For many people, simply brushing off an offensive encounter can be difficult. Try and try as you may, you will still get offended by something that someone else did or said to you — it is just human nature.
The worst part of being offended is feeling like you did something to set off the reaction. The feeling of being offended while also thinking you’re at fault can become a real mental challenge.
Just by changing the way you truly think about such an encounter, you can learn how to be less offended by others and more unbothered overall. This concept has been explained by Dr. Shemsi Prinzivalli in her work “The Art of Not Being Offended.” Prinzivalli is a licensed professional counselor specializing in the mental health field.
The Fine Art of Not Being Offended
Prinzivalli’s idea stems from an “ancient art” simply called The Fine Art of Not Being Offended. The main idea of this practice is recognizing that the actions of others, even when projected on you, have nothing to do with you.
Prinzivalli says “every statement, action and reaction of another human being is the sum result of their total life experience to date.”
In other words, people act the way that they do because of the current situations in their lives. Realizing this is the first step that you must take to reach a peaceful state of mind with others. While we are figures in each other’s lives, we are also the main, most important and most sensory component to our own selves. So when we become offended by the words or actions of others, we allow this feeling of insult to throw off our peace of mind. Being offended isn’t only a constant annoyance — it makes us restless.
Turning Resentment Into Compassion
Prinzivalli suggests that in order to keep our personal peace of mind intact, we must learn how to translate the feeling of being offended and resentful into being compassionate towards our offender. This may sound crazy, but the logic behind it makes sense. If your companion is acting out because of the present state of their personal life, then this must mean that they are in a negative position at that moment.
Rather than feeling offended and sorry for yourself, you can begin to understand that there is most likely a deeper issue or pain behind the encounter, which is a personal struggle for your companion that, again, has nothing to do with you. Instead of fighting back or turning away in anger or embarrassment, you can offer solace to a companion, even if they don’t know they need it.
Once we are aware that we must bring a reverse effect to an offensive encounter, life becomes lighter without the heavy baggage of being offended by others. Understanding the real issue behind the situation can be your key to peace of mind.
According to Prinzivalli, “Though it may take a lifetime of practice, it is truly one of the best kept secrets for living a happy life.”