To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else
-David A. Bednar
How To Stop Being Offended
Part of having this impenetrable confidence and being this super developed person is this thing of not being offended. It seems like nowadays you can pretty much always offend somebody, some way or another. Before I dive into how to stop being offended I want to talk about why you should fight this inner enemy of being offended. It may offer a different perspective on the subject.
What Being Offended Says About You
I want you to image that you are driving your car but you can’t look left and right, you can only drive in one direction – Straight. Anytime a new idea pops up, outside of your reality or comfort zone you don’t even see it.
The scenario I just mentioned sounds a lot like close-mindedness. Why do I bring such a random thing up you ask? It’s not random. Being a close minded person and being often offended are the same thing. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t be open-minded and be offended by other ideas. So this isn’t a problem of you being weak but it has everything to do with how open-minded you are to other ideas.
A big thing people get offended about is criticism. This is huge. People criticize their work or how they dress and they get offended. It’s not criticism, it’s simply a different perspective. Instead of being offended and harboring negative feelings towards this person, at least consider the different perspective. Trying to have a more open minded is one of the cures to not being offended.
Instead of blocking out this criticism treat it more like data for your personality. Getting this data of different perspectives is how you change. Being offended towards somebody will actually make you less likely to change because you will feel like you are changing for them. If you see criticism more like data instead of an attack on you, you are much more likely to welcome criticism because it is simply another chance to improve your work or personality. If the criticism really has no basis then simply discard it.
Why We Get Offended
The real culprit here is the ego. I talk about this before but the ego (Or you can just call it the mind) wants to keep you in your own little reality. We go through life slowly building this mental map of the world and when something different pops up that doesn’t really fit our mental model we lash out at it. Maybe we are a little open-minded and if that new idea isn’t completely different from our current model we might consider it and maybe accept it.
But if you take a radically different idea most people will lash out, get angry and get offended. This is why politics is often taboo in social settings as well as religion. People have such radical ideas that people simply can’t handle it.
These taboo ideas are stunting society now and have stunted it in the past as well. It’s this mindset that has caused Galileo to be put under house arrest for his entire life. The Catholic Church could not admit there were problems with the current scientific model. It would be too much to admit that their entire scientific model was wrong. It took about 300 years later for us to realize that Galileo was right – The earth does indeed revolve around the sun. We look back now and think the Catholic Church were a bunch of arrogant people – Yet this same close minded attitude still occurs today.
On a very basic level it is simple. When some new idea comes in you need to experiment with that idea, instead of just denying it as false. Our whole scientific method is based on answering questions which challenge our current model of the world. All you simply need to do is adopt this model into your everyday life.
Even if you agree with me and you try to learn from the things that once offended you – You still get offended by these things. I haven’t told you the how yet – So what’s the how? Well there is no quick fix. I already gave you the correct mindset you just have to remind yourself of it.
It’s not like after you finish reading this article nothing will offend you ever again. It’s more like the next time you get offended just ask yourself how you can be more open-minded to this other person’s idea? Could this person possibly be right? Even if you still feel the embarrassment of being offended; thinking that you are close minded is a whole lot better than thinking you are weak or have low self-esteem. The close-minded problem is much easier to fix than the latter.
I hope you now realize how important it is to change this part of your life. How being offended is holding you back, making you a close-minded individual. How it is not only holding you back in life but holding society back in general. Start to take a step back from you own ideas; your own reality and say wait a minute – What’s going on here? Is my worldview correct?
Have a great day!
Four Minute Fixation does a great job on how to stop taking offence on everything and anything. I think its a worthwhile watch if you personally feel you get offended often.