Being offended or having our feelings wounded is a common experience, and we often have many good reasons for why we should be offended, and why we are right to be upset.
Unfortunately, being right doesn’t equate to feeling better because we’re still left feeling injured which is very unpleasant. Even though we understand why we are insulted, it is seldom helpful to ruminate on what or who caused the wrongdoing.
Not only is staying offended not helpful but it makes us suffer twice as much; first, from the original hurt and second, from continuing to relive it.
People just do what they do, and being offended by them is giving them all the power for our emotional health. This is not to say we should continue to hang around people, places or things we find upsetting or that we shouldn’t pay attention to our feelings.
Rather, it is about not perpetuating or indulging in the pain that results from other people’s actions and behavior because this ultimately weakens and hurts us.
For example, if we have a friend who never remembers our birthday or other important events in our life or never attends important party celebrations that honor us; then we have choices other than being offended or staying offended.
We can cease inviting them to important functions or stop expecting them to attend if we do include them or end the relationship altogether. We can certainly talk to them about how it makes us feel when they don’t make the effort to acknowledge our special days as well.
However, if this conversation falls on deaf ears, then ultimately we may find more peace by accepting that this relationship is not offering the satisfaction or feelings of value that we desire in a friendship, and let them go without resentment.
On the other hand, if we find that we are taking offense at everything that is said or done, and interpreting everything as a personal affront, then this may require some quiet introspection and outside assistance, to find the internal peace that eludes us.
Real or imagined, being offended takes away our good energy and indulges our egos need to be right or in control. Instead of placating the ego and draining our positive energy on cataloging that which upsets us; we can focus our efforts on making choices that complement our personal tastes and desires while applying acceptance to that which we cannot change.
Today, try focusing on that which makes you feel good and calm such as walking in nature, spending time with a good hearted friend, or playing with the family pet.