How does one navigate the treacherous waters of perceptions skewed by feelings?
Reacting appropriately to being offended is an important part of living in an ideologically diverse society.
We may not like the feeling, but being offended offers an opportunity to examine our own views and discuss dissenting ones. Sometimes it seems easier to avoid ideas we find unpleasant, but if we can suppress the urge to ignore or lash out against them — if we challenge ourselves to stop and think about why we’re offended and why the other person would say or do what they did — we can gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand.
Being harassed is another matter entirely. Harassment is an action that attacks and bullies a single person or a group. Nobody should be subjected to that kind of behaviour. Feeling offended is a natural response to being harassed, but many other actions can also cause offense; so being offended is not in itself equal to being harassed. Assuming that, because someone is offended, harassment has occurred is a form of logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent or denying the antecedent. Harassment is the event that causes the outcome of offense, but if offense occurs, it wasn’t necessarily harassment that caused it.—C. Shenton & L. Soubolsky
How often in the workplace is one subject to the whims of colleagues who, unable to argue their position from fact and reason, impose their feelings in order to control what should be fair debate and by so doing halt progress and suppress legitimate considerations? In the area of conflict resolution, little resolution is possible in such circumstances except to agree that, all feelings being equal, there is no basis to the conflict other than one (or more) person's lust for control and power. He or she who cries loudest and first wins (forces) the resolution.