Why Being Offended Destroys Productivity: Part 2
This is part two of three part series. To read part one click here.
Being offended does little to change others, but it impacts us majorly. That is when we get offended our stress and blood pressure goes up, we lose sleep, and we thus productivity goes down. Everyone is so consumed being offended that they aren’t asking what good is it doing? If being offended doesn’t change your circumstances for the better than we need to do better.
Can it be as simple as choosing to not be offended? I think so. It may seem idealistic, but have you ever tried it?
I get the pushback from this. The pushback is if we do not get offended then how will anyone change? If we don’t get up in arms about injustice, sin, and when drive thru’s get our order wrong then how will anyone change their evil ways? That’s a great question. Thanks for asking it.
According to research simply getting offended doesn’t change anyone. In fact it’s so exhausting it actually can have a negative impact on the doing anything productive with your offense. According to the author of “Who Really Cares,” “It turns out that the people who are often the most indignant voices in protest of injustice are the least likely to part with their own resources to do anything about it.”
The people who are the most offended often do the least about the offense. Why? Because being offended is exhausting. As leaders we have to get the most our of our resources and that includes ourselves. If being offended isn’t changing anything but us we need to try something different. So what is the alternative?
Practical Ways To Become Less Offended
- Practice believing the best. Unless the person in your life is a James Bond villain there is a great chance they didn’t mean to offend you. When you feel offended practice saying, “This is a good person who did not wake up today thinking about destroying my life.” Or you can simplify it by saying, “This person didn’t mean to hurt me.” That doesn’t change the fact that you were hurt. What it does it helps you not want to take revenge. Being offended is an emotional way we try to take revenge on others. We feel justified because we are hurt. Telling yourself the other person didn’t mean to hurt you helps de-escalate your anger.
- Practice coming up with solutions instead of complaining. It’s easy to complain. It’s difficult to work on solutions. Offense without action is constipation. That is, if you do nothing you’ll feel stuck. Complaining about it is the go to easy response, but that doesn’t solve the problem. Solutions have the potential to change the circumstances around you. Don’t just complain. Offer a potential solution and you’ll become less offended.
- Practice forgiveness. Jesus has forgiven us for every offense we have ever made, and yet we often hold other people’s offense over them. Jesus’ challenge is to forgive as we have been forgiven.
Next week on the blog I’ll give one final thought on being offended. If you want to be more productive you have to deal with being offended.