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In a world with so many people of different backgrounds and beliefs, being offended is inevitable, and most times the first reaction to offense is a strong desire to lash out and lash back. The fact is at some point you will be tired of lashing out and lashing back at everyone over everything, even if these things are legitimate enough for you to make a fuss about.
Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 7 healthy ways to help you handle and overcome being offended.
Talk Yourself Out Of Being Offended
Try reasoning with yourself, remind yourself that the offender has a right to his/her own opinions and you don’t have to care about these opinions. Try not to internally interpret or attach meaning to the actions of the offender, don’t take it personally and learn to simply dismiss their actions. Later on, when you are calmer, you can analyze the offender’s words to know if there’s any truth in it. You can also confirm from one or two loved ones if there is any truth in the offender’s words.
Put Yourself in the Offender’s Shoes
For the sake of fairness, try to put yourself in the offender’s shoes and question your role in the offense. Ask yourself - did you play a role in the offense? Did you incite it in some way? Try to see things from the other person’s perspective and determine if there was an initial intention (on the part of the offender) to cause offense. Try to be noble and analyze the situation with all fairness.
Refuse to be Offended by Things You Cannot Change
You should realize that being offended doesn’t make you more empathetic or caring to or about the situation, it just makes you upset, increases your stress levels and raises your blood pressure. Face this fact and learn to find ways through or around what you cannot change rather than being offended by it.
Give Others Space to be Themselves
Let this be your default setting. When you understand that everyone has a right to be who they are (even if the person they have chosen to be is extremely annoying to you), you won’t have expectations about their actions and inactions. Learn to accept and accommodate the imperfections of others, life will be much easier and peaceful that way; you will also learn to be less demanding of those around you and reduce the likelihood of being offended by them in the first place.
Don’t Store Offense
It’s best to handle it as it comes. Don’t give your mind time to dwell and dwell on it. If you can, go to the person when you are calmer and attempt to resolve the issue. Be sure you are calm and relaxed to a large extent before you try to do this. You should be solution-focused in your approach. Don’t try to win the argument, just try to find a way forward.
If you are unable to resolve things with the offender, let it go and walk away before you lose your cool. You can try again at a later time if you want to, or ask someone to go along with you to help in the resolution process. You can equally also let things be, talk yourself out of or let go of any malice or grudge in your heart, and move on the best way you know how, if your attempts at a resolution end up futile.
This is mainly to help avoid future offenses. Learn to emotionally differentiate thoughts and opinions of others from your inner sense of self. Learn to detach them from your identity so you don’t take it personally when it happens and you can easily dismiss it.