How to Be "Easily Amused and Impossible to Offend"
HOW TO BE EASILY AMUSED AND IMPOSSIBLE TO OFFEND
1. BE YOUNG AT HEART
The average child will smile hundreds of times a day, laugh hundreds of times a day, and ask hundreds of questions a day, while elderly people tend to do each of these things less than 10 times a day, so one of the keys to staying "young at heart" is to keep smiling, laughing, and asking questions...
HAPPY CHILD SMILING AND PICKING FRUIT
BABY LAUGHING JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS RIPPING A PIECE OF PAPER
A CLASSROOM OF CHILDREN OVERFLOWING WITH QUESTIONS
It's important to keep a happy, humorous, and curious outlook on life so that we don't end up unhappy, bitter, and set in our ways as many older people unfortunately do.
Recently, a man in his 50's said to me, "I don't know what to get my dad for 'Father's Day'... He's so old that he hates everything!"
Many young adults will intentionally hold back smiles and laughter during certain situations out of a fear of looking "childish", and they will also hesitate to ask as many questions as they would like to because they would rather be seen as "the person with all of the answers" than "the person with all of the questions" and this sets them on the path to a lot less joy.
So start catching yourself whenever you feel the urge to hold back a smile, a laugh, or a question, and start letting your "inner-child" express it's self more often.
2. LEARN ABOUT THE VERY BIG AND THE VERY SMALL
I think it's amazing to look at things that we can only see through a microscope as well as things that we can only see through a telescope, and to know that we are somewhere in the middle of it all.
What does this have to do with our attitudes?
The more that you look through a telescope and realize just how big the universe is, the more that you realize just how small and insignificant your problems actually are. And the more that you look through a microscope and learn about the microscopic world, the more that you realize just how big and important you actually are.
"Wisdom is knowing that I am nothing. Love is knowing that I am everything. And in between the two, my life flows."
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
3. LET GO OF ATTACHMENTS
How did you react the last time the electricity went off in your house? Did you feel overwhelmed with disappointment the instant it went out? And did you feel that without electricity there was nothing to do except just wait for it to come back on?
Being "attached" to something means that you will suffer without it.
If you hear that a total stranger on the other side of the world got their car stolen, it probably won't be a big deal to you. But if you find out that "YOUR" car got stolen, it probably will be a big deal to you, and the amount of stress that you feel will be in direct proportion to how attached you are to the car. (If your profile picture on social media is a picture of your car, then it might not just feel like "theft" to have your car stolen, but it may feel like "identity theft"!)
You were born without any material possessions, and you can't take any material possessions with you when you die, so the most freeing thing that you can do is to let go of as many attachments as you can now while you are still alive, and to then live the rest of your life free from the fear and stress of losing them.
4. REALIZE THAT NOBODY CAN OFFEND YOU WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION
If a filmmaker wants to use a popular song in their movie, they must first get permission from the artist who made the song, and if a person wants to offend you, they must first get your permission.
If someone criticizes you about something, it is ultimately your choice whether or not you even react to it, and if you do react, it is also your choice where, when, and how you react, and therefore, you have to "agree" and "consent" to getting offended.
If it feels difficult to not get offended by someone's behavior, please keep in mind that not everyone who offends you is necessarily trying to offend you. (There is a good chance that you've had the experience of someone getting offended over something that you said or did because they took it the wrong way.)
And even if someone is intentionally trying to offend you, please try to feel a little sympathetic towards anyone who would be feeling so bad that they would wish for someone else to feel that bad as well.
"The ones who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most."
-"The Peaceful Warrior"
"Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so try to be kind to everyone you meet."
5. BEWARE OF BECOMING A "CHRONIC COMPLAINER"
Imagine if a man dislikes the president of his country so much that he writes a book about how terrible he thinks the president is, and then he goes on TV talk shows and publicly criticizes the president in front of millions of people, and then he starts a website where he sells T-shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs that all have negative depictions of the president on them.
