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Question: Is Being Offended A Personal Choice?

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posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:03 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: humanityrising
Personally, I see a direct correlation between how unhappy someone is and how reactionary they are.


That's because all unhappiness IS a reaction.


That's circular. You'd have to conclude that all happiness is a reaction as well. In truth studies show that when one has a balance between locus of controls they are most happy. Those extreme in either direction, internal or external will be less happy. The more extreme the less happy.




posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
a reply to: Jamie1

Unless they were intentionally offensive such as a racist then the offensive person already exists.


Do you see where I'm coming from.


Cos I certainly understand that it can be a choice.

But I also know that's not always the case.


I see where you're coming from. Maybe there's just a difference in syntax and terminology.

Person A exists. Person A says, "Blah blah blah."

Person B agrees with Person A.

Person C comes along and hears what person A said, and declares, "I'm offended." It's Person C alone who defines Person A as "offensive."

Example:

Try to say something to offend me. You can intend to offend me with all your heart and soul, and dig deep into your darkest place of hatred. You can type your words in all caps, and get everybody on ATS to agree with you, and have everybody try to offend me.

As I read the words you typed, am I required to be offended?

Am I required to respond in any way? If I'm not aware of how this works, I would probably react.

Being aware of how this works, I could reply by saying something that I observed in you that I genuinely admire and respect.

Think this isn't important? Do you have a wife? Husband? Kids?

Knowing this can be the difference in being married or divorced. Having you kid walk in front of a truck or walk into to your arms to hug you.

This is not an intellectual exercise. It's as real as it gets.

Try it.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:11 PM
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originally posted by: TheArrow

originally posted by: Jamie1
The idea is to have beliefs (rules) that make it easy to feel good, and hard to feel bad.


That's why I'm a hedonist.

en.wikipedia.org...


haha nice. I have some very intellectual and battle tested friends who have come to this same conclusion!

One thing I would add, that seems to make things more meaningful than just outright hedonism, is to ask not just does it feel good, but is it good for you?

Eating chocolate cake is awesome until you have to buy new jeans every 5 weeks.

Does it serve you, serve others, and serve the greater good?

Of course it's subjective. It's just something that seems to give people fulfillment, and pleasure.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:13 PM
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originally posted by: Kali74
a reply to: Jamie1

No. Being offended is not a choice. You can choose actions but not emotions. You can choose to learn not to let emotions control you and most people do that. Extremists however tend not to have any logic to moderate their actions. Psychopathic/Sociopathic extremists tend to get murderous if the wind blows wrong.


You choose your emotions by changing your values. You change your values by analyzing the validity of your current beliefs.

If a person has no analytical abilities, then yes, they won't choose their emotions and will tend to be reactionary.
edit on 8-1-2015 by LewsTherinThelamon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:17 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1


Think of it this way. How ridiculous is it for people to want to control other people's emotions and actions coming from a place of admitting they can't control their own?


Yes its ridiculous, but all of human history tells us that some people will always try to control others in a very wide variety of ways.
Its human ridiculousness.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:18 PM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese

The whole point is it's your choice. You can choose to be offended if that's useful, or you can choose not to be.


This statement contradicts the last. One can not choose the moment at which they are aware of their belief, and therefore have a choice in the matter. It will happen when they are ready to become aware. We all have quite a depth of unconscious desires, and beliefs. Surely you would agree here?


Generally speaking, in most non-violent, real world situations, being angry only limits the possible solutions you see to real world problems. Not being angry allows you to see a variety of solutions, and then intelligently choose a solution you think will work to solve a real world situation.


It seems you're of the opinion that anger holds no validity or usefulness as a response in a variety of situations. I'd have to disagree.



Yes, you absolutely have a choice when you become aware of a belief!

Here's how:

The moment you begin to feel a "negative" emotion, bring your attention to your thoughts. Observe your thoughts. Use the emotion to trigger observing your thoughts.

Ask yourself, "Is that a story, or a fact?"

You'll instantly identify your beliefs in any situation.

After a sports team lost I was pissed. A friend was messing with me and mockingly said, "Observe your thoughts."

I was like, F you... lol Then I did. I observed my thoughts. The thought that was pissing me off was, "We should have won..."

And thoughts that begin with "should have" or "could have" are probably not useful beliefs.

Re anger, I never said anger doesn't have a purpose. The difference is consciously deciding vs reacting.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:18 PM
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originally posted by: LewsTherinThelamon


You choose your emotions by changing your values. You change your values by analyzing the validity of your current beliefs.

