This is an art. A skill. A life-long experience that may never be mastered. To not be offended by what someone does or says is difficult to do, however, not impossible. To not take something personal is hard, but if you can accomplish this, you will likely be a happier person.
A couple years ago, a friend of mine sent me an email with an important message entitled “The Art of Not Being Offended.” It amazes me how often I go through my old mail and read these words of wisdom. We have to remember that people may go through life with a smile, but on the inside they may be crying. Some people project their own life onto us and we in turn believe we are the bad guy. But we’re not. We must remember this. If we learn to not take what people do or say personally, then we will have overcome a great life challenge. So practice this little life lesson and hopefully you will be able to find happiness with the actions and words of others. And with that I will leave you with a little blurb from the email:
“All of that said, almost nothing is personal. Even with our closest loved ones, our beloved partners, our children and our friends. We are all swimming in the projections and filters of each other’s life experiences and often we are just the stand-ins, the chess pieces of life to which our loved ones have their own built-in reactions. This is not to dehumanize life or take away the intimacy from our relationships, but mainly for us to know that almost every time we get offended, we are actually just in a misunderstanding. A true embodiment of this idea actually allows for more intimacy and less suffering throughout all of our relationships. When we know that we are just the one who happens to be standing in the right place at the right psychodynamic time for someone to say or do what they are doing—we don’t have to take life personally. If it weren’t us, it would likely be someone else.” - Dr. Jodi Prinzivalli