Don’t Take It Personal…
We’ve all found ourselves taking something a little too personally and struggling to let it go. In most cases, we talk ourselves back to reality and keep it moving.
Most of us have also encountered someone who lives in a constant state of offense. They take everything personally, which makes it uncomfortable or awkward for you to spend a lot of time with them. It’s become somewhat of a personality trait.
Why is that? Why are some people wired differently? What causes some people to take every little thing personally?
The Bad Habit of Being Offended by Everything from exploringyourmind.com breaks it down perfectly:
The feeling of being offended happens when you think that other people are treating you disrespectfully. It could also happen if they don’t acknowledge you or what you do.
- A feeling of inferiority. When you don’t have good self-esteem or a strong sense of self that might lead you to be offended by everything. It’s like everyone else is constantly trying to remind you that you’re inferior. But it’s really your complex about it that makes you feel that way.
- Rigid thinking. This has to do with people who think there’s only one way to do or say things. When someone breaks away from that pattern, they feel like there’s no order and they get offended. They’re usually also very sensitive about any criticism of their beliefs.
- Egocentrism. Making your ego too important turns you a little paranoid. You start thinking everything revolves around you and that other people are always talking about you, looking at you, or pointing at you.
It’s best to be careful about topics like religion, sexuality, and politics. They’re all things that can bring out the most sensitive sides in people, even if they’re not the type of person who’s offended by everything.
What can you do if you find yourself struggling with being chronically offended?
Re-framing before Reacting is a mindset technique that has helped countless clients of mine. Hopefully it helps you too.
Everything isn’t about you, and everything isn’t happening to you. I know that’s a hard one to hear, but it’s so important to acknowledge. Our insecurities, ego or past experiences try to convince us otherwise. Adopting a mindset of gratitude, getting into the practice of meditation and becoming more self-aware can greatly assist in the growth process.
(examples of Re-framing before Reacting)
- The coworker who walked by without speaking may not have been ignoring you. They may have been distracted or in deep thought.
- The family member who didn’t return your call fast enough or at all. They may have actually been unavailable. Might’ve even forgotten to call you back. Trust me, it does happen.
- The best friend who canceled plans or had to reschedule. They might be juggling a lot right now. No explanation needed.
- The blind date that never called or texted back after a seemingly enjoyable time. No worries. They may have been on the unhealed end of a relationship and not as ready as they thought to get back out there. Or, they could very well have been a rude or selfish individual. However tacky or inconsiderate, it STILL has nothing to do with who you are as a person. Their actions are a reflection of them. Be thankful it was the first date and not the 10th. Move right along.
- Your partner or significant other sitting in the same room in silence. They might not be giving you the silent treatment. Might just have a lot on the mind or a lot in the heart. This might be the perfect opportunity to give a kiss on the forehead and give them the room. Who knows, they might follow you and decide to open up.
- Now let’s take it a bit deeper. If you find yourself getting offended or lost in discomfort every time someone of a different ethnicity, religion or gender shares their marginalized experiences, ask yourself why. Take a deep breath. Challenge yourself (ego) to first listen without rebuttal, and secondly to consider their experiences outside of your own. A response isn’t always needed. Especially during conversations where you don’t fully relate to the other person. Most importantly, don’t make it about you. Self-Awareness and emotional maturity can protect personal and professional relationships from potential damage or disrepair .
The next time you find yourself ready to be offended, mad or frustrated, ask yourself, is this an opportunity to redirect my thoughts and energy? Most of the time the answer is yes. We’re all human, and we WILL find ourselves taking something too personally every now and again. But going through life chronically offended isn’t good for your mental or physical health either. Remember, our issues live in our tissues.
It’s never too late to do things differently.
– Coach Ell –