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How to become a nicer person when you’re highly sensitive and easily offended.
The hardest part about being extremely sensitive is that you can have the tendency to be a little self-centered. You can only see circumstances through how they affect you and your life, and not anyone else around you.
You’re constantly offended and wondering why everyone mistreats you. Although some people might hold this against you, it’s certainly not easy to be the one who is constantly offended.
I went through a difficult period in my life once where I was very insecure and became extremely sensitive because of it. My behaviors during this time had a negative effect on my closest relationships.
Thankfully, I was able to look outside of myself eventually and realize that I wasn’t completely blameless.
How to Be Less Easily Offended
If you want to learn how to be less easily offended and control your reactions, see my tips below for how I became less sensitive and more emotionally stable.
Give Other People the Benefit of the Doubt
It’s easy to misinterpret other people’s actions or attitudes as something that has anything to do with us. But the fact is, most of the time they don’t.
For example, in a workplace setting you might run into a coworker and try to speak to them. The give very curt answers in response. It’s natural to wonder if you did something wrong to offend them for them to act that way.
You may even start being short with them out of instinct.
Later in the afternoon you find out they had a disciplinary meeting with the boss that day. Now you know why they were so short with you, they were stressed out and had a lot on their mind.
It would have been better for you to keep things cordial then give them space.
Everyone’s going through something. Even people who are always nice to you can have a bad day. It’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt before assuming they have a problem with you and acting poorly as a result.
Don’t Take Your Anger Out on Other People
In the same manner, it’s a good policy to be self-aware of your emotions and not take your anger or stress out on other people. Having a bad day or going through difficult times is no excuse to treat people poorly.
Just as you most likely have the tendency to take that kind of behavior personally, other people might too.
If it’s someone you don’t know, just act cordially. If it’s people that you are surrounded by like your family or friends, make sure you communicate that you are having a hard time before they get confused or offended by your behaviors.
Remember, even if you communicate effectively that you are struggling, it’s no excuse to treat someone poorly. It just gives the people around you a better context for your change in mood or behavior.
Stop Taking Things Personally
Road rage is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t take things personally. When someone is tailgating you or if someone cuts you off, it’s easy to get worked up and think they have wronged you. To be honest, they certainly weren’t being considerate of you at all.
But instead of honking your horn at them or sending them special hand signals, you should consider that you don’t have to react as if it’s a personal offense.
After all, if you continue to watch that vehicle, there’s no doubt you’ll see them engaging in the same behaviors with other vehicles on the road.
Do you know them personally? Do they know you? Do they even know your name? Most likely the answer to that is no, so it’s nothing to take personal.
Of course it’s annoying, but it’s nothing to get extremely upset over when you put it into perspective.
That kind of thinking can carry over into other everyday interactions as well. For example, if you encounter a rude cashier while shopping. You may be tempted to give attitude right back at them, but if you watch their interactions with other customers, you’ll probably end up noticing that they treat everyone the same.
If you find yourself having road rage or being too angry in social settings, consider not taking other people’s rude behavior so personally. Before reacting, ask yourself if they are really treating you poorly as a personal attack or if that’s just their demeanor.
Learn How to Control Your Reactions
You don’t have the choice to be offended or not, but you do have the choice to control your reactions. Even if you know for certain that someone has gone out of their way to make things personal, you can choose to take the higher road and not react in anger.
In fact, this will most likely confuse the person who is trying to attack you.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of dealing with a bully at school (or even at work), this is the best course of action when avoiding them is not an option.
Getting a reaction out of you or seeing that you’ve been affected negatively by their words is exactly what they want to see from you. You don’t have to give them that satisfaction.
It’s best if you do this out of a place of empathy or pity rather than bitterness (for your own personal mental and emotional health).
Understand that hurt people hurt people and most likely their attacks are rooted in their own insecurities.
Let Go of Pride
One notion you can let go of to make dealing with people easier is that you have to be right all the time. Even if you know you’re right, you don’t have to argue or take a fight on just for the purpose of proving your point. Learn to let go of pride and be humble, understand that you don’t need to “win”.
Eventually the person might realize they’re wrong (if that’s the case) and apologize.
Set Personal Goals
Aside from the advice above about not being so reactive, you’re reading this because you’ve decided be a nicer person. Think about what that means to you and set goals for how you want to act REGARDLESS of other people’s behaviors.
For example, you may find yourself raising your voice in public often then regretting it later. You can resolve that no matter what the situation, you won’t ever raise your voice in a public setting.
Communication is Key
Practice communicating your feelings more often. At first, it will be a struggle to express yourself, but it will get easier the more you do it. One thing I struggled with was how to communicate my feelings without the intention of hurting the person who offended me.
When you’re offended, it’s hard not to be emotional about it. You may need time to cool down and really process what you were actually offended about to be able to communicate it in a more practical way.
How to Be More Emotionally Stable
Becoming a nicer person means having a better understanding of your emotions and being able to control your reactions to being offended. It’s a process of learning how to be humble and not take things so personally.
Once you get the idea out of your head that everyone is out to get you, you will find dealing with people in social settings and close relationships easier.
Ultimately practicing this advice is meant to make life easier for you.