When I was really depressed, I used to get easily offended at just about everything. I (unfortunately) took everything as a personal attack against me, even when it wasn’t, and I pretty much thought that people were mean and out to get me in particular.
I can say from experience that it’s not a fun way to live your life, so I’m glad that one of the things I left behind along with my depression was being offended by everything. Here’s how I stopped being easily offended and lightened up a bit. 🙂
Note: Are there valid times when you should be offended by something? Yes. But for small slights or things that probably weren’t intentional, you will be so much happier and less stressed if you can act like a duck and let the water slide right off your feathers. 😉
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How I Stopped Being Easily Offended | How to Not Take Things Personally
1. Realize this: It probably isn’t about you in particular. 99% of the time, if someone says something rude or stupid, they probably weren’t even thinking about how it might affect you or sound to you. Most of the time, people aren’t out to get you. They’re just not thinking about how someone else might take it. For the other 1% of the time, keep reading…
2. If it is about you personally, you have to realize that the other person is probably hurting- If someone does say something to offend you in particular, it’s usually because they themselves are hurting or scared. That doesn’t justify their actions, but it might help you have a little empathy for someone who is so overflowing with pain or fear that the only way they can deal with it is to take it out on other people.
3. Consider that you might be more sensitive to everything in life- I’m definitely a sensitive person. I heard it said once that being depressed is like having a raw nerve sticking out all the time. You can’t help but be hurt by every little word or action because you’re in such an exposed, delicate state at all times. Knowing this, try to avoid those offensive or negative people who are upsetting you in the first place.
4. Repeat this mantra: “I’m not triggered by that.” I heard this mantra the other day from a coach and thought it was great for things like this. While it might be tempting to tell someone off for saying something off color, you have to remember that you can’t change what other people do; you can only change how you react to them.
5. If they’re really just a jerk, ignore them and walk away- Usually if someone’s being rude on purpose, they’re trying to get a reaction out of you. So don’t give them that satisfaction. Don’t give them any attention at all. Instead, take the high road and just walk away from the whole situation.
This is not an easy process, but if you can try practicing a few of these techniques the next time something ticks you off, over time you’ll develop a better ability to go with the flow in life and not attach meaning to things unnecessarily. It takes practice, but it will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
How to Stop Getting Offended by Other Opinions | Why I Read About Points of View I Don’t Agree With
If everything and everyone in your world is of the same opinion, it’s hard to grow as a person or develop empathy or compassion. Here’s why I read about points of view I don’t agree with.
There are so many different opinions and points of view out there, and the more of them you encounter and learn about first hand, the more you realize that there are multiple truths in every situation. Every side has both good and bad.
Although it sounds weird, I make a point to read about points of view I don’t agree with so I can expand my thinking and see things from someone else’s point of view. Now, I’m not talking about reading sensational news headlines, but actually reading something personal from someone who believes something very different from you and crawling inside their world for a while. What are their greatest fears, hopes, and dreams? We often have more in common than we realize, deep down.
Fundamentally, people are just doing the best they can in life, and the fact that we all have different opinions and views on life is one of the most beautiful facets of human existence. No one in the world thinks exactly like you do, but you can find common ground with just about anyone if you try.
Once in a while, I come across something so soul-stirring that it shakes up everything I thought I knew and turns me inside out and makes me realize how little we individually know about the world.
“I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Once in a while, read about someone else’s point of view, from their point of view, without making any judgments or conclusions. Just read it and let it soak in as another one of the many points of view in life.
There is more than one truth in life.
If you’d like more tips for dealing with negativity, check out our 30 Day Negativity Detox.