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We Can Choose NOT To Be Offended February 1, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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Kirk’s post today (T4D) ties in with the theme of choice, and the underlying freedom we reclaim when we choose NOT to be offended:

TOM and Being Response~Able

In the post, Kirk shares an insight-filled comment from one of his regular readers, Tom:

When someone kicks me in the shin, unless I’m some kind of mind-bending swami, I have no choice but to feel pain.  That’s a matter of physiology.  However when someone insults me, I have control over how I decide to feel about that. 

I could decide to laugh it off.  I could decide that their opinion has absolutely no value to me, so I ignore them.  I could decide to feel sorry for them.  I could decide to nurture them and help them work through their anger.  Or I could decide to feel hurt, which means basically I’m giving them permission to hurt my feelings, because my feelings are totally under my control.

Tom hit the nail on the head.

Mad-Hatter-pacingWhen we absorb perceived insults into our being, we are poisoning ourselves.

THEY are not doing anything to us.  WE are choosing to add toxicity to our lives.

We betray ourselves by hanging on to every slight, real and imagined.

Instead of re-acting with our habitual thought patterns of getting angry, plotting revenge, responding in kind, or any other pattern of action that causes us to relinquish our peace of mind, we can choose a more “able” response.

We can become response-able.  (TOM and Being Response~Able.)

When we refuse to let go of anger, hurt, or jealousy at the earliest opportunity, we are the ones impeding our progress.

As soon as we choose to let go of our negativity, the imaginary pebbles in our path  evaporate.

We cannot control others.

We can control how we choose to view them . . . with anger or compassion,  with amused detachment or frustration.

We can choose NOT to be offended.

Learning to manage our thoughts, feelings, and emotions can be difficult, but it’s worth it . . . after all, our freedom is at stake.

Quote:  What you think of me is none of my business.  ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

What about you?  How do you respond when someone says something that displeases you?  Do you act, re-act, re-enact?

Or do you just kick the comment to the curb and continue on your way?

“For you to insult me, I must first value your opinion.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts: Rules of the House * A Change Would Do You Good * Be A Tigger . . . Tiggers Bounce * Silence the Mind * Maintaining Perspective * Accept Your Irrelevance * A Warm Hug for a Sad Child * Deal With It, Princess (Raptitude) * Do You Choose To Be Offended (Flying Gma’s Blog)

Comments»

1. kateshrewsday - February 1, 2011

Love that Dyer quote 🙂

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

Me too!

When someone insists that their view of who I am is “more right” than my view of who I am . . . I remember the quote, smile, and say “Thanks, Wayne.”

2. Carol Ann Hoel - February 1, 2011

People don’t often say hurtful things to me. Once in a while I might wonder if I’ve been insulted. I ask myself, now what did I do to make this person say that? Or, am I misunderstanding what’s been said? In earlier times, a perceived wrong would have caused me much pain. I’ve learned to examine myself, apologize if necessary, and move on.

I’m not a good on quotes as you, but this one comes to my mind: You can please some people some of the time; but you can’t please all the people all of the time. Blessings to you…

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

Same here.

I expect lots of intended insults veer off into the ether with me being none the wiser.

We tend to see in life what we look for. If we are looking for opportunities to be insulted, we see them. If we are not, they miss their mark.

Thanks, Carol Ann

3. SAS Fiction Girl - February 1, 2011

Ha – I wish I could be so zen. I tend to stew over what was said about me and think up the perfect response, knowing I’ll never get the chance to use it. Something to work on…
-Jen 🙂

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

We often feel “entitled” to lash out in response to comments by others ~ but that sense of entitlement extracts a price from our peace of mind.

The more we can shrug off the opinions of others, the more freedom we have.

4. clarbojahn - February 1, 2011

A year ago my step daughter laid into me like no one else ever had. I did not respond like she wanted. She wanted a fight. I acted casually and when she left she didn’t speak to me, which lasted until a month ago,when I apologized. I only said I was sorry to end the silence. I did nothing wrong except maybe not live up to her expectations.But my choice was for Love. An attack is either a cry for love or it is out of fear.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

Sometimes people use anger (or silence) to manipulate us into doing what THEY want us to do. We have to decide on a case by case basis if the relationship is worth it.

Real love is not conditional on our meeting THEIR expectations.