If a person has no analytical abilities, then yes, they won't choose their emotions and will tend to be reactionary.


What kind of individual do you suppose would chose to change their values in a way which maximized their own happiness? Would you consider this a healthy individual, if so for their selves or for the society they live within? Think about this carefully.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

Yes we choose whether or not we are offended.

Offense is usually a reaction due to insecurity. If you are insecure about who/what you are, then you will choose to take the offense.


Take yourself for instance, if someone calls you stupid, and makes a cute little stupid girl cartoon of you and you take offense, its because you probably feel less intelligent for some reason. (I am just using you as my example here)

Then take myself in the same scenario, and someone makes a cute little stupid girl cartoon of me.. I would laugh, because then I know.. I played it well I did! but I wouldn't be offended, because I know I am not stupid, I was smart enough to make cartoonist guy think it long enough to draw his cartoon!

Just an example.. but you get my drift. Offense to anything is based on personal insecurities, of which the rest of the world cannot do much about.
edit on 8-1-2015 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: pl3bscheese

The whole point is it's your choice. You can choose to be offended if that's useful, or you can choose not to be.


This statement contradicts the last. One can not choose the moment at which they are aware of their belief, and therefore have a choice in the matter. It will happen when they are ready to become aware. We all have quite a depth of unconscious desires, and beliefs. Surely you would agree here?


Generally speaking, in most non-violent, real world situations, being angry only limits the possible solutions you see to real world problems. Not being angry allows you to see a variety of solutions, and then intelligently choose a solution you think will work to solve a real world situation.


It seems you're of the opinion that anger holds no validity or usefulness as a response in a variety of situations. I'd have to disagree.



Yes, you absolutely have a choice when you become aware of a belief!

Here's how:

The moment you begin to feel a "negative" emotion, bring your attention to your thoughts. Observe your thoughts. Use the emotion to trigger observing your thoughts.

Ask yourself, "Is that a story, or a fact?"

You'll instantly identify your beliefs in any situation.

After a sports team lost I was pissed. A friend was messing with me and mockingly said, "Observe your thoughts."

I was like, F you... lol Then I did. I observed my thoughts. The thought that was pissing me off was, "We should have won..."

And thoughts that begin with "should have" or "could have" are probably not useful beliefs.

Re anger, I never said anger doesn't have a purpose. The difference is consciously deciding vs reacting.

That's actually some pretty great advice. Next time I'm upset or angry I'll be asking myself to observe my thoughts. Thanks!



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

Again, this is entirely circular. I'm sorry we're not going to come to an understanding here. I'm quite aware of what meta-cognition is and how to use it within my own personal life. I'm also aware that not everyone is capable of doing this on a continuous basis, from the point they are currently at. It seems some people are indefinitely without this ability.

The fact that you would not empathize so as not to become unhappy is quite telling. You won't maximize your ability to help people without opening up yourself to their pain, and sharing the load. I'd suggest you reconsider your method. It'll eventually lead you down a very dark road.
edit on 8-1-2015 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire

originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: ScientificRailgun

originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: ScientificRailgun
We all live in our own brains. Words carry meaning, but not emotion. The emotion is a result of your own brain chemistry. No word, or combination of words can forcibly illicit an emotional response in a person. It's all subjective. That said, there are societal pressures that constantly remind people they SHOULD be offended if someone makes a rape joke, or jew joke, or any other number of crude things. But the joke itself carries no emotion. You determine the feeling you get from someone's word, either consciously or subconsciously.


Interesting. I agree.

Now dig deeper. What are "societal pressures?" Are they beliefs you have about how other people will judge you, or how you'll be valued, based on how you think you're *expected* to respond?
It's partly that, I believe. There's a deeper level still, however, and that is the intent of the speaker. I'm a firm believer that empathy is a real thing. It's a combination of our subconscious ability to determine the emotional state of another person based on their facial expressions, body language, speech patterns, and so forth. Therefore, it's possible to SURMISE, but not know exactly, what emotion a speaker INTENDS to illicit in you which their words. I can speak to you, for instance, in way that would tell you that I 95% intend to offend you. Some people react to that by actually becoming offended, but it is their own internal process that caused the offense. It's a quick succession of "The person wants to offend me, I don't like that. I'll be offended." thoughts, whether conscious or not.

In short, a speaker can convey what emotion they WANT to you respond with, but your response itself is still subjective experience.


Wow.... that's another great distinction. I never thought of it that way. Of course. That's super smart. That's why building rapport is a must. YOUR own state is the most important thing that influences another person's state.

