Desensitization and the Death of Outrage

The Death of Outrage

Desensitization set in quite some time ago. Desensitization to what? Well, frankly, to just about everything most of us regarded as unusual or outrageous not too long ago.

I’ve said many times that we human beings have always had our  shortcomings. We’re inherently imperfect creatures, harboring all kinds of inclinations, good and bad. Developing integrity of character, therefore, is, and has always been, a truly daunting enterprise. But we once expected decency of character more. And we were more prone to outrage when we witnessed glaring examples of its absence. That has changed. Sadly, these days, we’ve become all too used to the many manifestations of poor character.

Slowly but surely, we became desensitized. It happened incrementally, insidiously. And as our sensitivity to matters of character waned, so did our sense of outrage over the more egregious displays of bad character. Eventually, our outrage died. And it’s my belief that the death of this outrage might well become the death of us.

See also:  Culture Influences Character and Vice-Versa.

Outrage as Both a Motivator and a Mobilizer

Some things simply should outrage us. Moreover, often, when outraged, we find the motivation to make important changes. But exactly what outrages us and how we mobilize ourselves in response, matters. It also reflects our character.

Persons enduring toxic relationships often come to a point where they see things more clearly and have their fill of it! And that’s usually when they’re spurred into action – action that can truly change their lives for the better. But narcissists and other disturbed characters experience outrage, too, and for ignoble things! This is what underlies narcissistic rage over perceived insult. And it’s what makes narcissists do horrible things when denied what their way. Once again, it’s character that makes all the difference in what you’re outraged about and the action your outrage prompts. Decent folks outraged by indecent conduct can do some really wonderful things and make positive changes. Character-impaired folks, however, outraged by the decency in others or by the truth, inevitably wreak havoc and destruction.

Restoring Some Sanity

To restore some sanity to our lives we need to recoup a proper sense of outrage. That means recognizing the desensitization we’ve been experiencing and making character matter again. There are some things we simply can’t be okay with anymore. The stakes are too great and the costs are too high. And it’s these very matters I’d like to make the focus of discussion on the next YouTube live stream edition of Character Matters.  I’ll announce the date for it in just a few weeks. And you can hear me discuss this issue more on the latest Characer Matters podcast.

8 thoughts on “Desensitization and the Death of Outrage

  1. This is so true! Often I find myself feeling and/or expressing outrage and others just shrug at the outrageous actions or deeds. It adds to the other awful effects of living (gaslighting) in a world of these folks. It’s isolating. Trying to mobilize others to aid in action is difficult.

    And yet I do see how I have been desensitized since birth to a lot of misogynistic and abusive behavior. It is a lifelong practice now to becoming more aware.

    We are sleepwalking into our own destruction. The malignant among us will lead us off a cliff if we believe them and follow.

  2. Nicotine, Caffeine, Sugar and Achol. as well as Cannabis. Are all Headonic Substances that help the general population at large to desensitize themselves.

    1. Dr. Simon,
      Excellent topic.
      People need to wake up to the fact they are slowly being brainwashed into acceptance of what they would otherwise find degrading and unacceptable. This seems to be the problem in societies around the world these days. It seems we are subconsciously creating a world of character disordered people.
      I think Mindful was right in her assessment of being desensitized since birth since we can feel in the womb. It is a slow process to desensitize what we consider moral people but after a while, since so many latch onto the abnormalities of the charactered disordered they become desensitized to what is right.
      At this point of where the world at narcissism is becoming the norm and we who can see behind mask are are considered the perpetrators. The only way to solve this is through prayer and seeking God. Truly, Jesus is the answer…..

    2. Hi Joey,

      I hope all is well with you.
      I agree with on your comment but would further add the media and the powers that be that are pulling are pulling the strings . Drugs are used to desensitize us and dull our senses to seeing reality, kinda like the ostrich burying his head in the sand. People now days walk past people living on the streets and keep walking. I call that real desensitization and fear to challenge what is wrong.
      Take care and God Bless

        1. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

          Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  3. Thank you so very much Dr Simon for this recent post on loving boundaries and unloving barriers. Am looking forward to your explication of both.

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