I Get Offended Easily: Why We Get Easily Offended and How to Stop
Have you ever found yourself getting offended at the drop of a hat? Does a simple comment or a line of critique send you spiraling into a frenzy of hurt feelings, disappointment, and righteous indignation? If your answer is yes, then you are among the many who get offended easily by everything and anything.
Many of us have experienced hurt feelings and offense way too easily. You could get offended by someone saying something mean, you could get offended by toxic behavior, or even get offended if you’re taken advantage of. Feeling offended often comes with feelings of anger, disappointment, and hurt.
To live with these feelings can cause depression, worsen anxiety, and leave damaging scars on your relationships. By learning to not get offended easily, you can minimize your stress and anger, and come to better understand yourself.
Read on to learn how your tendency to get offended easily might be harming you and how you cannot get offended easily by everyone and everything.
Reasons You Get Offended Easily
Before we read the ways of not getting easily offended, let’s first take a look at the potential reasons you find yourself in this dilemma aka being offended by everything.
One of the major reasons behind your hypersensitivity to offense could be your ego’s need for protection. When someone says something challenging to you or criticizes you, your ego may take it as a threat and immediately dive in to defend you. This defense can take the sight of offense then.
Communication or rather, miscommunication is another trigger for offense. This happens most when communication via texts is involved because text communication lacks the nuance of tone and body language, making it easier to misinterpret the words.
Another common reason why you get offended easily could be your insecurities. Deeply rooted insecurities such as a lack of confidence can trigger an offensive reaction. Even the smallest of comments can hit a nerve that can cause you to react defensively. In some studies, it was even found that when our self-image is threatened in public, we can resort to being offended as an immediate response.
How Being Offended Can Affect You?
Now that you know why you get offended easily, let’s learn how this reaction can affect your well-being.
Constantly feeling offended can lead to chronic stress, anger, and anxiety as your nervous system is always in overdrive; always on alert for any threats to your self-esteem, ego, self-image, and more.
When you get offended, it often results in anger. This constant anger can put a strain on your relationships. Your friends and family may begin to walk around on eggshells around you, leading to a great distance and misunderstandings. Being overly sensitive to criticism can also make it hard for you to listen to constructive feedback from your loved ones and coworkers.
In many cases, taking offense easily can cause social isolation and exclusion. People may begin to avoid interacting with you to avoid triggering your offense-taking tendencies.
How to Not Get Offended Easily?
Now comes the hard question; How to stop getting offended easily? I have some effective tips to help you toughen up and not get offended easily;
1. Take a Breath
When you feel that you’re getting angry and that you are taking offense to something, take a breath. This practice will help you become more aware of your reactions and emotions. You can take this time to observe your thoughts without judgment until you gain better control over your immediate reactions.
2. Learn to Laugh it Off
I know this advice sounds silly, but when you learn to laugh the offense off, you can let go of your offense-taking tendencies. There is power in humor and when you learn to laugh at yourself and life’s little quirks, you can defuse the most offense-taking situations.
3. Empathize With Others
Not everyone can be perfect and as humans, we are more prone to error than we think. So, when someone says something or does something that makes you feel offended, instead of reacting to it, learn to empathize with them. Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their perspective. Maybe their actions or words were not meant to hurt you intentionally.
4. Wait For 24 Hours Before Reacting
This is a rule that I’ve taken a particular liking to. It’s the 24-hour rule where you wait for 24 hours before you react, especially when something feels offensive. This cooling-off time can help you better prepare for a rational response and less emotional reaction.
5. Listen to Constructive Feedback
When someone does or says something criticizing, take the time to parse if the comment or action was constructive feedback or destructive criticism before you respond to it. Over time, when you learn to see feedback for what it is, you’ll become desensitized to negative feedback and take every opportunity to learn and grow from constructive criticism.
6. Work on Your Self-Confidence
Another thing you can do to not get offended easily is to work on boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence. One of the reasons why you get offended easily is your insecurities, so learn to change your insecurities to your strengths. The more secure and positive you feel about yourself; the less others’ opinions will affect you and your well-being.
Getting easily offended is a habit that can take away your peace of mind chip by chip and affect your well-being and eventually, your health. By understanding the reasons, you get offended easily, and recognizing the negative effects of this behavior, can you break free from your offense-taking tendencies and lead a healthier and happier life.
So, the next time you get offended by someone or something, remind yourself that it’s your choice whether you let it ruin your day or let it go flowing away in the wind.
Do you relate to this behavior? Do you also get offended easily? I hope the tips I’ve listed in this article will help you not get offended easily anymore. Let me know if these tips help in the comments below.