We cannot choose who offends us, but we can choose how to respond when we are offended. ― Moffat Machingura
Everyday life brings people and challenges coming along with them. We struggle to figure out and to understand each other. Why do they say what they say? Why do we sometimes feel aggravated by the things they say or do? How long do we hold the grudge staying its hostage?
There are no easy answers to all of that. But sometimes the more we try to make sense out of a complicated situation, the more we are struck by the swamp of negativity. And that feeling of emotionally draining experience also barges in. We feel annoyed and angry and think that it would take forever to release and let go.
“Stop being so sensitive” – I hear all the time. And people who remind me about it are not wrong. There are things we need to remember to rid our life of as many grudges as we can.
How to Get Along With People When You Are Offended
1. No One Owes You Anything
No one owes us anything. The more we hold on to that thought, the less we give our energy to the situations we see through the glasses of negativity.
We have this tendency to add up excessive emotions and exaggerate the things happening to us. We see it all through the negative filter and take everything personally.
For example. A boss can let his steam off on you in front of your colleagues, and you respond to yourself in your mind: “How dare he shout at me in front of others making me feel shameful and worthless”? Put exaggerated emotions aside and see a bigger picture. What happened? The boss was talking loudly, and as it happened to be, people were standing in the same room to hear it all. It only says that this boss is over impulsive and his volume control button is broken. It means that he is too emotional. But the truth is, he is entitled to his emotions, and it’s not your problem what they are like. Don’t take it personally. There is no need to cling to that.
People owe us nothing. Especially when we expect specific reactions from them.
2. Stripping Down Emotions
Take one ‘hairy’ situation that happened to you recently. Do you remember the way you reacted? Do you remember the whole outrage of emotions that hit you like a massive wave? No escaping.
Now take a few steps back from that situation. What would it look like if you took away all the emotional add-ons in this picture? See it how it was.
Misunderstandings grow bigger when people unload all the baggage of emotions on each other without seeking for any common ground between them.
3. Intelligent Reaction
I am a highly emotional person both hands down. I exaggerate things that happen to me all the time. Why? Due to my lack of mindfulness, I guess. But the more I pay attention to the way I react, the better outcomes follow.
Some situations pour down on us out of the blue. We react before we think twice.
For instance. During the rush hour, you might have accidentally stepped on someone’s foot and that someone shouted at you “Look where you are going, you idiot!”. What should we do in this situation? Take a moment to “translate” that statement from the arrogant mode into an intelligent one. That person probably meant to say: “Excuse me. But that was my foot you stepped on, and I feel hurt”. See the difference? Is there any need to feel aggravated now?
When we are hurting TEMPORARY we might say some nasty things to people that would stay in their memory PERMANENTLY. Keep that in mind.
4. Opinions Aren’t Facts
We might be very sensitive to people giving us a piece of advice especially when the subject of constructive criticism was never in their intentions. Especially when we didn’t ask for any advice, to begin with.
In that case, I tend to repeat one “mantra” I found very helpful: Opinions Are Like Seasons. They Change. Opinions Are Not Facts. It’s beneficial in most situations.
The more you go up in your development, the more people will try to pour their opinions about your performance. But does it change who you indeed are? No. Be proud of yourself and keep going.
Release your mind from other people’s opinions. The most important thing is what you think of yourself. Value your own opinion. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
5. Let The Kids Play
Some people are struggling to get your attention by all means. They play with your emotions; they say bad things. But imagine only for a second all of those people as kids. And you are the adult.
Is it worth it to pay attention to those “kids” and what they say? Disregard it by picturing them as cheeky and hungry for attention people who are eager to trick and manipulate your emotions. Don’t give them that energy. Let the “kids” play by themselves without involving your emotions.
Is there any point in holding a grudge or stress over it?
6. What For?
Next time you attempt to feel aggravated just ask yourself a question. What For? Would holding a grudge enrich your life? Do you strive for negativity and heavy feelings? Stress and worrying, are those really what you are looking for?
Some people feel aggravated to manipulate others. And some of them succeed in that case. But to look at this carefully, whose health does it cause more harm to?
7. Future Perspective Filter
Whenever I feel aggravated I ask myself one question. Would this mean anything in 5 or 10 years from now?
I cannot possibly grasp the whole concept of how many of my nerves could have been saved by me if only I knew about it before. Regardless of that, we are here to learn and to become better in our everyday life.
From this future perspective filter, we disengage all the unnecessary worries. We simplify our life with that empowering thought.
Whatever you are facing right now, just think: will this have any meaning or power over you in 5-10 years? Would you even remember it at all? If not, why worry now in a present moment?
I wish you all to let go of unnecessary stress caused by holding a grudge. Let go of negativity. Work more on forgiving people for they didn’t know better. Give yourself a peace of mind by releasing all the things that are weighing you down. Take care of your feelings.