What to Do When Someone Offends You

Written by Susan Dunn MA, Professional Coach

Let’s say you’re sitting aroundrepparttar swimming pool and someone tells a joke about a group everyone knows you belong to. Or let’s say someone doesn’t know something about (like that you alphabetizerepparttar 149462 soup cans in your pantry at home) and makes a joke about people who alphabetizerepparttar 149463 soup cans in their pantry. Inrepparttar 149464 one case, you can pretty well assume they meant to offend you, personally, while inrepparttar 149465 other, it was unintentional.

Let’s talk about this sort of offending occurrence – not a direct attack about you in particular, or some sort of feedback, construed to be “positive,” where a quick reply is in order, butrepparttar 149466 sort of passive affront that sometimes occurs.

What do you do when someone says something offensive?

If it occurred inrepparttar 149467 workplace, and could be construed as harassment, you might have certain legal rights, but they certainly don’t extend to a public recreational area. Laws define what a society considers unacceptable but they never stop them, otherwise there would be no murders. Furthermore, you’d be surprised at whatrepparttar 149468 law considers “harassment.” So, let’s move this torepparttar 149469 individual and emotional level.

It’s a sad fact of life that you don’t have a global right not to be offended, butrepparttar 149470 corollary is, no one can offend you unless you agree to it.

You’re more likely to be offended,repparttar 149471 more truth there is to what they say, in reference to you, and it can be a clue to look into your issues. I live in Texas, where for some peoplerepparttar 149472 Civil War is still being fought, and it used to bother me when someone would make a reference to Northerners being “cold” and “unfriendly.” The more I’ve learned to express my warmth and friendliness in ways recognizable to Texans and more importantly, to be comfortable in my own skin,repparttar 149473 less those comments bother me. Now I can just smile and think, “not me,” while before I had to wonder how I was coming across.

Asrepparttar 149474 philosopher Epictetus wrote many years ago, “It is not he who gives abuse that affronts, butrepparttar 149475 view that we take of it as insulting; so that when one provokes you it is your own opinion which is provoking.”

You can learn not to take offense. One ofrepparttar 149476 people I learned this through wasrepparttar 149477 Jewish physician sitting at an Ecumenical conference I attended where someone stood up and talked about Christmas, then caught himself, and turned torepparttar 149478 physician and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t offend you.”

The doctor smiled and replied, very, very gently, “Me? You can’t offend me.”

That rather putsrepparttar 149479 shoe onrepparttar 149480 other foot.

I will occasionally defend myself as part ofrepparttar 149481 group under attack, likerepparttar 149482 time my neighbor – and I don’t know what he was thinking – started in aboutrepparttar 149483 apartment complex to be built inrepparttar 149484 vacant acreage behind our houses. “It will be full of single parents with out-of-control kids, who don’t take care of their property,” he ranted.

“I’m a single parent,” I said. “And my kids aren’t out-of-control and I take care of my property.” One might just as well reply, “I’m XXX and I don’t beat my wife,” or “I have a good friend who’s from XXX, and he’s very friendly.” You can always point out one example you know that’s different. No generalization applies to anything and everything, and people who think that way need to have their thinking correcting. If only atrepparttar 149485 intellectual level.

The crux ofrepparttar 149486 matter is not to buy into it emotionally, not to takerepparttar 149487 bait. When we get emotional, we lose our ability to think, and then things get said. It also leaves us angry, upset, and harboring resentment. There are few ways to reply back to an offense that don’t leave you in a worse emotional state. That includes going back over it in your own mind if you DON’T speak up and berating yourself because you didn’t. It’s a perfectly viable alternative to decline comment and disengage.

Courage to Change

Written by Ernest Quansah

This is a story about a woman we will call Anne, a thirty-five-year-old woman who concluded that she could never find a man. She determined that loneliness was her fate and thus went as far as accepting it as fact. Her case proves what I have discovered in advising single men and women: it does not matter what your circumstances are, every man or woman can and is able to find a happy relationship or reach their potential by makingrepparttar right choices.

Anne was a very beautiful and educated woman. Beneath her beauty were a lot of problems that I never imagined. She had grown up in a family where she was led to believe that no man would ever want her. She wasrepparttar 149461 best looking and best educated among her family members. Yet for many years she worked inrepparttar 149462 family business for minimum wage. The sad part was she was willing to work under those terms untilrepparttar 149463 day she died, because she had accepted that she wasrepparttar 149464 black sheep ofrepparttar 149465 family.

One ofrepparttar 149466 ideas I suggested to Anne, to help her to stop thinking she would never find love, was to start dating. But she was even afraid to date. Whenrepparttar 149467 suggestion was made, Anne declined, saying, “But who wants me? No man will date a woman like me.” I tried my very best to let Anne know that she was a very attractive woman. All she needed to do was believe there was a man out there for her.

She was so concerned that no man would accept her,repparttar 149468 thought of having to start dating made her cry. I personally began feeling sorry for her. I could not understand why she was so afraid to venture outside. I finally reached a point whererepparttar 149469 only choice I had left in my attempt to help Anne was to give her an ultimatum. I told her: “Anne, you can do it. I am willing to help you but if you are going to come to me for advice, only to make one excuse afterrepparttar 149470 other, then why bother? Don’t waste my time. Anne, you must try. Give guys a chance to take you out at least inrepparttar 149471 daytime. If you are concerned, tell someone about your date, your date’s name and phone number, where you will be going and what time you should be arriving home.

“Don’t let your date pick you up from your mom’s house,” I told her. “Meet him somewhere inrepparttar 149472 open. This way he does not know where you live and you will not have to worry about him coming to look for you.” I proceeded to tell Anne that unless she was willing to try, I didn’t see any reason why she should continue coming to me for help.

Atrepparttar 149473 same time, I knew a spiritual couple who were visiting fromrepparttar 149474 U.S. I invited Anne to have dinner with me andrepparttar 149475 couple inrepparttar 149476 hopes thatrepparttar 149477 woman could befriend Anne. Anne told me she didn’t have any friends. The only people she saw were myself and a couple of friends I had introduced her to. Unfortunately, none of them wanted to befriend Anne, because she was so negative about everything. People simply did not want to be around her. Afterrepparttar 149478 dinner was over, we all began to converse.

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