Hesitation is the seed of defeat, but what about the seed of hesitation? All too often, we hesitate to do something because we don't want to risk offending someone. This is the way to lead a miserable and boring life. Rather than hesitating over offending someone, seek forgiveness instead of permission.
One of the greatest things in life is being authentic in how you behave. You can't be fully congruent in your behavior if you're not taking action.
We are conditioned from a young age to seek permission in school; raise your hand if you want to ask a question. Like many things when we're young, this has merit when we're young but becomes a hindrance when we become older.
Learning how to seek forgiveness instead of permission can be scary but is totally worth it. Here are a few tips to make the process easier on your sanity.
1. People are not as stuck-up as you think
Contrary to the modern-day teaching that feelings are sacred ground and never to be tampered with, a lot of people actually don't mind jokes that may offend them. Your fun doesn't have to be restricted to family-friendly stuff; people are a lot more flexible in their understanding than you think.
Let's not lie to ourselves: we want to have a good time with others. We want to have fun and we want to have that fun with others.
When you can't have a bad time, however, there's no chance for a good time to be had. All you'll have is a time.
Cracking jokes that may offend somebody are the ones that always lead to the best interactions. Take a moment to think about all those times when you had a lot of fun and you'll notice somebody said something that had the potential to offend somebody.
And in the case that they do get offended? Call them out on it.
Tell them to relax and that it was just a joke. Tell them you were just having fun. If they respond negatively to that, then you know that they're not the kind of person you want to hang around.
Don't hesitate to crack jokes that may offend somebody; it's the perfect way to filter out the people you don't want in your life.
2. Seek balance for less forgiveness
Of course, there is a fine line between joking and straight-up insulting somebody. Although there is an understanding in the mind, it's better if you have this line solidly defined for yourself. Aim to have that balance so you need less forgiveness.
I've talked at length about having balance in your life and its importance. This topic is no exception.
When interacting with others, you want to strike a balance between having fun and not being a prick. You want them to enjoy your company while being comfortable in it.
In order to find balance, you must first push your bounds. You must experience for yourself how far is too far in order to not go too far.
And when you do go too far, seek forgiveness for it. It's a win-win every time.
Eventually, you'll become calibrated to know how to not go too far with the people you can go far with. As for the people you can't go far with, don't worry about them.
Finding balance helps with seeking forgiveness by making it so you need less of it.
3. Lower your filter
In conjunction with the last point, you want to lower your filter. Making conversations flow, for example, is reliant upon having a lot of conversational threads available for both people to make use of. But how can you have a lot of threads available if you're filtering yourself?
The main thing stifling people's charisma is their filter. They believe something isn't appropriate to be said, so they never say it.
Of course, there are times when something is inappropriate to say and you should keep it to yourself. However, those times are not only far and few in between, but are also pretty obvious.
For those reasons, you can keep your filter lowered in the majority of cases.
Holding onto something you want to say because you think it's not good enough is how you get a conversation that stalls. A conversation that stalls is much worse than saying something a little out of place.
Being bold and lowering your filter is an excellent way to have more enjoyable social interactions since everybody can join in on the carnage because you're carrying it.
People want to have fun
Everybody loves having fun, but it's hard to have fun when you're restricted. It's even worse when those restrictions are self-imposed.
When you seek forgiveness instead of permission, you are allowing fun to easily flow because people don't have to be as restricted. When people aren't as restricted, that's when guards are lowered and laughs are shared.