Have you heard that statement before?
We know what its like to be surprised at someone's behaviour and words.
To think 'what a disrespectful; unkind; underhanded way to behave!' Its grates on us as we reflect on what their behaviour and words ultimately say about us.
How that persons feels about US, perceives US, regards US. We say ' if that person feels they can say or do that to me they can't think much of me, I don't feel liked or respected'. As humans we desire to be liked and respected, this is why people’s words and actions offend us because it attacks us at our most vulnerable.
What if there was a way of living an un-offended life? A genuine way of rising above such behaviour, a way of leaving your core desires not only intact but also never threatened in the first place?
Want to know the secret? Ok.
"People’s comments and behaviour has more to do with the other person than you."
You may think, 'well yes Jen, I know that', but do you? Do your reactions proof that you do. If not, well I'm afraid I believe your actions over your words. There’s a difference between knowing and KNOWING.
If you experience offence or live with offence, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you let the words and behaviour of others say more about you than them.
Not convinced? Let me explain in more detail. If you believe the problem to lie with the offender rather then you then offence on your part is no longer in the equation. Ever been around someone who often says mean things, with whom you can expect negativity? Do you find yourself offended when they behave in this way? No you think ‘Oh there goes so and so. Same old.’ Of course you don’t like it when they say or do those things, but your not offended.
" Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself."
So if you do not perceive there to be an insult then there isn’t one. Remember hurt people hurt people. Their behaviour is most likely coming from their own pain or insecurities.
That is why a wise man can overlook an offence. He perceives it in a different way.
LETS NOT OVERLOOK WHAT OVERLOOK MEANS
1. Fail to notice.
(i.e. fail to notice an insult whilst instead perceiving the other persons pain)
2. Have a view of from above.
(To rise above and see the behaviour for what it really is. Also if you believe in God it’s to have his perspective and ask what he is shining a light on through it. He may be using the other person to grow you.)
So overlooking an insult is wise. Another reason is that you may have completely misunderstood what the other person was saying or doing. It may have been taken out of context, seen or heard in part etc. so to start harbouring offence is a shame.
Offence un-dealt with leads to bitterness and resentment towards others and also can bounce around tormenting your own insecurities. Reshaping the way you see yourself. Absolutely detrimental!
Worst when all this happened needlessly by misunderstanding the situations.
There have been times in my life where I have allowed peoples words and actions to define me. Hold me within a cage of what they may or may not think about me.
If peoples would speak negatively towards me, come across condescending, make cutting jokes, my internal monologue would be saying ' wow that person can't respect me at all if they feel they can speak to me in that way', or ' they really can't think that much of me if that’s how they behave towards me'. Perhaps you've experienced this too.
The bizarre thing though is I can look back on almost all of these circumstances in hindsight and see them for what they really were. Nearly all of them were manifestations of the other person's jealousy, distrust, insecurities, pain, inability to let someone get close, arrogance, ego etc. The list goes on.
It’s easy to see ourselves as the figment of someone else’s imagination. Believing that your un-liked or disrespected but do you see how ridiculous that is?
YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU
The line above is as profound as ‘a wise man overlooks an insult’ but can the two statements function in harmony together?
I believe so.
We overlook offence so that resentment isn’t stored up, preventing damage to others and ourselves BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s ok to be treated or spoken to in a certain way. In just the same way as not perceiving an insult doesn’t mean that we like the way we are treated and so put up with it.
You may let it slide for fear of confrontation but the truth is confrontation is massively misunderstood.
To speak to someone honestly about a situation isn’t confrontation but the restoration of relationship. Left unchecked you will just end up drifting from that person or avoiding them altogether. Plus they may then never have an opportunity to change, costing them more relationships that distance themselves as you will. Do you see the cycle? Its kind for you both to bring it up. In a loving gentle way of course but that’s another blog post altogether.
The bottom line is don’t let other peoples issues define you. Do teach people how to treat you and don’t live with offence.
Healthy bitter free life! Aw you to are made for each other!