Hey there. Welcome to the Easy Aging Show. Today we're talking about being offended. It seems like everybody's getting offended about something at some point these days, right?
I'm not going to be getting into all the topics and all the details of being offended, but today I wanted to give you three points to help you get new perspective on what being offended really means.
Because at one point or another, we all get offended by something or someone. I thought having these little ideas in your back pocket might be helpful, especially if you get offended on a regular basis. So let's dive in.
Point 1: When you're easily offended, you are giving your power away to the thing that bothers you most.
If it's a colleague, you're giving him or her your power. If it's a political figure, you're giving that person your power. If it's a family member, you're giving away your power to that person.
Why would you give so much time, attention and energy to someone you can't stand? That is a lot of wasted energy, friend, because here's the deal: You know that person you can't stand? That person you might actually hate? That person is oblivious to you and your pain and suffering.
That person is happily living life and doesn't have a clue about how much you are ripping your clothes and gnashing your teeth and all of that. Doesn't that just make you madder?!
Oh, it used to tick me off so much when I was younger. Oh, I would get so mad when someone didn't respond to me in the way that I desperately wanted them to.
Just the fact they showed up annoyed me, but then they would speak to me and they'd be nice or friendly or composed or confident and that would really get under my skin. So while I was sitting in the corner being an emotional wreck, these people were just happily living their lives without giving me a second thought.
Elie Wiesel, a prolific writer and Holocaust survivor said:
"The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference."
The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. That's because hate requires something of you.
Hate requires giving the person or thing your time, energy and focus, which gets you all wound up with a lot of emotion. Whereas indifference requires nothing of you. You pay no attention at all because you are indifferent. You just don't care. You're neutral about that other person.
Why is that so annoying? It's probably because they don't have a care in the world, and you're sitting here getting riled up and getting stomach aches and headaches and stressed out. The moment you get offended is the moment you give away your power.
Point 2: Being offended is a choice.
Yes, it is, friend. It's a choice, and you get to choose. Let me give you an example. I have more than a couple of people trying to tell me how to run my business. For the record, I've been in business for nearly 25 years. Yes, almost a quarter of a century. And I'm not sure why people feel very free to tell me that I should do this or I should do that or I should do the other.
Are these people experienced in entrepreneurship and running a business? Of course not. These are people who have been employees their entire lives. They don't know the first thing about running a business.
So I subscribe to a general idea of: If you have not successfully walked the path before me, I will not listen to you. And why is that? Because you don't know what you're talking about.
It's like me coming up to a parent and saying, "Hey, let me tell you how to raise a child. I mean, I don't have kids, but I have some great opinions and observations on the very best ways to raise them."
Would you listen to a thing I had to say? No, of course not. That would be absolutely crazy. In this case, you should ignore me. That would be a wise choice because I don't know what I'm talking about.
Just like I ignore all the well-meaning people who have never taken one step on this path that I'm traveling with my business. I'll admit that, at the beginning, I was offended. I used to get my feelings hurt. But then one day I started thinking about it and said, "This doesn't have to continue. I get to make a choice. I can choose to be offended, or I can choose to brush it off."
So what do I do now? I brush it off. Why? Because it's just not worth the energy to get into any of it with anyone. It's not worth it to me. I guard my energy and my time quite closely these days.
This leads me into one of my very favorite quotes from The Wizard of Oz.
Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain, only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know, but some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?
This makes me giggle every time I read it. Frank Baum, who wrote The Wizard of Oz, knew what he was talking about. Let me end this point by saying: Like me, friend, you get to choose. You can choose offense or you can make a difference choice that could make your life easier and more peaceful. Just remember, it's always your choice.
Point 3: Instead of being offended, why not take a moment to figure out why you're offended?
If you get offended easily and often, it's probably important to take a look at the reason behind your offense. Maybe somebody pushed a button from your childhood. Maybe you don't feel like you're enough or you have a low self-esteem. Who knows?
Most of the time people aren't even aware of how they're coming across, so they're clueless about what's happening inside of you with all these emotions. They're not doing it on purpose.
If you need help figuring out why you're offended, I encourage you to pray about it. Ask God to give you some insight about what's under the surface of you being offended, especially if you're offended easily or often.
If you don't spend some time investigating it, you're more than likely never going to resolve it.
So that's it for today, friend. Let me recap. 1) When you're easily offended, you're giving your power away to the person that bothers you most; 2) Being offended is a choice, and you get to choose your response; and 3) Instead of being offended, why not take a moment to figure out why you're offended?
I'll see you in the next episode and until then, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!