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.
- Will laugh hundreds of times a day.
- Will ask a question hundreds of times per day.
The Average Adult
- Will smile less than 10 times per day.
- Will laugh less than 10 times per day.
- Will ask a question hundreds of times per day.
CHILD SMILING AND SAYING "BYE" TO PEOPLE AT THE AIRPORT
"If you want to keep happiness, you have to share it."
- Dale Carnegie
BABY LAUGHING JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS RIPPING A PIECE OF PAPER
"You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing."
- Maurice Chevalier
CHILDREN OVERFLOWING WITH QUESTIONS
"A good way to guess most people's age is by how much or how little they question things."
If you want to stay young at heart, it is important to keep a happy, humorous, and curious outlook on life, so that you don't end up unhappy, serious, and set in your ways.
Recently, a man in his 50's told me, "I don't know what to get my dad for "Father's Day"... He's so old that he hates everything!"
Many adults will intentionally hold back smiles and laughter during certain situations out of a fear of looking "childish", and they will also hold back from asking as many questions as they would like to, because they want to be seen as "the person with all of the answers" rather than "the person with all of the questions".
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 itself 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.
"Wisdom is knowing that I am nothing. Love is knowing that I am everything. And in between the two, my life flows."
- Nisargadatta Maharaj
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 really 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 really are...
3. LET GO OF ATTACHMENTS
Being "attached" to something means that you will suffer without it.
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?
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 it causes you will be in direct proportion to how attached you were to the car. (And if your profile picture on social media is a picture of your car, it won't just be "theft", it will be "identity theft".)
You were born with no material possessions, and you can't take any of them 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 then spend 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 get your permission first.
If someone criticizes you about something, it is ultimately your choice whether or not you even react to it, and if you do choose to react, it is also up to you HOW you react.
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 have 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, just remember that it is impossible to look down, talk down, or put down anyone unless you yourself are down. So try to feel a little sympathetic towards anyone who would feel so bad that they would wish for others to feel that bad too.
"The ones who are the hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most."
-"The Peaceful Warrior"
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 terrible choices?
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 person will become someone who you "love to hate", and the more that you will want to protect your "investment" by continuing to look for any evidence you can find which could help prove that you have been right about that person all along.
Not only can you become addicted to things like drugs and alcohol, but you can also become just as addicted to complaining, and like any other serious addiction, it can wreck your life!
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 who 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 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 really good 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, but rather I'm just encouraging you to learn how to imitate the voices and mannerisms of your friends, your family, and your co-workers and to have fun with it when they aren't around.
Unfortunately, when people imitate someone who they don't like, they usually won't do an accurate impression of them, and will instead simply talk in a dumbed-down voice to mock the person. (Which I don't recommend.)
If you currently have a regular 9 - 5 job 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, and 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 you get 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, please realize that if your job was a sit-com that annoying co-worker would probably be making the studio audience laugh, so I would encourage you to try to view these people from that perspective, and then try to take on their role when they are absent.
When you get really good at doing an impression of someone, that person will start to become a source of entertainment for you rather than a source of frustration, but more importantly, when you play the role of another person, you can start to become more understanding and sympathetic towards that person.
For example, 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 as strange as it may sound, the more realistic of an impression that you can do of someone, the more that you will actually start to respect them through the art of making fun of them in a harmless and playful manner.
I have talked about many different things on this website, and there is a reason that I have saved this subject for last. Imitating people is how we learned how to talk, walk, and do many of the other things that we do on a daily basis, and I believe that there are still even greater things to be learned from it.
Many of the most amazing technological accomplishments of our species (like the ability to fly) was achieved through trying to "mimic" the other species on the planet, and those species too likely learned to fly by watching and imitating others over countless generations.
Like they say, "Laughter is the best medicine." So please develop the skill of imitating people in a realistic way.