I Care If I Offend You, But I Just Can’t Stop

This isn’t going to be the typical bashing of political correctness.

Too many have become brash jerks in an effort to fight back against those using political correctness to try and intimidate anyone with opposing opinions into silence.

Offending someone isn’t a badge of honor.

I hate offending anyone. I have always been this way. Sometimes, it has made me more passive and non-confrontational than I should have been in situations.

I tended to let stuff that should have been addressed roll off my back more. I just wanted everyone to like me…I still do…who doesn’t?

But, I notice I’m becoming bolder. And I’m asking myself the question: do I like the change I’m seeing?

I Care If I Offend You.

I heavily weigh the pros and cons of saying any controversial opinion. If there’s a chance anyone would get offended, I consider if it’s really worth saying at all.

My apprehension isn’t rooted in fear of criticism — I can take it. Instead, it’s birthed from a disdain for ever being the reason for someone’s hurt.

Sometimes it’s not worth it. I’m glad I have a [Holy Spirit] filter.

But sometimes it is. Sometimes, it’s not only permissible, but necessary.

So what’s the compromise?

Politically Correct: Bad. Diplomatic: Good.

Over the years, I’ve always looked to stand on strong truths with compassion. The following communication goal is what has helped me the most.

Never be politically correct, but always be diplomatic.

This is what I try to do.

Interpreted, that means to tell the whole truth, in the least offensive way possible.

It’s all about your intentions.

This is today’s version of political-correctness: don’t say anything if there’s a chance someone could be offended.

Where being diplomatic means: say it without any intention of offending.

It’s a subtle but important difference.

Being diplomatic means you consider how what you say will be interpreted. It means you carefully select your words.

It means you care about the people listening. It means you try to make what will be perceived match what you mean as closely as possible.

It’s not weakness. It’s strength.

It loosens ground instead of entrenching people deeper into their position.

I Can’t Care If You Get Offended.

You can’t keep people from being offended. The truth is offensive sometimes — regardless of how it’s delivered.

Where you can’t keep the truth from offending, you can keep yourself from using the truth as a weapon to hurt others. Don’t be destructively dogmatic.

In the end, our ultimate allegiance isn’t to someone’s feelings. Our allegiance must be to the truth, and truth only.

We must be truth-seekers and truth-speakers.

Keeping someone from all offense can mean you keep someone from truth. And that’s something I’m not willing to do. I can’t do. I can’t care if the truth offends.

The people most offended by truth are often the ones that need it most.

We can’t be responsible for people’s feelings, but we can be compassionate toward them.

So I will continue choosing to be diplomatic.

Ben

bendebayle.com