New Rule for 2012: Don’t Let Anything “Offend” You

I have a guest post coming up probably tomorrow about an idea for a New Year’s Resolution for 2012, but here’s one of my own for you to consider. I got this idea when yesterday, a Facebook friend put up this quote of a “politically correct” holiday greeting and best wishes for a new year, attributed to Lars Petrus.

Please accept with no obligation, implicit or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with total respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, and their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.


A fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, sexual orientation and choice of smart phone and computer platform of the wishee.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! . . .And I don’t give a runny shit about Hanukkah, Ramadamabingbangboopadon, Kwanzaa. . .or the fucking Mayan or Chinese calendars. So there.

To me, people who are easily “offended” are kind of like those people who wear all of their problems—financial, health, relationship, etc.—on their sleeve. You know who I’m talking about. The victim mindset. Something or someone is always out to get them and they’re more than happy to let you know that whatever or whoever it is, it got the best of them yet again. It always gets the best of them because their best is piss poor and never good enough.

They’re fragile little flowers, susceptible to just about everything. They’re weak, and they’ve somehow convinced themselves that being weak and susceptible is a badge of honor. To relate it to diet and health by way of analogy, let’s take Don Matesz and his “Farewell to paleo” post back in June. Of course, that post alone was chock full of his own alleged “health problems” on a Paleo diet, and those of his new wife and his “patients.” And then, who rang in comments but none other than Matt Stone?

For fun I will list my health problems as well as that of my ex-girlfriend on a prolonged diet high in meat and fat – that neither of us have after switching to a high-carbohydrate diet….

1 Autoimmune iritis
2 Abdominal pain
3 Pain in the spleen and gallbladder
4 Irritability
5 Hyopnatremia from long duration exercise
6 Muscle cramps
7 Amenhorrea
8 Mood disorders
9 Low sex drive
10 Mediocre sexual function
11 Bad breath
12 Foul body odor (mmm, ammonia)
13 Occasional constipation
14 Chronic heartburn
15 Food allergies
16 Shakiness during exercise
17 Loss of lean mass
18 Fat gain eating to appetite on a mixed diet – particularly abdominal fat and love handles
19 Poor exercise performance
20 Poor exercise recovery
21 Insomnia
22 Tooth pain

That’s a short list. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things.

Yea, pretty “short list.” One gets the sense that there’s almost some longing to have the biggest list possible, as if to announce: “look at what a pussy I am!” A few comments down I got to laugh my ass off.

nothing91 said…

LOL @ Matt Stone

You are the most psychosomatic, delicate flower on the planet. Every time you switch diets you crow about how the new diet has eliminated every health problem you’ve ever had. Then a year later you’re on another diet making the same claims.

So, give it some thought. Are you the type of person who, when you see, hear or read things from others that don’t correspond to your own values, you take some offense?

If so, why do you allow others such power, influence and authority over you? It’s really a queer sort of behavior when you think about it. Presumably, by taking offense you are in some way desiring to assert some power or authority over the “offender,” but you do so by admitting weakness? By being a victim? By first letting the offender know what great power and authority they have over your own mind and sense of values?

Stop it.

Update: Someone just dropped this YouTube in comments of Steve Hughes doing a bit on being offended and political correctness and I simply have to add it.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Dave Fish on December 27, 2011 at 11:45

    Years ago I read an article about Tiger Woods’ father. He was being interviewed on the Today Show after Tiger had won the Masters and Fuzzy Zoeller had made inappropriate comments about what Tiger should serve at next year’s champion’s dinner. The interviewer asked him if he was offended by Zoeller’s comments and he said “no, I don’t give him that. I don’t give him the power to offend me”. I’ll remember that forever. People can say offensive things but they’ll never be able to offend me.

  2. Theo on December 27, 2011 at 12:01

    I wish more people had this mentality. I grew up arguing with my brothers instead of fighting and it has gradually morphed into a kind of family tradition where we all love to argue about things and not take it personally at all. I have had many heated arguments that went on for hours, eventually to be terminated with zero hard feelings.