The person more committed to their state will influence the other person.

So if a person says something from a state of hatred, the other person will not just pick up on the words, but on the person's state. They'll resonate states, and the person receiving the statement will also go into anger, a lower level of awareness if you will.

From this place of lower awareness, they'll react, and not be aware of their own thoughts, or how their thoughts are causing them to be upset.

Super smart. Thank you.


Nice interaction on with these posts above. At one point you considered this.


So if a person says something from a state of hatred, the other person will not just pick up on the words, but on the person's state. They'll resonate states, and the person receiving the statement will also go into anger, a lower level of awareness if you will.


Now if I may ask, this "state" that you suggest, do you consider this state to be a condition of the individual, a product of the individual, or might this state be more of a "field" in which different indviduals interact. You offer the idea that they will resonate states, that ones state might "overpower" another persons state. Might it be that these states are not only personally generated but also exist in kind of a Platonic "form or state of being". Let me say this another way. You say they might resonate states. But might it be that they are not resonating states rather they are both in,or out of,the "same" state, or energy field.


I can just give you me experience and perspective.

In my experience, the answer is yes. For sure. 100%. I use it all the time.

When I'm with somebody who is so deep into their stories my first step is to be in a state of unconditional love and gratitude. Compassion. Not empathy, because empathy can draw me into their state, which isn't necessarily conducive in the situation.

Really great observation. The "energy field"?

In my experience, my personal belief? It seems so.

I've been in places where what you might call the "energy field" seems to affect an entire group of people.

Kind of always comes down to what we think of as "fear" vs. "love."

The secret is always stating aware of your own thought no matter what. Just being aware of how your own thoughts are impacting you in a moment, even if there are other factors.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:03 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: TerryMcGuire

originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: ScientificRailgun

originally posted by: Jamie1

originally posted by: ScientificRailgun
We all live in our own brains. Words carry meaning, but not emotion. The emotion is a result of your own brain chemistry. No word, or combination of words can forcibly illicit an emotional response in a person. It's all subjective. That said, there are societal pressures that constantly remind people they SHOULD be offended if someone makes a rape joke, or jew joke, or any other number of crude things. But the joke itself carries no emotion. You determine the feeling you get from someone's word, either consciously or subconsciously.


Interesting. I agree.

Now dig deeper. What are "societal pressures?" Are they beliefs you have about how other people will judge you, or how you'll be valued, based on how you think you're *expected* to respond?
It's partly that, I believe. There's a deeper level still, however, and that is the intent of the speaker. I'm a firm believer that empathy is a real thing. It's a combination of our subconscious ability to determine the emotional state of another person based on their facial expressions, body language, speech patterns, and so forth. Therefore, it's possible to SURMISE, but not know exactly, what emotion a speaker INTENDS to illicit in you which their words. I can speak to you, for instance, in way that would tell you that I 95% intend to offend you. Some people react to that by actually becoming offended, but it is their own internal process that caused the offense. It's a quick succession of "The person wants to offend me, I don't like that. I'll be offended." thoughts, whether conscious or not.

In short, a speaker can convey what emotion they WANT to you respond with, but your response itself is still subjective experience.


Wow.... that's another great distinction. I never thought of it that way. Of course. That's super smart. That's why building rapport is a must. YOUR own state is the most important thing that influences another person's state.

The person more committed to their state will influence the other person.

So if a person says something from a state of hatred, the other person will not just pick up on the words, but on the person's state. They'll resonate states, and the person receiving the statement will also go into anger, a lower level of awareness if you will.

From this place of lower awareness, they'll react, and not be aware of their own thoughts, or how their thoughts are causing them to be upset.

Super smart. Thank you.


Nice interaction on with these posts above. At one point you considered this.


So if a person says something from a state of hatred, the other person will not just pick up on the words, but on the person's state. They'll resonate states, and the person receiving the statement will also go into anger, a lower level of awareness if you will.


Now if I may ask, this "state" that you suggest, do you consider this state to be a condition of the individual, a product of the individual, or might this state be more of a "field" in which different indviduals interact. You offer the idea that they will resonate states, that ones state might "overpower" another persons state. Might it be that these states are not only personally generated but also exist in kind of a Platonic "form or state of being". Let me say this another way. You say they might resonate states. But might it be that they are not resonating states rather they are both in,or out of,the "same" state, or energy field.


I can just give you me experience and perspective.

In my experience, the answer is yes. For sure. 100%. I use it all the time.

