Being easily offended is becoming more common in this highly offensive world. People with opposing views in a supposedly healthy and intelligent argument enjoy hitting each other a bit too personally than necessary. This world, where using of harsh language against another is deemed fun and entertaining, is indeed no place for super sensitive individuals.
Are you the kind of person who easily gets offended?
Signs that you take offense too easily:
- You tend to take things too personally.
You feel attacked whenever something unpleasant is said or done, whether directly or indirectly. You feel like everything is “about you” — every word, every action or inaction, especially the unwelcome ones, are either about you or against you. This kind of self-centered mentality actually harms you more than it does anyone else.
- You absorb the negative energy of people around you.
You may not be self-centered and you may not think that everything is about or against you, but you tend to absorb the negative energy of people around you. This means that whenever someone is angry, you can get easily angry too. Whenever someone is sad, you feel bad too.
- You are very impatient.
You quickly get angry over little things and people are very careful and scared to commit mistakes around you. You also have the tendency to put meaning to every word and action, and more often than not, you take things wrongly. Your assumptions of other people’s intentions often result to anger and frustration.
- You see criticisms as destructive rather than constructive.
While there are criticisms that are meant to dishearten the individual being criticized, there are also criticisms that are genuinely well-meant and, when taken in a positive light, are actually constructive. However, you don’t view any kind of criticism to be helpful in whatever way.
Why You Should Learn to Stop Taking Offense
In this digital age, people have the platform to voice out their views and opinions about different things. Unfortunately, however, this has also become an easy way to find things that can offend us, in one way or another. If you are one of the people who easily get offended, then you should learn to stop doing so.
Some people get so easily offended because of:
Human beings want to do things right. However, insecure people are not confident that they are doing things right and they have this arrogant desire to prove themselves to others that if they don’t get the reaction that they want from other people, they feel bad and become more defensive.
Guilty individuals are aware of their flaws and are actually ashamed of them that if somebody points out such flaws, they quickly become offended. Being defensive, however, makes one look more guilty and pathetic compared to the one who just takes criticisms in a positive light.
If you are neither insecure nor guilty but still gets offended quickly, then perhaps you are just too gullible and tend to let other people’s words and actions affect you. Smart people know better — they wouldn’t waste their time and energy feeling bad over what other people say or do.
Here are three reasons why you should learn to stop taking offense so easily:
1. You can find a learning opportunity in every situation
There is always a learning opportunity from every situation if you only know how to focus on the positive message rather than automatically taking the defensive side. Take every criticism as an opportunity to make yourself better instead of finding ways to prove that the other person’s views are wrong.
2. You will be more productive
If you don’t take offense, then there’s no reason to become defensive. Being defensive is such a waste of time, and worse, you will only make yourself look more arrogant, desperate, or guilty. Instead, you can be more productive if you use your time and energy to apply what you learn from what appears to be an offensive situation to make yourself better. This is a wiser way to spend your time rather than feel bad, complain, and whine.
3. You will be more rational
When you are offended over something, it means you are using your emotions more than you use your rational mind. When you let your emotions affect your way of thinking, there is a big possibility that you can make irrational decisions. If you take people’s response to heart, it’s possible to get defensive and make decisions based on your reaction to what they think, say, or feel, instead of how you want your life to happen.
How To Prevent Yourself From Getting Offended
Taking offense is just like letting the opinions and actions of other people dictate how you should feel and how you should run your life. In truth, offense is an issue of the self. It has nothing to do with the person who gives the offense and everything to do with the person taking offense.
“He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool. He who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.”Brigham Young
Being smart is an effective way to avoid taking offense, whether the offense is intended or not. When you are sure of yourself and clear about what you want, it is easier to handle other people’s behavior towards you without taking anything personally and getting offended.
Here are a few ways to help you stop taking offense:
Consider the source
Who is the person causing the offense? Is this person credible? What could be his/her intention for saying or doing such a thing?
Sometimes, what appears to be an offensive remark or action is actually motivated by good intentions. It’s important to consider the source and how credible he/she is. Consider the remark itself and try not to dwell on how it is delivered. Know that each individual’s perspective is unique. Seek what is helpful to you and don’t focus on what sounds or looks offensive.
If the source is not credible, then there is nothing you should do but to ignore it.
Either listen or tune out
Listen to the message and not to the way it’s delivered. If you can find that you will learn something from it, then implement it. Otherwise, learn to tune out. If the message is neither objective or constructive, turn a deaf ear. Stay away from things, people, and resources that are deemed “offensive” to lessen your stress.
Focus on yourself and how to improve
This doesn’t mean you should be self-centered. This only means that you should be grounded and know what you really are, what you intend to do, and stay on track to make progress. Don’t waste your time minding other people who are minding you. After all, your time is too short and precious to waste it feeling bad about their words, actions, or behavior.
To overcome being offended, you should choose to respond differently. Try to see things in a different light. After all, you cannot control what others say or do. But you can control how you react to them and how they affect you.
How do you stop yourself from taking offense easily? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments!