How NOT to Get Offended (Stoic Wisdom for a Thicker Skin) | Summary and Q&A

December 15, 2019
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How NOT to Get Offended (Stoic Wisdom for a Thicker Skin)


Learn Stoic wisdom on how to become unoffendable by not demanding the world to be nice, accepting truth over nonsense, and contemplating your ego.

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Key Insights

  • 😡 In the age of social media, there is an increase in language policing and censorship, as people are easily offended by crude language and opinions they don't like.
  • ♀️ Stoic philosophy teaches that we are not offended by what others say, but by our choice to be offended. We have the power to thicken our skin and choose not to be offended.
  • 🌍 We cannot demand that the world be nice to us all the time, as there are selfish, mean, and cruel people. Resisting this reality will only lead to disappointment and constant offense.
  • 🚧 While we should not tolerate people treating us badly, accepting that others have the right to exist and speak their minds allows us to have a more peaceful existence on Earth.
  • 🙌 Rejecting insults and offensive comments is easier if we examine whether they are based on truth or nonsense. If it's the truth, why be offended? If it's nonsense, why let it affect us?
  • 😔 Being insulted often stems from an attack on our ego and the story we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world. Reflecting on why we get offended can help us understand our emotional reactions.
  • 📚 "Unoffendable" is a book inspired by Stoic philosophy that delves into the nature of insults, the mind, and becoming less offendable. It includes personal anecdotes and a mix of lighthearted and philosophical content.
  • 📖 If interested, more information about the book "Unoffendable" can be found in the description or on the author's website. Readers are encouraged to leave reviews on Amazon to share their experiences.


It’s quite easy to offend someone these days. Even me stating this observation can rub someone up the wrong way. In the age of social media, we get bombarded with crude language, opinions we don’t like and stuff that’s downright mean. That’s probably why we see an increase in language policing and censorship. To some extent, depending on the contex... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is it important to set boundaries and not tolerate mistreatment from others?

Setting boundaries and not tolerating mistreatment is important for maintaining our self-respect and protecting our mental and emotional well-being. When we allow others to mistreat us, it reinforces the belief that we do not deserve better treatment, which can negatively impact our self-esteem and overall happiness. It is crucial to prioritize our own well-being and surround ourselves with people who respect and value us.

Q: How can accepting the truth over nonsense help us become unoffendable?

Accepting the truth over nonsense allows us to discern what is worth being offended by and what is not. If someone insults us with a truth, there is no point in being offended because it is merely stating what is already known. On the other hand, if someone throws nonsense at us, it is their own ignorance and insecurity that should be ashamed, not us. By distinguishing between truth and nonsense, we can free ourselves from unnecessary emotional reactions and stay grounded in our own self-worth.

Q: What role does ego play in feeling offended?

Ego plays a significant role in feeling offended because it is our ego that is being attacked when we are insulted. Our ego is the image we have of ourselves and the story we tell ourselves about who we are and how the world should treat us. Any deviation from this story can trigger feelings of offense. By examining the root of our emotional reactions and questioning why we feel offended, we can uncover the influence of our ego and learn to detach our self-worth from external opinions, becoming less vulnerable to offense.

Q: How can seeking the root of our emotional reactions within ourselves help us become unoffendable?

Seeking the root of our emotional reactions within ourselves allows us to gain a deeper understanding of why we are easily offended and address the underlying issues. It helps us recognize if our emotional reactions are rooted in past experiences, certain ideologies, or cultural conditioning. By taking responsibility for our own emotional well-being and questioning our reactions, we can develop resilience and the ability to respond in a more balanced and unoffendable manner.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger believed that it is futile to expect the world to not offend us, and instead we should focus on not being offended.

  • While we should set boundaries and not tolerate mistreatment, accepting that people have flaws allows us to navigate the world with greater ease and understanding.

  • Seneca encouraged us to determine if an offense is based on truth or nonsense, and to contemplate the root of our own emotional reactions to become unoffendable.

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