I’ve been struggling lately while thinking about the idea of authenticity and being offensive. Some people may offend others under the excuse that they are, “just trying to be real”. I struggle with some of this. If I’m being authentic and it is offensive, is that healthy? I’m not sure it is, but I’m not certain it isn’t either. I want to be completely authentic, but at the same time I don’t want to walk around offending people all the time either, just because I want to be ‘real’.
This conversation in my head of being authentic and offensive then leads me to another conversation of how I respond when others offend me. How do you respond when someone offends you?
- Do you get mad and talk crap about them behind their back?
- Do you post a tweet or Facebook status that is passive-aggressive and no one knows who it’s about?
- Do you actually go to the person and say, “Hey this offended me.”?
- Or do you just cut them off from your life for a while until you forget about the incident?
I think we should have two responses when we get offended. First, sit back and ask yourself a few questions:
- Why does this offend me?
- Am I overly critical or is there something real here?
- Am I being too sensitive?
- Did they mean to offend me?
The reality is that some people do intend to offend others with their remarks. I know that I do offend people sometimes with things I say, but it is rarely ever my intention to offend them. I do my best not to say hurtful things, but sometimes it happens.
Our second response needs to be that we either suck it up and forget it, or go to the person and say, “Hey, I don’t think you meant to offend me, but you did and this is how”. This is helpful because then they know for the future not to say or do whatever it was that offended you, and you don’t let something small (or big) get in the middle of your relationship with that person.
So the next time you get offended, ask yourself a few questions, then go talk to the person!