of, subjective interpretation and deviation from the actual truth.

It is viscerally unpleasant (not to mention time-consuming) to honestly question beliefs you feel positively towards, or honestly entertain ones you don’t, and ultimately you’re just determining what “feels right” anyway.

One example I need to take to heart is how when we read a news report about something within our area of expertise and notice how much is factually wrong, we then turn the page and continue reading other articles in other areas, not questioning their veracity.

Do this: Question everything.

#truth #beliefs

5. “You’re easily offended.”

Facebook post – Mark Manson

I’ve long held that being offended is a choice. I get it’s sometimes difficult to avoid the knee-jerk reaction, but even when someone is trying to offend you (which is rarer than you believe), to do so is a choice on your part.

Being nearly impossible to offend is, I maintain, a superpower

This. So much this. It is difficult. But it’s incredibly powerful. A superpower, even. It’s something that will set you apart from others, and set you up for greater success in whatever it is you choose to do or be.

Do this: Make better decisions.


6. “We all love to criticize”

How to Take—And Give—Criticism Well (gift link) – Arthur C. Brooks – (The Atlantic)

I thought this was a serendipitous encounter after the previous takeaway. Choosing to take offense is a common reaction to being criticised. One key item here is that we often don’t actually look at the criticism itself, but the environment and the way it was delivered.

the recipient of criticism might be attempting to understand the beliefs and feelings of the critic rather than assessing the criticism itself. When someone says your work isn’t good enough, your natural first thought may be “They must not like me”, rather than “What can I do to improve it?”

Brooks offers guidelines, some of which I’m sure you’ve heard before. More importantly, is that as objective as you consider your criticism to be, it will almost certainly be received emotionally. And conversely, as threatening as you may find criticism to be, it’s often not being delivered with malicious intent.

Do this: Take, and give, criticism as best you can, keeping in mind the humanity of the other person.


7. “Wait. Does this actually matter?”

Maybe it doesn’t matter – Oliver Burkeman – (The Imperfectionist)

This is something I’ve been working on a lot lately. It boils down to simply making better choices of what to worry about. We have limited energy, and wasting it on things that, ultimately, are inconsequential, can lead to an even greater sense of overwhelm. There are important things, to be sure, but so many of the things we believe, often passionately, are important simply aren’t.

I get to experience the remarkable upsides of the inner shift, both bodily and psychological, that could be summed up in a single instruction: “Unclench.”

I think many people lead a clenched life.

Do this: Unclench.

#priorities #worry

Additional Interesting Links

What I’m Reading

In progress:


A full list of my common sources is on the sources page, and I list the books I’ve read on my Reading List page.

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