Why We Get Offended and What To Do About It

If there’s one thing that makes the human relationship (no matter how light or deep) more complicated is the fact that we are fully capable of being offended – very easily I might add  😉

No matter how silly the statement, oftentimes the other person has no idea you’ve been offended! And yet, as humans we’ve grown up in a world full of walls, words, experiences, and wounds that would ultimately leave us a little bruised. It’s no wonder we keep our distance from those that have tendencies to trigger us.

While there are a variety of coping mechanisms, I’ve come to learn one particular method (or two) that helps defuse the situation rather quickly.

First, is to understand we are beings on this planet called Earth and we are all doing the best we can. Being human comes with many benefits so let’s start with a few positives:

  • If you’re lucky, we are able to experience life with 5 wonderful senses
  • Emotions can be one of the most exhilarating feelings that can make us feel truly alive
  • When we love, we LOVE; physically, emotionally, intellectually
  • We have a sense of what it means to be in deep connection and in community

Unfortunately what that also means is the exact opposite…

  • We are capable of taking advantage of what we have
  • Indulging in things that are nothing but bad for you can come all too easy
  • And selecting to focus only on the negative emotions such as unworthiness, depression and anxiety to name a few, are often all too common than not

Recognizing we are powerful beings in that we always have a choice in any situation, brings us one step closer to working towards developing the connection to our higher self so that one day we may only choose to act out in love. 

You see, once we recognize we all have this higher self within us (truly the LIGHT), it’s much easier to accept the fact that when we come across someone who isn’t acting out in love, it’s not coming from their highest self.

Call it momentary insanity or selecting the wrong choice, either way the lower self was acting out in fear, and not love.

Same goes for ourselves too  😉

Secondly, and what’s helped me to put this in different perspective, is to recognize what we are often offended by could point to where we need to forgive ourselves. Confusing yet?

Let’s take the example of being offended by someone who disrespects you. Let’s take it one step further and say this person also seems to act condescendingly whenever you are around him/her.

A question you might ask yourself is, “How often do I disrespect myself when it comes to taking care of my needs? How often do I put myself down? In which ways do I not love myself? Which areas of myself or life do I not think are enough?”

When we come to a true and sincere answer within ourselves, we can come to realize that oftentimes we too are bruised and may have a few wounds to heal.

As hard as it can be (but oh so liberating!) focus your energies on loving that part of yourself instead of letting the energy of distaste and annoyance drain you. After you’ve practiced metta, you can then send love to the person who triggered the offense.

When we think of the act of offensiveness as a gift of insight it is much easier to move on with our lives and focus on the agent of change vs. the agent of all things negative.

Trust me, I get it. It’s friggin’ tough sometimes, but when we choose to focus on love and be in gratitude of the insight these moments can offer us, we are much better off than acting out in fear.


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