These are my own personal tips that have been helps to me on this journey of no longer being easily offended, and being able to forgive at a quicker pace. Feel free to see if some work for you as well :)
- Pray for whom you are offended by. This is not easy or sincere at first, but if you consistently keep them in your prayers, in time, a love for that person is formed and offences are dropped. Peace settles into your heart and there is no longer an issue.
- Do not complain about them to others. I realize there is this philosophy that people need to "vent" but remember the right person to "vent" to. True peace and comfort is not found in the words of man, but who? You guessed it - Heavenly Father. Privately take the matter up to him, he can take the harsh rant you have in store and he not only understands where you're at better than anyone else but also where the other person is at better than anyone else. Only He can give you the complete listening space and freedom to talk on the subject and only He can grant you the answer in comfort, peace and guidance as to where to go from there.
- Remember that EVERY person in your life is a son or daughter of god. If you claim to love your Heavenly Father then try to find a love for his creations.
- Read and ponder Christ's life and atonement. Miracles form in our lives when we make Him a part of ours. He loved us so much that he chose to learn of our specific individual lives in perfect knowledge through the atonement. If we but take some time daily to learn of his life, a transformation of ourselves can more easily be commenced.
- Remember being offended is a sin. Just remembering that can start the hope-filled repentance journey where the offence can be diminished.
- Imagine how you would feel if you had done what they had done to you (Answer - Horrible!). Go with that feeling of utter heartache of guilt into it's depths. This causes you to realize you wish that pain on NO ONE ever! So it becomes easy to quickly forgive and forget.
- Always assume you misunderstood what they said or did. I swear about 90% of arguments are based on a misunderstanding of what the other meant; so the odds are definitely in your favour if you assume you misunderstood.
- Pick your battles. Does this effect you directly day in day out, or is it a one time jab. One time jab - rub some dirt on it and move on. Day in day out wound - prepare the armour and gather the troops (in a kindly way of course).
- Ask yourself - Am I pushing the knife in my side farther, or are they? If you are, then let it go, why are you hurting yourself? That's just dumb. If they are, then say something. I believe in teaching people how to treat you, so if someone is truly continually hurting you then simply tell them kindly and promptly, chances are they will apologize or state they did not mean it that way, making it super easy for you to forgive and move on.
- Remember forgiving is a form of charity. You want charity in your countenance? Then you simply cannot choose to stay offended.
- Be thou humble. You can not be offended and humble. Being humble to me means knowing that god is in charge. Opposite of humility is pride, which would mean you deny that god is in charge. You are in a state pridefunelness (let's pretend that's a word k?) when you are offended. Beware of the awful pride cycle! God praises the humble and curses the prideful, so motivation to quickly reinforce humility causes the offence to roll away from from my basket of burdens.
- Have gratitude. I've come to find out that gratitude and happiness is one in the same. You can NOT have one and not the other. So, if you are offended then you are not happy right? So really what you're saying when you are offended is that you are ungrateful. Start counting/focusing-on your blessings and you will no longer be offended.
- Beware of the "one" exception. " I'm not easily offended, it's just that _____(fill in name)______ ALWAYS... ON PURPOSE..." There can be no exceptions when it comes to forgiving, it is required of us to forgive all.
- Have trouble memorizing or retaining information? Use that precious gift! Forget what they did, distract yourself with other thoughts and don't pull up those flashcards of past offences ever again. There is no information on that event that you need, so chuck it out of your head!
- If you are offended by a look, you have hit rock bottom. People simply can not help the way their face is coming across to you. If you are offended by the way someone glanced at you or looked at you during conversation then you're definitely digging for any and all offences. Acknowledge your severe case of being offended and throw yourself in rehab asap.
- Imagine (privately of course!) that they have some sort of mental handicap making them incapable of any accountability. I know this sounds cruel, but there has been times where this has truly helped me quickly switch my thoughts from anger to compassion. It is a last resort type go to method for me when I just need the hurt gone in a hurry. I have had many experiences with those who have severe mental illnesses and have said things to me like "you've been gaining weight, you can really tell in your face." I couldn't help but chuckle at the comment knowing that the mental illness which they had been diagnosed with caused a very distorted reality. But what if I didn't know this? You don't know who may have that severe handicap and has no idea what is inappropriate.
- Write a blog post about how to accomplish 'how not to be easily offended.' But seriously, this is the fake it till you make it approach that's proven to be a real help to me (a very recent help ;) ). Write down your thoughts on this subject, make it a type of teaching outline. Your own experiences will help motivate you to understand how 'being offended' damages your life as well as invoking a great change within.
This is an engagement photo from way back when. So ya... it has nothing to do with this post, but our faces and body language look like may be we could be offended... may be? I'm really just trying to always have a photo on posts so people won't mind the lengthy read as much. Fail? (Please don't answer that...)
This is a journey for me that I'm hoping stay on, it is not easy, but the results from incorporating this I know will bring me closer to the person I want to be.
Wish me luck on thickening my heart's cover!
Heaven's slice is choosing not to be offended.