When I'm with somebody who is so deep into their stories my first step is to be in a state of unconditional love and gratitude. Compassion. Not empathy, because empathy can draw me into their state, which isn't necessarily conducive in the situation.

Really great observation. The "energy field"?

In my experience, my personal belief? It seems so.

I've been in places where what you might call the "energy field" seems to affect an entire group of people.

Kind of always comes down to what we think of as "fear" vs. "love."

The secret is always stating aware of your own thought no matter what. Just being aware of how your own thoughts are impacting you in a moment, even if there are other factors.


This "energy field" I believe is a shared consciousness. This field can be "polluted" by electrical energies like radio waves or magnetic fields. Or ELF weapons. One person can enter a room and change the whole atmosphere of the room. And the "global consciousness project" is showing that we all share a consciousness that can react to global events. So if we can share a consciousness globally, its only reasonable to assume we can share consciousness on a much smaller level. We have the anecdotal tales of twins that feel each others pain or mothers that wake in the night, only to find out later that their child or a dearly beloved partner has died. Shared consciousness is a very interesting topic, at least to me anyway.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:14 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1

If you had children would there be anything you would not want me to say or do in front of them?



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:19 PM
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originally posted by: Turq1
Also a huge factor probably is something like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Has 16 different personality types, I'm sure some types would correlate more with certain ideas than other types.

But then if that's the case...wonder to an extent what's the point in talking about this topic? Assuming no one here is in middle school, it's pretty set. But 90% of people would continue to do so without this in mind amirite?


I don't mean that negatively or whatever, actually makes the thread interesting, but could sort of be like the Tower of Babel. Language of personalities perhaps.


One of my close friends is a world famous, highly paid consultant. He used Myers-Briggs for everything he does.

And everything he does is based on the premise that the solution to every situation begins with becoming aware of your beliefs, and deciding which beliefs are useful, and which are not.

So yes, it matters. It matters a lot.

There could be somebody reading this right now thinking about killing herself, thinking of the bottle of pills in her cabinet, and convincing herself that she has no future. She may read this and be like, "Holy sh!t1 Just because I think something in my brain, doesn't mean it's true. That's just a stupid belief."

So yeah, it matters.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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originally posted by: stargatetravels

originally posted by: ausername

You chose to be slightly offended.

It was a clever post.



Correct -There are so many degrees and variations on offense.
It's impossible to narrow it down and know which are genuine and beyond ones control and which are manufactured as an excuse to carry out something terrible or point score or politicize.


What's an example that's "beyond one's control?"



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:21 PM
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a reply to: LewsTherinThelamon

BS. If you care about something and someone insults it you get offended, there's no way around it unless you are either incapable of caring about anything or have become so jaded about everything that you just stop caring. I think I'll pass on not caring.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:27 PM
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originally posted by: Jamie1(...)
Do you believe being offended is a personal choice based on what you choose to believe?

And if so, what justification is there for wanting people change their behaviors so that you don't upset yourself with your own beliefs?

If it's criminal or extremely hateful, as in the people who did hte terrorist act in Paris, then that's justification for change. In this case, either it means killing them or prosecuting them under the code of law.

For example, if your employer is openly racist, that's grounds to ask for chagne or to simply leave the job place if nothing occurs.

How do we detertmine when something is criminal or extremely hateful? That's subject to our society, its laws, its common values and so on, and our own individual best judgment. It's a human thing.
edit on 8-1-2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: Puppylove
a reply to: Jamie1

The problem is not all "beliefs" are created equal, some are inherent to the person themselves. Nature verses nurture. Some are nature, they can't just be turned on and off like a tap. You can attempt to fight and deny them, but that often causes more harm and personal trauma than accepting them does. These inherent aspects of a person nature are there for life, they cannot just be replaced with another belief so you feel better. Like being gay, or transgender, or many other things that are innate. You act like people can just change who they are willy nilly like it's no big thing.

Being transgender causes me to struggle at life, would be simple if I could just shrug it off, decide, nope not transgender and walk away from it all. It does not work, that kind of self denial is harmful. People are not all built identical in the mind, there are aspects of ourselves that are inherent, that we have to accept, the problem is finding out what's inherent, and what's B.S. If you let BS control you, you are in for a world of hurt, same as if you try to deny that which is an inherent part of who you are.

You seem under the delusion, there is no inherent nature to anyone and everything is just a choice we can switch on and off at will. When something attacks that which is an inherent part of who you are, it hurts, is completely reactionary, once that happens you can control how you react to it, but you can't not feel the pain. A good way to find out what is and is not inherent is whether you have to decide to be offended or not. If it's an inherent gut reaction probably in herent, if you have to say, wait what? to yourself before you get offended, probably bs.