    Yet now I’m currently living with someone who is so sensitive that even a disagreement in the room that she is not apart of and that in no way impacts her will make her uncomfortable. This makes it incredibly difficult to have any kind of real conversation. Don’t be like this. Ever. It is really hard to be friends with someone who flips out whenever you accidentally say the wrong thing. And it makes you sound like a child.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 12:08

      My dad, I and my brothers have the same tradition. We love to argue, especially around a campfire. It can even go to “fuck off.” but the next morning we all make breakfast and look forward to the next round that evening.

      • Lute Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 13:49

        Amen to that.

      • Melissa on December 27, 2011 at 16:59

        Hehe. My family is like that too. We are always arguing and insulting each other. Next time someone is offended, I’m just going to say that I’M offended that they don’t respect my culture.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 18:53


        As I understand it, Patrick owns PaleoHacks and Kurs, Archevre. That means they get to decide what they want to put up with, because it’s theirs.

        Do you see them coming here and whining, or anyplace else?

      • Melissa on December 27, 2011 at 21:11

        Um, I don’t think I will be banned since I am not an illiterate troll. Not being easily offended isn’t the same as suffering fools lightly.

  3. Bubbaj on December 27, 2011 at 12:16

    I can’t help but get offended vegan self-righteousness. My blood literally BOILS. I guess I shouldn’t give them that either. I’ll have to try and work on that this year.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 12:19

      I don’t classify outrage the same way. I become outraged about a lot of things, or righteous indignation, but it’s most typically about innocent people being victimized by others and often enough, how still others react to that.

      The difference is, if such outrage motivates me to do anything, it is toward some sort of purposive action, such as writing a blog post. :)

    • Kevin Hughes on December 28, 2011 at 08:31

      Your blood “literally boils”? Wow. Mine only boils figuratively.

  4. alex on December 27, 2011 at 12:22

    It takes a special kind of genius to take “saturated fat and meat do not cause heart disease” to mean “eat only saturated fat and muscle meat”. not that there’s any thing wrong with that.

    • Alex on December 27, 2011 at 12:40

      I suppose there are certain outliers who can thrive on the dietary extremes, but I think most folks would probably do best to find a middle ground that works for them. My own paleo diet has never been predominantly based on meat.

  5. tess on December 27, 2011 at 12:25

    i’m happy for you guys, that you have such cast-iron self-esteem that the comments of others can’t hurt you. a lot of us aren’t that lucky.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 12:30

      Hey tess.

      If I might make a suggestion, next time you feel hurt about something someone says, does or writes, turn inward. Examine yourself. Why are you hurt and most importantly, ask why feeling hurt is in some way satisfying to you.

      It’s a process of self examination that gets you to the point of not usually worrying about it. Expect relapses, but soldier on.

      Give it a shot.

      • tess on December 29, 2011 at 18:12

        thanks, Richard — it sounds like a good thing to master in 2012! :-)

    • Theo on December 27, 2011 at 13:53

      Having an ability to not care what other people say is not an innate ability, it is a skill. My brother used to pick arguments with me over the stupidest things that I just had to argue about. This used to upset and enrage me. Not any more. For me, a big realization was that someone’s words are only poison if you let them become poison. If you choose to toss them aside, they lose their power. This turns the tables and disarms the other person of an important weapon. Work with that thought whenever you get into situations like this in the future and over time you might find that negative comments don’t effect you as much anymore.

    • Blumel on December 27, 2011 at 14:19

      This may sound silly, but if you want to cultivate this particular skill, seek out discussions with people who will offend you to your face. The more people offend you, the more you build up your “being offended” callus.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 14:30

        Another exercise is to argue your opponent’s position honestly, and better than he or she argues it.

    • Leslie on December 27, 2011 at 16:45

      Tess, I have a rule: “never argue with an idiot” … and anyone who disagrees with me is, well, an idiot haha :-) A joke to mumble sotto voce when you deem appropriate.

