Book Review: UNOFFENDABLE: NO OFFENSE. NONE TAKEN. (Ryan Leak)

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by Tony Frankel on June 23, 2020

in Extras

OFF THE OFFENSIVE

I have a men’s large T-shirt that I bought at Disney World in 1990. It advertises the roller coaster Expedition Everest. Under the logo, it reads “Scream Like a Girl.” I love that shirt, and received nothing but positive comments until some years later, when on two separate occasions I was told the shirt was offensive. To whom, I asked. Why, little girls, was the response. The third time someone said that they were offended, I responded, “Well, I’m offended that you are so easily offended.” It was a joke, sort of, but it occurred to me how draining it is to relationships and our society at large how the act of being offended was not only harming free speech, but hammering a death knell to comedy.

And besides, if we’re too afraid of offending one other, can we truly have the conversations it takes to effect real change? In his book, UnOffendable: No Offense. None Taken., viral documentary-maker, executive coach and speaker Ryan Leak argues that being unoffendable isn’t about never getting offended. It’s about not staying offended. Good advice.

According to Leak, one of the greatest threats to our happiness is holding on to an offense. One offense has the ability to ruin someone’s day, week, month, year, or for some, their entire life. UnOffendable is an outline of how the things in life that have hurt us most can shape our confidence and help us become the people we’ve always wanted to be. This short but powerful book has some suggestions with which I wholeheartedly agree:

1. Deal with the part of you that offends others. In everything you do and say, try to bring out the best in others.
2. Don’t allow yourself to be offended when your life doesn’t measure up to other people’s expectations.
3. Love people that don’t look like, talk like, think like, believe like, vote like, spend money like, or live like you.
4. Grow in the midst of being offended. Offense is a blessing in disguise that give you an opportunity to change.
5. Invite honesty into your world. It removes the opportunity for offense to create space between you and the people you love the most.
6. Make allowance for people to offend you before they offend you. Forgive those who have already offended you because holding on to the pain keeps you offended instead of allowing you to live in freedom.
7. Don’t allow the fear of offense to keep you in your comfort zone.

We need to let small offenses go, and allow ourselves to see beyond the offense and give the relationship the opportunity to heal, even if it’s an acquaintance who hates your shirt. Being unoffendable is a choice. And when you make it, you give every relationship in your world a chance to thrive.

UnOffendable: No Offense. None Taken.
Ryan Leak
available as audiobook (2 hours and 39 minutes) or paperback (169 pages)
visit Amazon for copies

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