Are you wondering how to be less offended? Are you ready to live a life where you don’t take things so personally? Where you don’t allow what other people say and do affect what you believe about yourself? As a military wife, you already have so much on your plate. You don’t need the added weight of offense making things harder on you. Fortunately, you don’t have to live in offense any longer. Learning how to stop being offended so easily begins by understanding why you get offended. And it might not be what you think.
Here’s How to Be Less Offended
While it takes practice to stop being offended altogether, there are things you can do to get less offended. It starts by recognizing that offense comes because of the thoughts you think, not because of what someone says or does.
I want you to read that once more and sit with it for a second because it can be a hard concept to agree with, especially when it comes to offense. When we are offended, it is so easy and natural to point our fingers at the person who said or did something we found hurtful, rude, disrespectful, or flat-out not ok. But offense is actually a result of what you think about someone else’s actions. So, let’s dive into how to be less offended by understanding the psychology of offense and what to do about it using the CTFAR model.
Circumstances: What Someone Said or Did
Circumstances are the facts (which our lower brains tend to inflate). When you’re feeling offended, I want you to write down exactly what the person did or said exactly as they did or said it. Don’t add meaning or emotion or manipulate the story like your brain will try to do. Get precise and scientific. Describe what happened in a factual and neutral way that an unbiased third-party observer would agree with you. For example, rather than writing, “She screamed at me when I shared how I was feeling.” Write, “The volume of her voice got louder.”
Thoughts: What are You Making Their Actions or Words Mean?
Based on what someone did or said, ask yourself, “What am I making this mean? Why was what they did or said so offensive to me? Why do I feel so hurt by their words or actions?”
How your brain answers these questions are your thoughts about the person’s behavior.
Feelings: Offended, Hurt, Sad… Whatever the Words are for You
Now it’s essential to recognize that your thoughts are what dictate your feelings. You’ll notice the model doesn’t go: circumstances → feelings. It goes: circumstances → thoughts → feelings.
You are feeling offended because of what you’re thinking about what they did. You’re creating a feeling of offense because you’re thinking that the person doesn’t care. You’re thinking that they’re rude, inconsiderate, or disrespectful. Those thoughts create feelings of offense.
Action: What You’re Going to Do About It
Learning how to stop being offended so easily takes practice. Eventually, you’ll be able not to get offended in the moment. But until then, here’s what it will look like.
Someone will do or say something. You will think thoughts about their behavior and get offended. And later, you’ll be sitting in offense, feeling miserable because of your thoughts, and at that moment, you can slow down and evaluate your thoughts to feel different feelings.
You can’t stop people from doing what they’re going to do. You can request they don’t do or say certain things about you in the future. You can set boundaries and remove yourself from situations where you don’t feel comfortable or safe. But you can’t control other people.
You can control your thoughts and, subsequently, your feelings. You can think differently to feel different and stop being offended so easily. Everybody gets to do whatever they want to do, and you get to decide what you want to feel, think, and do about it.
Remember, Learning How to Stop Being Offended is for Your Benefit
This is all for your benefit. Learning how to stop being offended so easily isn’t you letting someone off the hook. You’re helping yourself feel better. So, if your lower brain starts to ask questions like, “Why am I putting in the hard work to stop being offended? Why don’t they work on themselves and stop doing and saying things that come off as offensive?” Tell yourself this, “I am doing this work so that I can feel better. When I’m stuck in offense, unforgiveness, and hurt, I am the one who suffers. This is for my benefit.”
Are You Ready to Thrive as a Military Wife?
Learning how to stop being offended so easily is essential in learning how to thrive as a military wife. I want to help you experience more freedom and empowerment to live a life you love, even if you’re dealing with the stresses of military life. Learn more about my military wife life coaching services and schedule a free coaching call to discuss how we can work together!
Interested in diving into more content on this topic? Check out this Simply Resilient Podcast episode: Summer How-to Series: How to Get Less Offended
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