Think about the last time you were offended by something. Your emotions were real, but were they justified? Keep reading if you’re easily offended — you might be surprised to know that being easily offended can actually harm your relationships.
Being offended often comes down to misunderstandings and taking statements out of context. Not everything requires a reaction, especially issues you have no power over. You don’t have to keep being offended by everything. Keep reading to learn why.
Why it Matters
Being easily offended may seem like it only effects you. But the reality is, that this trait can make others feel judged and as a result, can harm your relationships. If others feel that they have to be careful not to offend you all the time, they are more likely to avoid being around you. So we put together these ideas to help you let go of some of that, and ideally, to help boost your relationships as a result.
Assume the Best
Context is everything. It’s entirely possible to view the most innocuous statement as something catastrophic. Your co-worker asking, “How are you doing over there?” could mean they lack confidence in your abilities, but it could also just be a friendly greeting. How you perceive it can make a huge difference.
People aren’t out to scold, offend or demean you the vast majority of the time. Of course, if they truly are being jerks, then they’re not worth having around. Assuming the worst, though, narrows your vision on reality and prevents you from understanding the full context of the situation.
Understand Their Point of View
Everyone has a different take on life. Something offensive to you may merely be a passing statement to someone else. Maybe the person you’re talking to is misdirecting their frustration at you because they’re in a bad mood. There are also plenty of people out there who aren’t very good at socializing; it’s easy for them to come off as crass and rude when they don’t mean to be.
Understand that you have a unique vantage point. Not everyone shares it. Try to see where the other party is coming from before being offended by them. More often than not, you’ll find it was all a simple misunderstanding.
You Can’t Change Everything
There’s no doubt that the world is full of problems. How many of those issues can you take on by yourself, really? You’ll probably find that there’s only so much you can do. Maybe you still feel a sense of indignation toward the wrongdoings in the world. But honestly, you don’t need to feel offended to care about those issues.
The world isn’t out to attack and offend you — life is too complicated for that. Don’t stress over what you can’t change. Pick your battles instead of worrying about everything going wrong around you. You can choose not to be offended by what you can’t change, and you’ll be better off for it.
Reactions Aren’t Always Needed
It’s not necessary to have a reaction to everything that happens. You don’t need to search for something to say or feel to justify yourself. You can still have valid opinions without expressing or feeling them at every turn. Learn how to detach yourself emotionally from situations that aren’t worth the energy, and you’ll cut down on your stress levels.
No one is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. People make mistakes, and sometimes they’re bad enough to be offensive. But if you understand the wrongdoing wasn’t intentional, you can avoid being offended by it. Forgiving simple mistakes is more than just good practice; it’s a great way to avoid feeling so negative all the time.
Feeling strongly about events is understandable at times, but if you’re easily offended, try out the advice above. Teach yourself how to de-stress and not sweat the small stuff, and you might not feel so offended all the time.