IT’S OUR CHOICE
Over one hundred fifty years ago, it is said that a very famous man made this statement: “He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.”1
We hear so much today about people being offended because of negative or harsh statements made in which they feel included. But choosing to be offended does have its price and consequences. Dr. Charles W. Conn, a man I greatly admired, once described it this way. If you were walking down the sidewalk and a tiny chihuahua came running up to the fence and started barking, would you run away in fear or just laugh at such a little animal trying to make a big noise. However, if a large growling Doberman pincer came barreling toward you, then you might be tempted to move to the other side of the street.
In other words, once you choose and admit that someone offended you, you are automatically admitting that they are bigger than you are; that they possess a formidable character and have sufficient strength to make you afraid, and that causes you to be hurt and feel offended. I like what motivational speaker, coach, and author Mike Robbins had to say about this: “What if we became really hard to offend. This is not to say that we abandon our values or opinions, it is more about choosing to allow other people and things be as they are. We take so many things personally that have nothing to do with us. The more we react to something, the less freedom and peace we have.”2
We should never allow ourselves to become victims our lives of other people’s circumstances in their lives. Others don’t actually have the power to offend us. As former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt so brilliantly stated, “No one can make me feel inferior without my permission.” This same phenomenon is true about being offended. It’s a choice we make, and we have the power to choose not to be offended. – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1Generally accredited to Brigham Young
2Mike Robbins Blog: Become Harder to Offend,