5. clarbojahn - February 1, 2011

We always have a choice on how to feel. But I’m not sure how to act.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

We are socialized to look at others to decide how to act, rather than looking within to decide how we want to act.

The more we look within for guidance, the easier “choosing” becomes.

Clarbojahn.wordpress.com - February 3, 2011

I kept surrounding her with Love in my mind, but I was angry at her for wanting to hurt me. I should have surrounded myself with love. A bubble of protection where I couldn’t be hurt. The whole year has taken it’s toll on my husband. And once I said I was sorry, he felt better. He’s afraid she’ll withdraw her love. It was a manipulative ploy. I’ll never trust her with my feelings again.

nrhatch - February 3, 2011

When we see “master manipulators” as they are, it is difficult to trust them.

Maybe remaining cautious in future dealings with them is for the best.

6. You Were Born That Way - February 1, 2011

I call choosing our responses a personal Declaration of Independence. We learn how to be insulted, angry, victimized. We can unlearn these responses, too. It’s liberating.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

I love how you expressed that ~ it is, indeed, a declaration of independence.

Our moods are no longer dependent upon the opinions and moods of others. We are liberated from their attempts to manipulate us through scorn and ridicule.

Freedom! 🙂

7. Cindy - February 1, 2011

Insult? Pfft, I’ll just ignore it and have myself a glass of wine …

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

Just so! I often share snarky comments with BFF and we have a good laugh about them.

I’d much rather laugh, than cry or get angry.

8. Booksphotographsandartwork - February 1, 2011

Sorry that is one I missed when it went by. I need to practice my kicking skills.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

Kicking unwanted comments and observations to the curb smooths out the “potholes” in our path. Life becomes easier.

9. suzicate - February 1, 2011

I’ve been trying to live by that quote for about a year now, some days it’s more difficult than others,esp. when it involves the opinions of “family”. I’m still working on it though.

nrhatch - February 1, 2011

The closer the relationship, the tougher it is to discount what THEY think of us, or what they want us to do.

Sometimes we meet their expectations just because we love them. That’s fine, as long as we don’t feel resentful and “put upon.”

Other times, we have to have a heart-to-heart chat to explain why we cannot do what they want us to do.

And we need to remind ourselves, on occasion, that we shouldn’t need a permission slip to live our life.

10. flyinggma - February 2, 2011

I get weary of people who deliberately choose to be offended. I did a similar post a while back. I am much happier if I steer clear of negative people. I try to look at circumstances in the best possible light first and think differently only if given a good reason.

nrhatch - February 2, 2011

Me too!

When someone rushes to take offense, and then tries to make me feel guilty for their overly sensitive nature, I refuse to be manipulated.

They say, “If you don’t do what I want you to do, then I’m not going to talk to you any more.”

I think, “Aah, silence is bliss.” 😀

11. flyinggma - February 2, 2011

My post was a little longer ago than I thought. When I reread it, it has more to do with kindness but I do mention the fact that there are people out there just looking to be offended. Here is the link http://flyinggma.com/2010/10/19/do-you-choose-to-be-offended/

nrhatch - February 2, 2011

Loved it1 Thanks, Jeanne.

12. oldancestor - February 3, 2011

Some insults are harder to slog off than others. I’m generally hard to offend. You can call me names, tell me I’m ugly, stupid, clueless, my work sucks, whatever. I don’t care.

I do care, though, when someone questions how I’m raising my son or doubts my integrity, especially when it’s done through implication.

nrhatch - February 3, 2011

Like you, I value honesty and integrity in myself and others.

When people use veiled innuendo or implication to call my integrity into question, I am apt to defend myself. But not always.

Sometimes it’s easier to walk away . . . “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Thanks!

13. Sandra Bell Kirchman - June 3, 2011

This is a great post with wonderful answers. All my life I have been a spitfire…shoot from the hip first and then talk. I have been working on that one for about 40 years now, with pretty good results. I am pleased. I have more of the “Ole” mentality now as the Bull of Rage and Regret rushes past me.

I’m just sorry I didn’t make all this a part of me sooner. But it’s probably like Sonia said in a recent post – we have to grow up before we live our “declaration of independence.” It just takes some of us longer than others to grow up. 😛

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Thanks, Sandra. I focus on progress, not perfection.

I don’t find “regret” to be helpful since it anchors me in the past (who I was) rather than encouraging me to be who I am, right here, right now. When we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.

Enjoy the path as it unfolds before you. 😀


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