The Beautiful Side of Life
Let's talk about being offended
Did you know you actually get to choose whether or not you will stay offended? Being offended isn't bad, it's what we do with our offense that matters. Let's face it, there are some really unfair, unjust things that happen in life. But we get to decide whether we will sit in a web of bitterness and anger, or if we choose to rise above it and find a place of peace with ourselves and those around us.
Why would I create an entire newsletter on offense? Because it's important. It's relevant. It's a huge part of our day-to-day life. Maybe we can't change the whole world with one snap of our fingers, but we can control our own reactions. We can choose to find common ground with people we disagree with. We can make a choice from moment to moment of how we are going to handle our own offense. If one-by-one we all took responsibility for own own hearts and emotions think of the ripple effect that would resound out from each one of us. It starts with you. It starts with us.
This is powerful!
I'm offended - what can I do about it?
1. Find value in every person. You have to believe that every person in the world has intrinsic value, and then look for it. Understand that their perspective is unique to them, and that it is beneficial. Seek what is helpful instead of being focused on what you find offensive.
Always be asking what they can teach you. Search for what you can learn. You will be amazed at what you find.
2. Learn to listen. Most of us don’t. We listen to people that we agree with because we already like what they are saying. but we rarely listen to anyone else. The only way to understand another person is to hear what they have to say. To listen with the goal of understanding, not arguing.
If someone is offending you, then it is a good time to stop talking and start listening. If nothing else, you are less likely to say something you would regret.
3. Try something new. Like strange food, the reason we don’t like something different is only because we haven’t tried it. Ignorance leads to fear. Fear leads to being offended. Start with something simple like food or a cultural experience. If you feel courageous enough, switch to CNN or Fox News, depending on your political persuasion.
Develop a spirit of courage and adventure. The only way to understand a different perspective is to try it.
4. Apologize. One of the main reasons we are so easily offended is pride. The most humbling thing you can do is apologize when you are wrong. We are all wrong at some point. When it is your turn, do something beneficial about it. Apologize. It will force you to humble yourself and will speak volumes to the other person.
Today, find someone you have offended and apologize to them.
5. Be a friend. Don’t feel that is it your obligation to change people. Being a friend is about loving them where they are. Friends encourage and help. They find what a person needs and then seek to help meet those needs. No strings attached.
The people who are in the best position to influence us, are these true friends.
Being offended is really a selfish way to treat people. It is a response focused not on the other person, but only on ourselves. It is about what we want them to be. It is about our desire to change them.
The only person in this world that you can change is you.
The only way to remove offense from your life is to choose to respond differently.