This is common, too common. There are two kinds of offence offered by others. Intended and unintended. Usually… no… almost always the offence is unintended. We need to carefully consider this and ask ourselves the question… why am I being offended when there was actually no intention from the “offending party” to offend me? It’s a very good question that needs a great deal more exercise in our culture.
Now let’s address the intended offense. This is the case where someone is intentionally offending you. Let’s consider the source for a moment. Is that person speaking or acting from their heart, strengths and common sense or the fear of inadequacy or some sense of lack that they are dealing with. Usually… no… almost always, it’s the latter.
I actually don’t know anyone who goes around in the world thinking “I wonder who I can offend next”. They are far more likely thinking “How can I feel better about myself”. They won’t say that out loud but it’s very likely true. We all have our places of emptyness that need to be filled and for many reasons we can feel, less than, shamed and alone in the world. From that place we will act or react in ways, that upon further reflection, we wouldn’t be proud of. Sorry to say we all do it including this “offending party”.
When we look back and think clearly and carefully about the reasons that we are offended by others, they almost always slowly slip away and we are left with the obvious conclusion. “We get to choose whether to be offended or not”.
And if all that’s not bad enough this great offence we’ve allowed is probably more about how we are feeling about ourselves and not how someone has acted toward us.
Grace or unmerited favour towards ourselves and others may be a good place to start. Authentic curiousity about their offending behaviour may be the next helpful step towards reconciliation. Consider if this is possible for you.