Because this man has built such a strong reputation for being the guy who criticizes the president, what do you think the odds are that he would actually want to see the president do something great? And how likely is it that deep down he actually wants the president to continue to fumble and make bad decisions so that he can continue to criticize him?
The more time and energy that you "invest" on trying to convince others about how bad your boss, your ex-lover, or someone else is, the more that that person will become someone who you "love to hate", and the more that you will want to protect your "investment" by continuing to search for any evidence you can find to prove that you have been right about that person all along.
In the same way that you can become addicted to drugs and alcohol, you can also become addicted to complaining and being offended.
Some "chronic complainers" will literally spend hours a day mentally rehearsing arguments in their head that they imagine they will have the next time that they run into a certain person, or they will spend hours a day on the internet arguing with people they don't even know over politics, movies, music, etc, and the most effective way to stop complaining like this is to become aware of just how much of your time and energy you are actually spending on it...
"Did you really have a bad day, or was it a bad 10 minutes that you spent the rest of the day dwelling on?"
- Mel Robbins
6. IMITATE PEOPLE
Even if a person hates "The President of the United States" with a passion, and they get angry every time they see him on TV giving a speech, they will laugh hysterically if they turn on "Saturday Night Live" and see someone dressed up like the president and mimicking his voice and mannerisms perfectly, because there is something about a realistic impersonation of someone that makes people laugh and feel good in a unique way, and the healing power of this can be unbelievable.
If you have a stressful job, imitating your co-workers can provide an enormous amount of "comic relief" for yourself as well as for your fellow co-workers.
I want to stress that I'm not encouraging you to make fun of people in a mean-spirited way. I'm just encouraging you to learn how to REALISTICALLY imitate the voices and mannerisms of your friends, family, and co-workers and to have fun with it when they aren't around.
Unfortunately, when people imitate someone who they don't like, they won't do a realistic impression of them, and will instead just talk in a dumbed-down voice to mock that person. (Which won't provide the same benefits.)
If you currently have a regular 9 - 5 job somewhere that you don't enjoy, and you are only doing it for the money, I would encourage you to start thinking of your job as being 1/3 for money, 1/3 for exercise, 1/3 for comedy.
If you feel that you are being underpaid at your job, and your boss won't give you a pay raise, you could ask for a raise in the amount of lifting and physical labor that you perform so that you will be getting more exercise at work, and you could also give yourself (as well as those you work with) a raise in the amount of laughter at work by imitating people.
If you have a co-worker who you think is annoying because they stand way too close to you when they talk, or they lie and exaggerate about everything, or they are constantly talking about their dog, these people could go from being annoying to becoming a great source of laughter by learning how to realistically imitate them.
When you get really good at doing an impression of someone you have a problem with, you not only feel better whenever you have to be around them, but you will start to become more understanding and sympathetic towards them.
Female actors who pretend to be pregnant in a movie will sometimes start to get cravings for pickles and other foods that women who are actually pregnant do, and the more realistic of an impression that you can do of someone, the more that you will actually start to feel what it would be like to be that person.
I have talked about many different subjects on this website, and there is a reason that I have saved this one for last...
Imitating other people is how we learned to talk, walk, and do many of the other basic things that we do on a daily basis, and I believe that there are still far greater things that can be learned and discovered from it.
Many of the most amazing technological accomplishments of our species (like the ability to fly) was achieved through trying to "mimic" other species on this planet, and those species likely learned to fly by "mimicking" other species who have long sense gone extinct.
Like they say, "laughter is the best medicine", and I believe that the greatest healing humanity will ever experience will come once we can put ourselves in the shoes of others for a laugh, only to laugh at ourselves for ever believing that there were any "others".
And much like a man who can't find his keys and is searching high and low for them until he finally realizes that they were in his pocket all along, after spending generations searching for something outside of ourselves to heal us, we will someday finally realize that what we were looking for was inside of us all along...