Why We Get Easily Offended
Getting offended is a choice. No one can get you offended without your consent. The problem many with a lot of folks is that they are oblivious to the fact that they have the prerogative to shrug off offence, and stay rational in the midst of irrationality. Most people give in to taking offences because they think there’s no way out—they believe once someone tries to taunt them then that’s it, they’re offended.. If people understood that it’s them who holds the power to get offended—not the offender—then a great deal of offences will be palliated.
It might seem like a mystery to many that it’s possible to not get offended when people try to offend us. But the problem with such folks is that they’re ignorant of the required knowledge that’ll help them live above offences.
If we can get to know exactly what we’re doing wrong that makes us get offended, then we can from there begin to take the necessary steps to stopping offences from getting us.
1. We’re not sure who we’re dealing with: One of thing you need to understand is that anyone who tries to offend you is simply telling you that you’re a person of significance, and he’s just trying to pull you down because he wants to be a little higher than you are. It’s a subtle message, but it’s true. When this, as well as a couple of other things, is clearly grasped, it’ll be a little easier to not take offences.
The major reason, I believe, why we take offences too easily is because of our wrong assumptions about the ‘obnoxious’ person. He might look obnoxious, but not necessarily. What if it’s your mind that’s interpreting it that way. Thus making you react irrationally.
Instead of making wrong assumptions about the other person, why don’t you get sure about what exactly is happening.
3 Things to Note About an Offensive People
i. He’s probably not intending to offend you: There are times when someone might be saying something true, but with a wrong attitude. Now, the problems with this is that the main thing people naively look out for when they’re being confronted is the attitude of the person confronting them—not what he’s saying.
It’s almost natural for people to be quick to ignore the message the other person is trying to pass to them, and easily focus on how he’s passing the message. You see, some people aren’t necessarily trying to offend you, they might sound offensive, but that’s not because they really want to offend you.
The truth is some, people may find it hard to communicate certain things in their right state of mind—without letting their emotions overwhelm them. They easily allow their emotions control their attitude when communicating their thoughts; however, you shouldn’t let that get to you. Although, it’s easy for you to notice the bad attitude first, but you must decide, however, to focus on the message the person is trying to pass, not the attitude. When you choose to do this, the chances of learning something become increased when you encounter a confrontational attitude.
ii. He has a low self-esteem: Do you know that people who aren’t going nowhere in life want you to go with them? And people who aren’t doing anything want you to do it with them? Small people are generally intimidated by anyone who seem to be bigger than them; hence they take measures that they believe will pull them down to their level or better still make themselves look higher.
There’s a subtle truth behind people trying to pull one another down so one can look bigger than the other: When a person tries to pull another fellow down, he’s unconsciously affirming that person to be bigger that his is. Hence all his harsh words are directed towards trying to make them look small where in fact, it makes them really look big.
Their pettiness moves them towards hostility. And they go as far as using their wits to come up with everything they know that’ll hurt or offend or make you look down on yourself. This is a sign of low-self esteem.
iii. He’s assuming you’ll get mad over what he normally gets mad about: What people generally believe is that if something hurts them, then chances are it’s going to hurt others equally. This has seemed to be true but it’s not. The only way it’ll look true is when the thoughts they were thinking when they got hurt happens to be the same line of thought others were thinking at that time. If your thoughts don’t coincide, you can’t react the same way as they did.
If you want to make sure you don’t react like they did then you’ll have to change your thoughts focus. You can’t decide your emotions but you can decide your thoughts. It’s your where you focus your thoughts that ultimately control your actions. If you’ll apply the points in this article, you’ll find out that you’re thinking much better, hence reacting much better.
2. We’re self-centered: Selfishness blinds. It makes you see yourself only, and always in the negative light. Managing offences becomes the most difficult thing in the world when one is introspective. Because of the instinctual tendency for man to be protective, when he’s being self-conscious, all he’ll see to do is to try to seek what he thinks he lacks or what he thinks others are trying to take away from him. And this he does by trying to fight them because, after all, he can only see them as an enemy.
However, when he takes his eye off himself, and tries to look into others. When he decides to be a little selfless and loving, he’ll stop seeing his inadequacies, however, he’ll be open to others’ inadequacies. He’ll be able to reason sensibly with others and come up with rational conclusion and reactions without hurting anyone. This would have been impossible if all he did was to stay inside his selfishness shell, being self-centered and introspective.
Think of what Jesus did when he was about to die—hanging on the cross of crucifixion: He looked at those who were trying to kill him and asked God to forgive them. He was seeing their flaws, he’d taken his eyes off himself, and then he could see their inadequacy, and, consequently, was begging God on their behalf.
3. We allow ourselves take it too seriously: Oscar Wilde comments: “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” The best way to offend your offender is to not take offence. When you act like what they’re doing is worth your attention you will automatically become easily offended. If at all you’re going to respond to what is being said at you, you can choose to not take it too seriously. Is it a big deal to be taunted? It’s not, because you cannot control others’ lip—you can’t tell them what to think or say about you so why fuss about the uncontrollable.
If it’s coming from them, then it’s their problem—not yours. If an offensive person, say, a narcissist, sees you respond emotionally as against responding rationally, he becomes impressed with himself and he goes ahead to do more. If, however, he sees that you’re less concerned with what he’s doing and saying, he’ll be discouraged and won’t find enough momentum to keep coming back to you.
Learn this: people might try to defame you and stain your reputation, but your character (who you are in private), is more important than your reputation (who you are in public). If you’ll keep a good character, and ignore how people see you, no one will be able to successfully pull you down—no one will be able to make you lose your head in the middle of offence.
Those who seek others’ approval are the ones that get too easily offended. Their expectation is that people will continually praise and respect them in public. Little wonder, they get cranky when that expectation is not met. It becomes the easiest thing in the world to get offended when your expectation all the while has been to not get offended.
Since you cannot control what others say about you, why put your hopes and expectation where there’s no security. If you’ll however not expect them to please you, you won’t be offended if they didn’t. And if they did, it’ll be a pleasant surprise. When you stop caring too much about what people say, you’ll take off their hands the power to offend you. You‘ll become in control all the time, like a monolith, irrespective of what’s going on around you.
4. We don’t have our own self-esteem so we try to get it from others: This is like a foundation because at the core of being easily offended is a fearful attitude. Fear is like the insecurity that says, “I need to find security, I’m not safe.” And the antidote for this type of insecurity is self-love, self-respect, and self-esteem.
When you already love yourself, it doesn’t matter who doesn’t love you. Instead of looking for someone to love you, you’ll be looking for someone to love. The main reason why someone seeks approval from others is because he’s got no approval from himself. When you boost your regard for yourself, fear goes away, and consequently, seeking approval from others goes away, too.
Whatever ever emotion we experience is driven by a particular thought we chose to focus on. If you’ll stop thinking fearful thoughts, you’ll stop being fearful. The key to stop this fear is to constantly affirm to yourself, “I can, I’m enough.” When you do this, your thoughts begin to go in the direction of your words. You literally begin to feel what you’re saying if you’ll do it long enough.
The sense of inadequacy that a person with low self esteem has cannot be taken care of by others. You need to have your own self-esteem, and the only place you can get it is from you. When the positive belief you have about yourself is ingrained, people’s opinion becomes less important to you. And that makes it very difficult for anybody to hurt or offend you.
© 2017 Matthew Joseph