  6. Bill on December 27, 2011 at 12:30

    This is very good resolution. I have a related resolution, which is to not debate with people who are unwilling or unable to use reason. I find myself in pointless debates, typically over matters of science or philosophy/religion with people who deny basic evidence and are unable to think logically. It gets me frustrated and wastes my limited spare time. Basically I’m letting some idiot effect my mood in the same was as a person getting offended.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and thanks you Richard for a great year of thoughtful blogging.

  7. LeonRover on December 27, 2011 at 13:46

    At age 8, in the schoolyard, someone taught me to repeat

    “Sticks and Stones can break my bones,

    But Names will never hurt me.”

    These days, when someone calls me an Old Fool,

    I say, ” Hey, you’re just a Young Fool”.

  8. mehitabel on December 27, 2011 at 14:40

    I have saved this post from 350 years ago.

    173. Don’t be made of glass in your dealings with others.
    Even less so in friendship. Some people break very easily, revealing how fragile they are. They fill up with resentment and fill others with annoyance. They are more sensitive than the pupils of the eyes, which cannot be touched, either in jest or in earnest. They take offense at motes : beams aren’t even necessary. Those who deal with them must use great caution, and never forget their delicacy. The slightest slight annoys them. They are full of themselves, slaves to their own taste (for the sake of which they trample on everything else), and idolaters of their own silly sense of honor. — Baltasar Gracian

    • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 14:45

      Wow, 350 years. And the problem appears to be bigger than ever with mass communication via the Internet simply dowsing the fire with gasoline,

  9. Asbjørn on December 27, 2011 at 15:17

    My view: Anybody has the right to feel offended, nobody has the the right to not feel offended. The existence of offensive views is a sign of a society with an ability to evolve.

    Steve Hughes view is quite similar to mine (I believe), but phrased a million times funnier:

    • Richard Nikoley on December 27, 2011 at 15:36

      Now that it totally honest and hilarious. Love that genre of humor.

      I just appended it to the post. Thanks.

  10. Unamused Mouse on December 27, 2011 at 16:43

    I read a(nother) life-changing book recently; The Four Agreements. One of these agreements is “don’t take anything personally” and he talks about how you should not let other people instill their “emotional poison” on you. It also really pisses them off. :)

  11. Sarah Madden on December 27, 2011 at 17:23

    Ahhh, Steve Hughes, an honorary Irishman. He lived here for a time after moving from Australia. I’ve seen him live a few times in Galway, got tickets to see him in January too.

    I think my new year’s resolution might be to spend less time on fuckwits. I’ve spent enough of my life fighting the good fight to know that Robb Wolf is right, there’s enough people that NEED and WANT your help to spend on people who just want to wave their dick around.

    Fuck them and the horses they rode in on, may they choke on their own sense of smug self-satisfaction.

    That’s my rant for the new year!

  12. Kevin Hughes on December 28, 2011 at 08:29

    Funny this should come up. A week or so ago one of your friends and regular readers complained of you referring to some affliction in a flippant way. His comment brought the following to mind…

  13. Sigi on December 27, 2011 at 17:50

    Politically correct holiday greetings, so nervously given, always make me laugh/facepalm.

    It greatly amused me that two of the most enthusiastic participants and organisers of our office Kris Kringle event and Christmas party celebrations were respectively the only Muslim and only Jew in the firm.

  14. Ulrik on December 27, 2011 at 19:47

    The amusing thing is that your Facebook friend’s greeting still manages to be offending to anyone on the southern hemisphere. I mean, winter solstice, really!?

  15. Remnant on December 27, 2011 at 20:16

    In this day and age, taking offense is almost always the prioritizing of feelings over facts.

    9 times out of 10, the “offended” party either (1) can’t be bothered to refute you on the facts or (2) doesn’t want to think about the facts because that would prove that the offended person is actually wrong.

    Cf. Larry Summers “offending” feminists at Harvard; James Watson “offending” people about the heritibility of intelligence; etc.

  16. Ashley North on December 28, 2011 at 03:52

    LOL, if that were the case with me, Richard, then I wouldn’t be on your e-mail list!! :)

  17. Trish on December 28, 2011 at 04:27

    I’ve kept this quote for years–it was a comment to a article about the attempted boycott of the movie “Tropic Thunder” because a fake movie poster in it said “Once, there was a retard.”

