Some people have a thick skin and are rarely offended by anything. Others are so sensitive that literally everything someone does is offensive to them.

Having a fragile ego or a truly unrealistic need for perfection can cause you to become easily offended. The good news is that you are in charge of your emotions. So you can change. Here’s how:

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1. Assume positive intentions

We’re human after all. So sometimes things come out wrong and what we say isn’t exactly what we mean. The best way to get around this is to assume that everyone has the best intentions. This will stop you from jumping to conclusions before you have the full story.

2. Consider that they’re probably right

Yes, you’d feel a lot better if all you were ever given were compliments. But life’s not like that. Criticisms happen. And those criticisms – as long as they’re constructive – can help you grow and mature.

3. Ask yourself, why?

You may actually be the cause of your own irritation. You’re in charge of your feelings, remember that. So, if you want to change how easily offended you are, you need to change the way you think. The more restrictions you place on the way things should be, the unhappier you’ll be.

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4. Let others be themselves

No one’s out to get you. We’re all different and sometimes you’ll come across people that act differently. They may be abrupt or shallow, but that’s fine. That’s their choice. The more you go out of your way to accept them the more accepted by them you’ll feel. Don’t do it for them. Do it for you.

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5. Don’t get offended

Your thoughts are your own. Others don’t need to hear everything you think. So, with that in mind you can always choose to ignore what others have said. Rise above it and move on with your life. Try looking at comments and criticisms in a different perspective.

6. Forgive

Holding on to negative feelings does nothing more than hurt you. If you actually forgive people, you’ll be able to move forward with your life and be happy. Negative feelings can hold you back. So, what’s the point of retaining them?

7. Accept yourself

The truth hurts, that’s what they say. Trying to take criticism in a positive light can be really tough. One way to overcome this is to accept yourself. If you know who you are, you won’t be so easily offended when someone makes a criticism.

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8. Increase your self-esteem

Loving yourself and what you stand for can really help to build up your self-esteem. Studies have shown that people with low self-esteem are more easily offended than those with high levels of self-esteem.

9. Realise you’re only hurting yourself

Being overly sensitive is only negatively impacting you. No one else. Think about how being easily offended is actually affecting you. Once you realise this you can go about stopping it from happening.

There’s a great African proverb that states, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” The more you appreciate and accept yourself, the less offended you’ll be by what others say about you. The only person you have complete control over is you. So, change yourself for the better.

To your success

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Paul

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