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  • It's quite easy to offend someone these days.

  • Even me stating this observation can rub someone up the wrong way.

  • In the age of social media, we get bombarded with crude language, opinions we don't like

  • and stuff that's downright mean.

  • That's probably why we see an increase in language policing and censorship.

  • To some extent, depending on the context, this can be a good thing, for example, to

  • protect minors.

  • But when it's going too far, we can ask ourselves: aren't we getting too thin-skinned?

  • From a Stoic point of view, we're not offended by what we deem offensive, but by our choice

  • to be offended.

  • Words of other people cannot hurt us unless we let them.

  • In this video, I'll show you Stoic wisdom that can help us thicken our skin.

  • Seneca the Younger was a statesman, dramatist, and satirist.

  • But I think that most of us know him as one of the great Stoic philosophers.

  • Seneca was concerned with the nature of insults and being offended.

  • He wrote down his thoughts on this matter in a work named De Constantia Sapientis, which

  • is Latin for On The Firmness Of The Wise Man.

  • He criticized his friend Serenus for wishing that people, in general, shouldn't offend

  • each other.

  • According to Seneca, this is completely unrealistic and not in our control.

  • Instead, we should aim for not being offended, which is in our control.

  • This brings us to the first piece of wisdom:

  • (1) Don't demand the world to be nice.

  • The world is full of people that are selfish, insolent, arrogant, ignorant, mean, cruel,

  • and so forth.

  • This may sound pessimistic, but it isn't far from the truth.

  • We cannot expect that people are nice to us all the time because they aren't.

  • Humans possess the full range of emotions, desires, and mindstates: from angry, to happy,

  • from compassionate to sadistic.

  • Also, there are as many opinions as there are people, including opinions we don't

  • agree with.

  • Resisting this is a recipe for disappointment and will lead us to 'get offended' all

  • the time by what's simply a product of nature.

  • Demanding that the world doesn't offend us is futile because it's impossible to

  • alter more than 7 billion people to our own liking.

  • As Seneca stated and I quote:

  • You are expressing a wish that the whole human race were inoffensive, which may hardly

  • be; moreover, those who would gain by such wrongs not being done are those who would

  • do them, not he who could not suffer from them even if they were done.”

  • End quote.

  • Now, even though we cannot demand that everyone will always be nice to us, this doesn't

  • mean that we should put up with people treating us badly.

  • We can set boundaries, and choose not to spend time - or at least limit our interactions

  • - with people that don't respect us.

  • But if we accept that people will be people including their darker sides, we'll not

  • only have a much easier time here on earth; we also give our fellow human beings the right

  • to exist and speak their minds.

  • (2) Accept the truth, reject nonsense.

  • So, in my book, which I'll talk about a bit at the end of this video, I've made

  • a proposition inspired by the work of Seneca, on how to handle insults based on truthfulness.

  • With this method, it's logically impossible to be offended.

  • Before I continue, let's take a look at what Seneca had to say about handling insults,

  • jokes and other stuff that people may throw at us.

  • I quote:

  • Someone has made a joke about the baldness of my head, the weakness of my eyes, the thinness

  • of my legs, the shortness of my stature; what insult is there in telling me that which everyone sees?”

  • End quote.

  • Now, the approach is very simple.

  • If someone offends you, ask yourself if the thing that you feel offended by is truth or

  • nonsense.

  • If it's truth, why be offended by the truth?

  • Or as Seneca states: “what insult is there in telling me that which everyone sees?”

  • If it's nonsense, why be offended by nonsense?

  • If someone throws nonsense at us, isn't the person that does so the one who should

  • feel ashamed instead of us?

  • (3) Contemplate your ego.

  • Seneca noticed that for some reason, people think that being insulted is one of the worst

  • things that can happen.

  • I quote:

  • “..many think that there is nothing more bitter than insult; thus you will find slaves

  • who prefer to be flogged to being slapped, and who think stripes and death more endurable

  • than insulting words.”

  • End quote.

  • For your information: being slapped was a grave insult in the time that Seneca lived.

  • He was a contemporary of Jesus Christ.

  • So it's no surprise that the Bible speaks about 'showing the other cheek' after

  • being slapped.

  • In this context, 'slapped' doesn't mean physical assault but, rather, an insult.

  • When we are insulted, our ego is attacked.

  • This is a consequence of the story we tell ourselves about ourselves and how the world

  • should be.

  • That's why we see that in different cultures and subcultures people are offended by different things.

  • When something conflicts our story (whatever that may be) this could lead to feeling offended.

  • The questions we could ask ourselves are these: why are we getting offended?

  • What's the root of this?

  • Is it because of something that has happened in the past?

  • Is it because of a certain ideology?

  • Is it because I've been culturally conditioned to be offended by this?

  • In my opinion, it shows much more character if we try and seek the root of our emotional

  • reactions within ourselves, instead of immediately finger-point at the outside world.

  • Our own faculty is our own responsibility and what other people think is none of our business.

  • But hey, that's just my opinion.

  • Now, for those interested in reading my book, I'll give you some information about what

  • you can expect.

  • Unoffendable is mainly inspired by Stoic philosophy and shares different ideas and personal situations,

  • that examine the nature of insults, the mind, getting offended and how to becomeunoffendable”.

  • The book is highly autobiographical, which means that I'm very open about my personal

  • experiences in regards to becoming less offendable.

  • The first chapter of the book is a lighthearted explanation about different types of insults.

  • From the second chapter, it's going to be a bit deeper and more philosophical, like

  • you're used to when it comes to my videos.

  • If you're interested, please follow one of the links in the description or visit my

  • website for more information.

  • If you've read the book, feel free to leave a review on Amazon.

  • Of course, I hope that your experience will be positive.

  • Thank you for watching.

It's quite easy to offend someone these days.

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どのように怒らないようにする方法(厚肌のためのストイックな知恵 (How NOT to Get Offended (Stoic Wisdom for a Thicker Skin))

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    jeremy.wang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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