Transgender is just the context. It's the same as being black. Or anything else.

Fact: You're transgender. You're black. You're Chinese. You're Jewish. You're born without legs.

Fact: Somebody says they hate you because you're your, that you're a freak, that you should be put to death.

Ok, so now what?

You react. That reaction begins with the meaning you give to what the person said, not what the person said.

It has zero to do with being transgender, or black, or gay, or if it's one heterosexual spouse saying it to another. The process is still the same.

If you're premise is correct, then why can some people not be offended, and others can, by the exact same situation?

Try it. Try going the rest of the day and deciding right now that nothing anybody says is going to hurt you. Instead, ask yourself a different question. "What' can I learn from this? Where's the gift in this? What's great about this? What could be great about it?"

Since you're transgender, like you said, you already have real world situations to deal with. There's no necessity to make it more difficult by being offended by other people. That's disempowering you. Why let other people take away your happiness just by saying words to you, or treating you a certain way?

What gives you more freedom, deciding how you want to feel, or letting other people decide how you feel?



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:35 PM
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The nature of the term; offended; Offense; Offensive.

As opposed to defensive or neutral, the nature is using language or action to disturb/disrupt the neutral nature of inter human relations.

This has to do with behavior. With civil society. With trusting others. Therefore, believing they mean what they say. So what they say can have an impact on your relationship. I am sure you would argue that the relationship was not meant to be. For example, if you had a husband and when he came home at night one week he started just non stop calling you ugly and annoying and stupid and that he cants stand you, of course his words mean nothing and you have the power to be happy, but if his words are true, as in he means them, than the words, being a channel of the will, alters the relationship between people, and so here in this case, you would most likely rightfully conclude that he wanted to offend, he wanted to destroy the neutral nature of the relationship, and he could have done it in many ways, all could be deemed 'offensive', unless, I suppose he did it politely, which would be achieving the same end, though without the 'offense' of emotions. Of course it comes back down to you caring what people think and say. If the end is that a person no longer wants to have a relation with you, while having the relation you did care what they said, knowing that the end is nigh, voids your care about the person, or you always have the choice to care and not care about a person and what they think and feel and say...that is just difficult as it seems like the nature of friendship is a kind of blending of mutual care for one another...and so this builds up to the nature of community, and society at large, to the point of mutual respect for other humans, and mutual obeying of law etc.

and well, I feel like asking you; Can you think of any situation in which the nature of being offended is appropriate/justified?

Or according to you there is no such actual valid rational action of 'being offended' it is purely baseless fantasy, a person might as well be thinking of unicorns or eating the moon when they are 'being offended' or just think 'bad feelings enter me, bad feelings enter me'?


If the rules, via law are 'dont touch people'; but, 'you can say and do whatever you want as long as you are not touching people' (not touching people includes things like, not touching people with a fast traveling bullet).

You are pretty much arguing, that if the totality of people who have been, are, and will be 'offended', removed the idea from their brain that there is such thing as being offended, that it is meaningful, and justifiable, and beneficial, that they cannot control it etc. That the world would be a more ideal place, a better place, a more rational and reasonable place. That if we didnt create these weird rules that there are curse words, and nudity is offensive, that over time these things would lose there taboo nature, and then there would be nothing taboo, and then there would be nothing to possibly be offended by, as you would argue, there already is nothing to possibly be offended by, if we are all obeying the laws of 'do what you want, you have freedom, but dont physically harm other people', the nature of being offended is one of 'feeling that the actions and/or language of another person, has mentally harmed you'.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 03:38 PM
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originally posted by: TheArrow

originally posted by: Jamie1
There's a simple dichotomy:

I will change my behavior so you can be happy, OR you can change the meaning you give to my behavior so you can be happy.



It was a great honor when you decided that my family was a big enough threat to your way of life that you raped and murdered them while I watched.

Thank you.


Something like that?


Yes! Perfect!

Here's how I respond... just showing you in real time.

At first I had to read what you said twice. I start by just loving you, as a person. Appreciating that you're hurting because of what you went through. I look at your perception of me, and the facts vs. the stories.

I then focus on what are the facts, and what are the stories.

Fact: I didn't decide anything about your family, that's a story.
Fact: I didn't rape and murder anybody.
Fact or story: Was your family murdered or raped? Do you mean your nationality, race, ancestors? I don't know. You know.

Everything else is a story, you're perception of your circumstances.



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