Jamie, I read your July 28, 2021 article in the Charlton County Herald, “I’m offended!” It seems you have joined so many others and jumped on the “I’m offended!” bandwagon. It ironically appears your sensitivity to the feeling of others and your ability to validate them are correctly mastered. You have come to the correct conclusions in your article when you end it with your efforts to cancel being offended, by trying to reach conscience when you proclaim, “Probably not.” Many readers have also discovered that is impossible to be non-offensively correct and have, like you, determined “we are not all going to agree”.
You may be able to minimize the hostility of the person you have offended. When someone you have offended engages you, be slow to respond and offer a generic insincere apology. Don’t abruptly respond by something like, “don’t be so stupid!” I have a friend whose nickname is “Pleasant.” I asked her how she got it. She said she went to charm school, and they taught her to say, “Isn’t that pleasant” instead of something like, “so what,” “who cares” or “who gives a flip.” I would say try this - saying, “isn’t that pleasant” to hopefully deflect a conflict escalation situation.
In a previous life I use to do presentations and would use the approved time-tested PowerPoint presentation prepared by someone years earlier. Once a very brilliant person in the class noted a grammar mistake. In his frequently displayed offensive and arrogant manner, he brought that to my attention. I thanked him for his feedback and told him, “Some people are too busy checking the grammar that they miss the message.” The class erupted in spontaneous laughter; we took a break. Afterwards, we had no further exchange of words on this.
You mentioned in naming street names by numbers. A former co-worker had an epiphany one day and decided he was the best in our department and proclaimed this. His nickname became number one. He did not seem to be offended by this and actually considered it a title rightly bestowed upon him. Due to numbers being associated with bodily functions, no one was ever nicknamed number two.
I did do a search online on offended and discovered that there are apps on this subject. You can get apps that will keep you annoyed/offended.
Like you, I am a Christian. In a college class I was taking, on the last day, each of us was to share a little about ourselves. One lady said, “she was glad to be able to leave (she was not from the USA) and get away from these southern Bible-thumping Christians who have been trying to convert her.” She shared with us she was a witch. After class, I asked her how she became a witch. She said, “it was a tradition passed down from mother to daughter, her mother was a witch.” She proclaimed that she knew more of the Bible than most Christians and convinced me of that. Because of her, I now read the Bible more. Some direction is provided in the Bible on how to manage offending. Although there are many verses, the one that speaks directly to you may be different then the one that speaks to me.
In closing I would like to leave you with this quote I use as a benchmark for character: “A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents,” as said by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.