“Some people take offense like it’s a limited time offer.” -Tim Fargo
Have you ever interacted with a person who was easily offended? Man, it is exhausting! They find a way to take almost anything you say the wrong way. No matter how you say whatever you say or how unrelated your comment is to their offense they still find a reason to get mad.
That erroneous ego gets you all riled up for no reason at all. What you’re mad about is not even the case…or maybe it is. I can even admit that there has been times in the past where I took offense when I definitely shouldn’t have. When I took some time to reflect on why I did that, it dawned on me that I reacted to what I thought the person meant. When in fact I was completely wrong. I had jumped to conclusions way too fast. But why, what made me think one thing when there was no evidence to support my conclusions? It was my ego putting up psychological defenses.
When we feel criticized or judged we try to rationalize these feelings. Sometimes these feelings are rationalized inappropriately and result in our being offended. Being mislead by the ego actually takes the spotlight off of ourselves. For instance, what if someone says something to you that you take offense to but there is some truth to what they are saying. Of course you immediately know that they may have a point but you take offense as a knee-jerk reaction. This way you do not have to face your truth.
What good is this doing though? Not only do you look crazy but you run the risk of ruining a good relationship with someone who obviously cares about you enough to be honest with you. Whether this is the case or not, it is important to recognize what the ego wants. It wants to be right in every situation and feel important at all costs. Once you realize this you can free yourself of it’s control.
Being offended cripples our growth because we are not dealing with the parts of us that need a little more work. Only those individuals who are mature enough to tell their egos to have a seat will escape this inner conflict. Naturally, overcoming the ego is not always easy to do. It can be very convincing and downright stubborn but with practice you can become more aware of your reactions.
How To Check Your Ego
- When faced with a situation that puts you on the offense – ask yourself why. What about this interaction is making you feel offended.
- Ask for clarification if you really need it. Don’t just assume and then react.
- Be willing to hear opinions that may not line up with your own. Realize that challenges make you a better person.
- Relinquish the need to be right and know that it is okay to be wrong.