Offense and How it Harms Creativity

Offense is a real problem in our society. Everywhere, always, we find people squabbling over micro issues and opinions—and perhaps we’ve found ourselves caught up in it as well. It’s so prevalent that we often don’t even give it a second thought—especially when it comes to how this offense affects our ability to live a colorful and creative lifestyle.


Let’s be honest: Life is rough and the world is a cold, heartless place. It’s a perilous realm filled with all sorts of unkind, unfeeling—and yes—offensive things. And it’s inescapable. The madness however isn’t merely offense itself, but rather, our culture’s obsession with it. With the world a click away, we’re quick to gripe about the things we find offensive to anyone and everyone who will listen—no matter how small the issue. And for anyone looking to live a rich creative life, this is absolutely crippling.

Offense: A Dangerous Obsession

As you trek through life, you’re bound to encounter things you don’t like; things you may disagree with, and things that may offend you. I know it happens to me. But what’s most astounding is when people wade through the sludge of the internet actually searching for things to take offense at, and then allow it to consume them. This is the obsession we have—and it’s dangerous.

This mindset of clinging to offenses—of dying on even the smallest of hills—is ablaze with the most toxic enemy of creative flow: negativity. When we dwell in negativity, we block wonder. We block joy. We block inspiration. By indulging in this obsession and expending so much energy on our offenses, we’re suffocating the deepest part of us: the part that cries for beauty; our soul and the very birth place of our creativity.

Related: Are You a Negaholic? 5 Ways Pessimism is Ruining Your Life

Fostering a Positive Mindset

The truth is, nobody wants to be influenced by someone who is consumed by negativity. We want to be encouraged, uplifted, and inspired. These things only come from someone who has learned to cultivate a positive mindset.

This isn’t done by simply avoiding offense—not only because it’s impossible, but also because there are some things to stand up for. There are some occasions that merit offense. The real question is: how much energy are you going to allow these things to steal from you? How much are you going to let offense consume you before you choose to change your focus? After all, the art of being wise is learning what to overlook.

Powerful creativity is fueled by a positive mindset: an eye trained for beauty. We’ve got to stop allowing our offenses to rule us, and retrain our eyes to see and to focus on the wonder and beauty around us.

Your Challenge

Today, I want to challenge you to make a list of ten things you’re thankful for. Look around and make the choice to be positive instead of allowing trivial offenses to rule you. See the beauty; allow yourself to wonder. If you want, you can share your ten things in the comments so we can all have a chance to appreciate them.

Regardless, I want you to be mindful of your mindset today. Take control of where you place your focus and energy—and the stream of your creativity will flow the clearer.

Let’s chat!

  • Have you struggled with offense before?
  • What are some things you do to try and refocus your thoughts on positive things?
  • What ten things are you thankful for today?

Hey! If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment and share it with a friend, or reply on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

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8 thoughts on “Offense and How it Harms Creativity

  1. It seems like you and I have been on similar wavelengths recently, Emily. I posted something today at my blog about compassion, because a) we could really use more of it right now, and b) the stories we read and write can contribute to making the world a better place if they demonstrate compassion in some way. As for offense and its toxicity, I’m actually taking the next two nights off from social media just so I can distance myself from all that and focus on more important things.

    • That’s super important, Sara. Compassion is a great trait to show in stories, and it is encouraging and empowering to read about.

      Yeah, same here. Facebook is pretty much a mud-slinging fest these days, and I’m really pretty tired of it. Taking a few days off is a great idea.

  2. It’s odd. On the one hand, I see a culture obsessed with being offended by absolutely everything, history is offensive, movies are offensive, flags are offensive, ALL jokes seem to be offensive … But then on the other hand, calling out the offensive nature of anything which truly is morally reprehensible seems to be considered the height of bad manners.

    I don’t get it.

    I do agree that it is important to limit our exposure to and mental energy spent on taking offense. But sometimes you do just have to call something out on its cruelty or stupidity. Too bad that the same culture so happy to jump on anyone for ‘offensive’ opinions should so thoroughly blame anyone for taking moral offensive over anything.

    • We live in a twisted world. You’re definitely right about people getting offended over others calling out things that truly need to be called out for their moral wrongness. It’s maddening. Yet this is why we must take a stand to set ourselves apart from the droves of easily-offended and pursue truth above all. It’s important to pick your battles, so that when you have something to say about something you do find morally offensive, people will listen instead of writing you off because everyone and their dog is offended by everything all the time. It’s a tricky path to navigate, which is why it’s a daily struggle.

  3. I nodded through this entire post, lol. It is /so true/. Our society is /obsessed/ with being offended about every little thing, and it really is easy to get sucked in and allow those things to run your life.

    I’ll just go with two things I’m thankful for, because 10 might take too long, lol: I’m thankful for my job, not just because it’s a nice income source, but because it has taught me so much about social interactions and how to be less afraid of them. I used to be a very, very anxious, shy, introverted, angst-ball when it came to talking to others, but working a few days a week for the past year and a half has helped me to be… not necessarily more outgoing, but more comfortable in my quietness. And also, comfortable with speaking when I have something to say.
    I’m also thankful for my mind. It’s complicated and crazy and sometimes very problematic with it’s tendency to OCD-level overthinking, but it’s also wonder-filled and creative and without it I literally couldn’t do anything. :p

    Thanks again for this post! I’m sharing it in this week’s end of the year compilation!


    • Hey, Alexa! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. (: I appreciate you sharing, also.

      Yeah, having a good job is wonderful. I am also thankful for my job, even though it’s not what I want to do long-term. It’s a good job and I have great hours. Plus, I have a new job opportunity opening in the next couple of months, which I’m thrilled about. And yeah, I definitely get the part about how a job helps you come out of your shell, because the same thing happened to me. I’m not less quiet, but I am more comfortable, and that’s great.

      Wow, yes. Our minds are often something we take for granted, but they’re definitely something to be thankful for!