Here’s a thought: When you are offended by something, you take offense.

What if you chose not to take offense? What if you decided that being offended was not a state you wanted to remain in… so you let go of the feeling of being offended?

Or turn the idea around. What if someone takes offense to something you did? Is it really your responsibility to make sure they are not offended? And once they have chosen to be offended by you or your actions, do you really think there is anything you can do to materially change their mind about you?

They chose to take offense to what you said. What power do you have over their choices?

Nothing is intrinsically offensive. It is only after we interpret the event in our brains and decide to label it “offensive” that something becomes offensive.

So why allow someone to have that power over you? By choosing not to take offense you are empowering yourself to be in control of the situation. When you remain in control of yourself you can then take productive action. Abdicating responsibility for your feelings by “taking offense” leads to disempowerment and feelings of futility.

Instead take a breath. Take a walk. Take a break. Take an action that gives you control, rather than ceding control to someone who doesn’t deserve it.