Success – How Being Offended Limits Your Opportunity

Have you ever discovered that someone took a comment you made in a way completely different than what you intended? Perhaps you made a good-natured attempt at humor and someone interpreted it as a judgment or criticism. I was reminded this morning that the view from our side of a conversation isn’t always the same as the view from the other side of a conversation. This is not a new lesson, but like so many other lessons we learn over a lifetime, occasional refresher courses are good things.

In our society today there is an ever-expanding litany of how one person or group has been offended by what another person or group said. The sense of balance between being offended and just being a grown-up has been greatly skewed over the past several decades. How many of our national issues today result from the decline of personal responsibility? Where are the great role models?

There is a direct correlation between accepting the opportunity to be master of one’s own fate and not taking offense. If you pursue your dreams regardless of what your neighbor or Aunt Lucy says, you probably aren’t easily offended. On the very few occasions when I am tempted to be offended, whether it was intentional or not, a neon sign goes off in my head that says, ‘Get over it.’

Likewise, if you are honest in evaluating your own motivations and behave with only good intentions, you will probably not be guilty of being offensive to others. That may not save you from the accusation, but you will know that it is undeserved.

People who claim to be offended and bask in victimhood don’t interview well and aren’t usually great friendship material. Want a better shot at that great job opportunity? Take responsibility, assume the drivers seat of your life, and quit being easily offended. Do you want better friends? Be a better friend.

Do a little research project: examine the folks you know who are easily offended, just how successful are they in life? Individuals who make the most of every day seldom take, or give, offense. Now, take a look at the really successful, happy, well-adjusted people you can find; odds are they rarely take the time out of their productive days to indulge in taking offense.

Don’t give offense by taking offense. Discover what a person with great character looks like, and do whatever it takes to make that the reflection you see in the mirror each morning.