Why People Are So Easily Offended

Available for Interviews: Dr. Alice Fong

Alice Fong, ND, is an integrative naturopathic doctor specializing in stress, integrative medicine, diet & weight loss, and is a business growth consultant for holistic healthcare providers.

What Dr. Alice Fong can say in an interview
on Reasons Why People Are Easily Offended

When it comes to our relationship with others these days, strife seems to the theme. Whether we experience this in our personal lives, on social media, or in the world at large, conflict is seemingly superfluous. Here are 2 reasons why this is the case:

1. Past Lived Experiences

I think people’s past lived experiences shape how they perceive and interpret other people’s actions and words. Something someone said to one person might occur entirely differently for another individual. We have to understand that people are designed to make assumptions based on what we already know, and filling in the blanks on what they think the other person’s intentions were, is oftentimes not very accurate. An example from my own life: 

One time I was in a weekend communications seminar, and a guy approached me. The first thing he said to me was, “Ni hao ma,” which means hello in Chinese. From an outsider’s perspective, a person might think there’s nothing offensive about that and they might think he was simply being friendly by saying hello. But as an Asian-American woman, I was highly offended and annoyed by it, and simply groaned, “Hi” and walked away. Little did he know about my past experiences. One, as a Chinese-American woman, I’ve had a lifetime of being SHAMED for not being able to speak Chinese, and two, there have been several incidences throughout my life where I would be walking down the street and men would roll down the window of their cars and scream “Ni hao ma” or “Ko ni chi wa” as a form of racially charged sexual harassment. So needless to say, I was offended by the fact that this was the first thing out of his mouth because he was making the assumption that I speak Chinese based on my appearance. 

2. Poor Communication

Somewhat piggy-backing off my last point, I think poor communication is also a huge contribution to people being easily offended. People are constantly making assumptions—and yes, that can be annoying and offensive a lot of times—but from that communications course I took that weekend, I realized that me walking away and being offended and not expressing why I was upset by it, will just leave him being ignorant and he will probably continue to speak to other people who look “Chinese” when they may or may not be able to speak the language. What I needed to recognize was that I was reacting based on my past lived experience and understand that he meant no harm by it. So later that weekend, I decided to tell him about why I was offended and my past lived experiences so that he could better understand why I thought that was inappropriate. It also helps if both parties communicate clearly, ask questions, be curious, and don’t jump to conclusions. If we don’t communicate about our experiences, then all that is possible are assumptions, which leads to more frustration.


Interview: Dr. Alice Fong

Known as the “Virtual Stress Doc,” Alice Fong, ND,  helps busy professionals break free from their stress and anxiety so that they can focus on what matters to them using a 5-step holistic approach. She is the founder and CEO of Amour de Soi Wellness, which offers one-on-one wellness programs, corporate wellness workshops, e-learning, and resilience training courses. 

Dr. Alice is also a business growth consultant for holistic healthcare providers and coaches those who want to build a virtual practice. She owns a second business called Thriving Wellness Practice, which she launched in order to expand her reach and impact of integrative medicine around the globe, by helping practitioners help more people.
She also co-hosts a Video Podcast Show called “HappyTalks with Dr. Alice and Donovon,” and has given talks around the country for healthcare providers, corporations, organizations, women’s conferences, and for the general public. She is a world traveler, CrossFit athlete, and lover of personal development and authentic deep conversations.
Learn more about Dr. Alice Fong at www.dralicefong.com

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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