Published: 06/27/2013 - Updated: 11/24/2016
Having a tendency to get offended can occur for various reasons, although frequently it is linked with self-esteem issues. Not feeling good enough with who we are can generate a feeling of low self-esteem and makes us more sensitive. Having low self-esteem can make us see or consider ourselves with zero worth and therefore we generate an opinion of ourselves as inferior to others.
When we feel inferior or non-valuable, it can cause us to be an easier target from the negative comments which are sometimes around us.
A little bit of psychology
One of the terms to respect in psychology is the "self-fulfilling prophecy" consisting in a person having negative thoughts about what will occur and who inadvertently contributes to the events turning out in a negative way.
For example, a woman before going to a meeting or celebration thinks, "I’m not attractive and nobody will want to approach to me", this thought will then unconciously direct her to not having a good time through her own doing, whether it be by being non-communicative or unconsciously projecting body language which rejects company. At the end of the day, her prophecy will probably be fulfilled, not precisely because of the reasons that she believed but by the attitude that her negative thoughts produced. Finally, the message we get from such an experience is that, in effect, everything happened as we predicted and this conduct reinforces our negative thinking, affecting us increasingly in a downward spiral.
We become fearful of others and feel threatened, thus we adopt a defensive attitude. Attacking another person or lashing out is a form of creating distance and it also makes us feel more secure, like we are "protecting" ourselves.
Feeling offended is a feeling of malaise, like feeling attacked, disqualified, questioned or judged. However, often the problem is about internal character problems.
How can I change this?
To overcome this susceptibility, we must first strengthen our own self-esteem. Start to value ourselves beyond what we do, or what we produce, but simply our essence.
Taking our self-esteem from achievements, skills or our physique is not ideal, but instead we should take it from our essence, always remember this. We are equal people and come to the world with an essence: Learning to love this through reflection is possible in order to increase our self-esteem. The superficial things genuinely are unable to help us work through this issue and as an example, there are many sportsmen/women, entrepreneurs and successful people who remain some of the most insecure people.
Walk: When you feel irritable or offended, the most advisable thing to do is take a walk: Try to go for walks daily and breathe deeply. Remember that everything is a development i.e. a consistent evolution. If something does not go as you hoped, it is only a mere part of life, so try to focus your energies on figuring it out.
Avoid negative thoughts towards yourself: We all have defects, but we shouldn’t focus on them. Although all of us have faults, it is better to say something positive about ourselves.
No-one is perfect: Never set perfection as your goal, since we know that is unattainable. However, you can set more achievable objectives. Advancing with small but meaningful achievements and sometimes failures is a valuable experience in life.
Try new things: Feeling useless or limited can lead us to be susceptible to feeling offended. Try other activities to put you in contact with new situations, discover something good that helps you to strengthen your self-esteem.
Do not put yourself aside: We cannot sit by and watch, hoping to somehow reach what we desire, one must be the protagonist of one's own life.
Do not push yourself outside of the limits of what you are capable of: Although pushing yourself is good, pushing yourself more than what you can do is not healthy. Learn to enjoy what you have - nobody should demand more than his/her best effort.