Dealing with Offenses

In life it’s easy to make mistakes, we’re imperfect humans.  Many people are also easily offended by what others say or do, and they tell as many people as they can about the pain their feeling and the hurt that was caused.   Is this really the best way to deal with things that offend us or we are hurt by? No.  It’s not a good idea to go around sharing the faults of others with everyone you come into contact with.  We’re talking about a couple different issues here so let’s take them one by one.

First, we’ve got the individual who is offended and goes and tells everyone.  Is it really necessary to spread someone’s mistake everywhere?  Instead of telling everyone else about how bad you feel and the offense that occurred, go to the person who offended you, when you aren’t raging mad, and talk with them.  Sit down with them and privately talk with them about how what they said or did made you feel.  They very well may not know that they offended you or that what they said was hurtful.

Second, if someone you know is going out of their way to offend people or comes off as really offensive, take them aside and speak with them privately.  It’s so easy for words to be misconstrued and others to be offended in this day and age.  Encourage them to be helpful, not hurtful.  Not only will they feel good, but those they talk to and interact with will enjoy being with them more too.  Encourage them to apologize if necessary too.

Finally, recognize that both of you have some responsibility in this.   If you were offended, it’s your responsibility to talk with them, not about them, and resolve the situation.  I encourage you to look into your own life if necessary to understand why you were offended by their statement or actions.  The offender should take responsibility for their actions or words that were offensive and hurtful.  And even if they aren’t willing to apologize to you for their actions or words, you should forgive them.  You will feel better and it will release you and help you move on with your life past the offense.

Take some time today to think about those you need to apologize to and/or forgive.  Take action in the next few days and apologize to them or forgive as necessary.

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