    “Because it’s not fashionable to have a sense of humor anymore. It’s ESPECIALLY not fashionable to laugh at oneself anymore. It’s also not fashionable to have a thick skin, to ignore uncouthness, to rise above the fray…pretty much anything that used to be considered adult behavior is now verboten.

    Now what’s fashionable is being as thin-skinned as possible, blowing every little thing out of proportion, expecting the very least out of people, being paranoid and fearful, demanding that everything and everyone conform to one’s own beliefs and whims…in other words, what’s fashionable in our culture now is to behave as much like a child as possible.”

    PS–I was glad to see the Steve Hughes clip. George Carlin had great rants on this stuff too.

    • Sean on December 28, 2011 at 07:44

      The full retard thing was hilarious. It seems to me that there has been some PC backlash in American cinema in recent years, or at least it’s become somewhat less restrictive in the mainstream, Tropic Thunder being a good example.

  18. rob on December 28, 2011 at 04:42

    I think it’s best to avoid spending a lot of time in unpleasant emotional states because it’s a form of self-inflicted pain.

    Being offended … unpleasant
    Being angry … unpleasant

    If someone ticks you off, and you are not in a position to beat them mercilessly, you’re better off just letting it go.

  19. Sean on December 28, 2011 at 07:24

    I hesitate to post this, cause I’m not exactly a fan of Jonah Goldberg or the National Review, but Don Boudreaux pointed to a good column about political correctness and tolerance and Christmas. The gist of it being that it is the people who are easily offended (by someone saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or whatever) that are the intolerant ones.

    I think the general point is the same that you make, Richard. Being offended is playing the victim, it’s passive-aggressive bullshit. It’s intolerance masquerading ironically under the guise of tolerance.

  20. Galina L. on December 28, 2011 at 08:12

    I am less prone to get offended when I follow a paleo diet. As a female, I noticed a while ago, that during certain phase of my hormonal cycle I used to get way too fragile, and it was getting worst with age. LC version of paleo brought me back into balanced world. Males are free from that particular problem, however I noticed many with the spare tire on their middle have shorter tempers and their faces get red more easy.

  21. Madbiker on December 28, 2011 at 08:59

    Another excellent post, Richard. Victimhood is the trend, and has been for some time now.

    People are not just victims of others words, either. They fall victim to every supposed worry they are supposed to have. I just wrote about this in the context of the “busy, stressful holiday season” we are all having, because Yahoo! News told me so! If you don’t want something to be a stress or to offend you, don’t let it. The only person you can control or change is yourself – don’t give others power over you or you lose power over yourself (which leads to trying to gain power elsewhere, in victimhood and forcing your intolerance upon others).

    Cultures really aren’t meant to mix. Coexist, maybe, but mix and match like a buffet of Italian, Latin American, Chinese food, Sushi and yak cheese all in one? Of course people will get offended when the cultural practices of others press up against them. Seek your own water and its level, not to change the course of the currents all around you.

    • Dana on December 31, 2011 at 00:11

      I get what you are saying about cultures and mixing. That said, (1) don’t use “culture” as a stand-in for “race”; (2) not all the clashes are cultural–in case you missed the memo, members of your own culture don’t always appreciate the way they’re treated; and (3) thanks to those of “inferior” cultures “allowing” cultures with better weapons technology to make victims out of them, the cultures can’t help but be mixed ’cause some muthaheifers had nothing better to do than trespass on other people’s land where they were neither invited nor wanted. I live in a city named after one of those assholes. The local anarchists call it Arawak City in honor of some of the Indians he killed. Like that’s going to bring any of them back. But it beats renaming Berlin “Adolf.”

      People on the right side of history–and you can take that in more than one sense–just don’t get this shit. You probably never will. You’re doing the philosophical equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears going “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      Yeah, the shopping example was pretty stupid, but you’d say the same about more serious issues. And if some guy stole your car five years ago and by some miracle it was still within statute of limitations and you caught him, I bet you’d have his ass sent to jail, too. People today are still suffering over shit that happened 500 years ago because *the shit never got evened out legally or culturally.* They’re *still* being treated like shit because some dickhead 500 years ago decided they were inferior and the rest of us just marched right along behind him.

