When People Offend You

I was recently reminded of how much of an impact others can have on us.  Whether it’s the person who delivered the news to us that we are not going to be employed anymore, a person at the job club we go to, the person who interviewed with us (and never gets responds to our emails)… people we interact with can have a big impact on us.

Unfortunately, sometimes we allow the impact people have on us to be really harmful (to us). Ideally, we would be strong and powerful and not let people hurt us, but life isn’t always ideal.  And we are not always strong.

I think, unfortunately, we give people too much power.  We respect what we assume is their position, or stature.  “If she said it, it must be true!!”  What qualifies her to speak truth, or be right?  What if…

She has been raised or influenced by a narcissist?  Yuck.  Double yuck. There’s no easy way to handle this, except to realize the offender has serious issues, not you. Whether this person is a narcissist or has learned social skills from a narcissist, it’s hard to be on the receiving end of this abuse.

She is having a horrible day? I just read a story from a friend who was unintentionally “rude” on the road, after just learning about her father’s death. Her mind was totally somewhere else. Not a good time to drive, of course, but it could have given the person she cut off some insight into why.

She says something without considering you, or your situation?  It’s a drive-by comment that she didn’t really think about, and doesn’t realize how impactful her comments are on you.

She has zero integrity, heart, or love. Some people are just completely self-centered, living in a lonely world of being a jerk. They walk over everyone and everything without a care in the world.

Or, a host of other scenarios?  

Do not give her (or him) too much power.  I know it’s easier said than done, but figure out how to brush it off and move on. And, if necessary, sever the relationship. There’s no sense staying in a toxic relationship when it’s only harming you (and people you care for).

If all else fails, borrow a motto I came up with a number of years ago, when I try to figure out why people do things: “Presume insanity.”  That is, if you adjust your thinking, and presume the offending person is crazy, that could put their actions into the right, or at least a personally healthy, perspective.