Life can be hard enough, but it seems some people want to add an extra layer of difficulty by constantly looking for reasons to be offended.
You know these people: the ones who are easily slighted by a harmless glance, an innocent remark, an unintended brush. It seems like they’re always on guard against anyone who may violate their beliefs, rights, and maybe even their personal space.
So I pity you if you find yourself at the receiving end of their complaints, or worse if you find yourself having to live with people like these.
Now, I know there are justifiable reasons to be offended, there are actually very many. And far be it for me to say that apathy is the way to go (that can be bad and worrisome, especially when the fate of your country is at stake, for example), but there are just some things that we should let be. Not everyone is out to make your life miserable — most of the time, people are just doing the best they can, with the resources that they have.
People are often particularly sensitive to what they presume as criticism, abuse, or neglect.Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D.
I remember this anecdote about being offended if a bear (or it might have been a lion, I’m not so sure) eats you. It’s just so utterly useless. Apart from you already being dead, there’s no point arguing against the fact that it is in the nature of this predator to hunt for prey. Why be preoccupied with being offended?
Anyway, how do you deal with people like these? It’s not like you can easily reason with them to change their ways in an instant. And the more you point out this behaviour, the more likely they’ll find more reasons to defend their claims.
So rather than be sucked into their negativity (and find yourself being easily offended by them as well) it’s best to just step back, take a breath, and let them have their moment. If they’re venting, let them (maybe as long as some line is not crossed, I know this can be tricky). But walk away out of respect for yourself, maybe your example can inspire others to do the same. That way, you’re not feeding all those bad jujus.
According to Leon F. Seltzer PhD in his article on Psychology Today, “People are often particularly sensitive to what they presume as criticism, abuse, or neglect.”
As such, if you can identify from which point a loved one may be acting out, you may be able to talk to them about their behaviour from a place of understanding. That might be a more productive option than just walking away or writing them off.
Most importantly, remember that being offended is deeply personal — it’s not an objective reality.
And because it is how that a particular person’s mind is wired to interpret the situation, sometimes the best thing to do is to let them be so. Because that interpretation is also most likely based on past experiences and their understanding of such. It is their own unique way of surviving and getting past life’s many obstacles.
Ultimately, if they are offended, then they are offended.