      Get your ass off someone else’s front lawn and maybe we’ll talk about this some more. Unless you’re of mixed ancestry, then you’ve *really* got a problem.

      • Adam J. on January 4, 2012 at 09:29

        Heh. That was just epic, and spot on — I love it when the inverted hypocrisy of this ‘suck it up’ attitude is fully exposed to the enchanted masses who might benefit from identifying the underlying tone of elitist judgement.

        “Oh, he’s saying self-empowering stuff — kewwwls! Hey! Wait a minute. . .”

        It’s very easy to judge the weak as apathetic ‘pussies’, when one is easily perched in a position of relative comfort, security, and hell. . . power. All that luxury afforded and build upon generations of social engineering and circumvented means of control over the course of classism. People who reject this thinking are about as naive and pin-headed as the ‘pussies’ they so pompously denounce left-right-and-centre. Apathy of the masses is becoming a meme without a meaning because it’s being used to death by those who really don’t even know its origin. Closer: Much of the initial backbone of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS was spawned by the same ‘Christmas Loving’ folk who wanted to protect their personal belief sensitivities from outside influence. It’s funny when the same device is turned against their cause and then used as a straw-man to berate those weaklings. . . what filth they are!

        “Hur! Hur! Ur just politically correct pussy!”

        Cheers, Dana.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 5, 2012 at 15:21

        I think we may be conflating a couple of things here.

        Basically, I’m talking about getting offended over silly shit and most particularly, where the person is _projecting_.

        I have no problem with correcting wrongs, justice, etc., and I agree that owing to race and culture, some people, through chance, get off to a better start in life, and others, worse.

        On the other hand, just because someone’s black relatives we’re brutalized and enslaved doesn’t mean _you_ were. Getting offended over some of the lingering baggage in that area is kinda like pretending that it was you who was the actual victim, wearing it on your sleeve, that you’re somehow entitled to not be offended, or worse, entitled to compensation.

        And for the record, more white people have been enslaved throughout history that so-called “people of color.”

        And another thing, if you want to talk about property theft and/or destruction, consider the plight of Western Europeans in the 20th Century enduring two world wars, and what that did to their economic and emotional standing in life, and how it might adversely affect the standing of their progeny today.

        Nobody ever said life was fair.

  22. Dana on December 31, 2011 at 00:07

    On the other hand, it’s been my observation and personal experience that people say offensive things because they are, as you put it, too “pussy” to just go ahead and haul off with their fists.

    And my philosophy is, unless you REALLY feel you have something important to say, either go ahead and swing ’em or shut up.

    You’ll know whether it was really important after all, by how many people stop and look thoughtful instead of yelling at you.

    Words mean things, and people are fairly adept at reading intent, and if your intent wasn’t what they are now reading, change your words.

    It is like when I have given you shit in the past about using the infamous P word I referenced above. Bitch, please. A vagina versus a pair of testicles. Which is equated with weakness and which with strength? Now which is going to have you on the ground curled up with the air all sucked out of your lungs, giving it all you got to cry like a baby?

    I swear, even our use of rude words is designed, whether by accident or on purpose, to delude guys into thinking they are something more than mortal and fallible. Well, that’s OK. We of the XX chromosomal persuasion will just laugh behind our hands and get on with our lives.

    Your wife does too. She just loves you too much to say so, most of the time. ;)

  23. Janey on January 3, 2012 at 13:48

    Oooh…big, bad Richard Nikoley doesn’t get offended and mocks those who do. Oh, but he tries SO hard to offend everyone else. LOL.

    Get a decent vocabulary and then you won’t have to resort to the same few words over and over for shock value. Someday your ideas will be strong enough to move people.

  24. » Why 92% of New Year’s Resolutions Already Failed, and 140 Better Ones The Bulletproof Executive on October 16, 2012 at 16:16

    […] Be less offended by small details (especially about dietary dogma). […]

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