Do you become upset over really small things? Maybe people “tiptoe” around you? Are things that others see as small HUGE to you? How about you just take things that people say the wrong way?
Does it impact your relationships?
If any of these things sound like an experience that you may have had. You might be easily offended.
I can’t be the only person that has experienced this. I have gotten offended over minuscule things, and somehow let those things negatively impact the rest of my day. Crazy, right?!
I suppose the thing that’s really wonky about this, is that I had no idea that I was doing it! Honestly, I thought it was everyone else around me that had the issue. That it was seriously, “their problem.”
Oh, and one of the biggest offense that someone could commit? Not doing what they said they would. Whew! Talk about sirens blaring, and smoke in the city!
Never mind the fact that people have families and responsibilities. You know, things outside of their relationship with me.
In addition to that, I became offended if people didn’t address things with me in a way that I thought was appropriate.
Geez, thinking back on that now I was pretty self-centered. I am so happy that I began to change the way that I have been thinking.
Before I go into how I got over it, I had to think about this…
Why Do We Become Easily Offended?
Is it just me, or are we as a people more offended than before? Is it possible that we have become more sensitive or is it something else?
Harm vs. Offense
As I was looking to find information about offense, I noted that sometimes we overlap the words harm and offense.
To break it down, harm is something that causes physical pain, or can have a negative impact going forward. For example, a physical assault, or unfounded charges that may prevent a person from advancing personally or professionally.
On the other hand, offense can be attributed to a feeling. For example, if a supervisor corrects your performance in private, or if loved one challenges a negative behavior, such as a bad attitude.
Based on these things, taking offense can be pretty subjective. However, if we think about one as being a physical action and another being emotional, does that make one easier to address?
I know that some physical acts will negatively impact us forever; but, can words have the same impact? Is it worth it to carry an offense around for an undetermined amount of time over something that is said?
As I continued my search, I realized that chronic complainers, and people that lack the ability to appreciate what they have are offended easily.
Additionally, people that blame others for their mistakes, or their failure to take responsibility for their mistakes, generally offend more easily than others.
People that are more offended often lack trust in themselves, and are constantly trying to please others by changing their thoughts and opinions.
How Do You Not Become Easily Offended
Think About the Source
Is this person a loved one? If so, is it really their intent to be hurtful? Could the person be trying to help you?
Full disclosure here, I have struggled with this! Seriously! I heard things, and if it wasn’t said in a manner that was preferred, you know, the perfect pitch, tone, even the right words (lol), I’d immediately take offense and well…shut down, or just react, badly.
Granted, how something is said is important; but, to simply give up, or respond badly, now that isn’t good either.
Take into account what is being said to you and where it is coming from.
Check Your Emotions
More often than not, becoming easily offended has nothing to do with the person, but with you. Why let what another person said change your mood?
No need to give any other person that much control over your thoughts, and emotions, which can lead to things being taken out of context.
Once things are seen from a different perspective, there may be no reason to be offended at all.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
This is hard. However, think about it like this:
Does this person only talk to you like this?
Have you seen them interact with other people in the same way?
Is this their personality?
If so, there really is no reason to become offended. It may be how they interact with everyone. Maybe this person really isn’t the best communicator, and has more work to be done. Perhaps this person has poor social skills, and doesn’t even realize that the behavior demonstrated is bad.
This has no reflection on you, but on them, so don’t trip. Move on, because clearly this is their personality flaw.
Stop Looking to Be Offended
Let’s be real we will FIND what we are looking for. Think about it, if you are looking to have an amazing day, then that is what you will have.
On the other hand, if you are seeking negative things and expect to have a bad day, then you will have that too.
Why not try to change our perspective, reframing some of those things that may be considered bad? You would be surprised at what you would see if you concentrate on the positives that is being said to you.
Get Over Yourself
Everything really isn’t about you, is it? Most of the time, when we are offended it is because WE take things personally, and honestly, that really isn’t the intent of the other party.
Most people really aren’t thinking about us when we think they are.
Let’s press on towards not being easily offended, by considering our relationships, removing emotions, thinking about others, and seeing the good in others and of course ourselves.
What have you done to not be easily offended?