1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What to do with easily offended people? May 23, 2007

  photo julesangel

Since I was I child I could not understand why to get offended (needless to say I never felt offended myself). Later I found out that it is a very valuable quality as it makes my life extremely easy and free from all sorts of stupid stuff (mental over-activity and heart pains).

My close relatives where however not of that type and and it took me some hard training to show them that feeling offended really makes no sense . And it worked! – by now my mom and my sister keep saying how grateful they are for that treatment.

When somebody says “he hurt my feelings!” – I am sure it is not at all about hurting feelings! It is about hurting Ego…


However even if I am not of that type, now and then easily offended people cross my way. I find it extremely difficult to communicate with such people: they can feel hurt even for a compliment!

Once I told to one artist that her works are so wonderful, like from the shop window! – I meant it looked so great as if not hand made. She did not like to talk to me any more. What is there to feel bad about?

Luckily I met only few such people. However I know that far too many of otheres still find themselves offended, though less easily.

I learned a lesson and found out two ways to handle such situations:

  1. Tell a person you find it not OK. Tell that it blocks communication and friendships – may be he/she will be willing to get rig of this bad habit?
  2. If nothing works, just avoid any relationship with such people – why to support poison?

Feeling offended means only one: that a person can not forgive.

And that means nothing less as poisoning everything with negative thinking

It means nothing less than a closed heart.

One of my favorite quotations from Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi says:

“The quality of human beings is only one and that is how much they love and
forgive” .

LOVE, axinia


51 Responses to “What to do with easily offended people?”

  1. Denyse Says:

    Oh bliss! I thought I was somehow defective in the world in that I so very, very seldom become offended! I believe you have pinpointed the reality that it is not our feelings, but rather our egos that become bruised through rejection, misunderstanding— isn’t that what it is usually about? Misunderstanding? I keep the assumption that the intentions of others are pure; so if I seem to misunderstand, I throw in my warped sense of humor & some patience- and make a friend- not a conflict! ~Namaste~

  2. axinia Says:

    Thanks for your deep comment, Denyse! I am happy you got it right 🙂
    I also believe that mostly the intentions of people are innocent and pure. But even if not so – why should it bother me? If I am innocent and pure, nothing can destroy my state of joy!
    Every misunderstanding is based on mental – and therefore ego based – activity…

  3. Francis Says:

    Thank you for your thoughts. You’re right. It’s not right to be offended. However, that is exactly the world in which we live. Your second point, however, puzzles me. I’m sure it’s a language thing. This is your second solution in dealing with easily offended people. Your words were “If nothing works, just avoid any relationship – why to support poison?” I imagine you mean with that person. I feel bad, because I am in yet another relationship where the party felt offended over something said that was never meant to offend.

  4. axinia Says:

    Thanks, Francis, for your intresting comment!

    Regarding your question, I meant that if somebody is easily offended, for every little thing – that I personally prefer not to have any relationship with that person. Of course I did not mean not to have any realtionship at all 😉
    but a person who is easily offenden, should think it over, if it is commfprtable for others to bear it!

  5. […] wrote something about my childhood experiences with that matter here, I mean I was aware of that thing long time ago. However only recently I could really understand […]

  6. Raman Says:

    What you say is true & simple, but I feel it is not always possible. I hate when my boss smokes inside his cabin when I am sitting with him. The smoke irritates my eyes and I stink by the time I walk out of the room. Unfortunately, I can’t tell him, what I exactlt feel about his habit (especially since he is not somone who’d encourage 2-way communication). I now find reasons to walk out when he smokes (like let me get a file, I have to use the washroom or simple, to take a call on my mobile).

    Also, differences may not mean that I am right always. Though I may get offended, it will still mean that I stick to my opinion and the person opposite, sticks to hers/his.

    Instead of being vocal, I prefer to avoid communication – this way, I hope to convey the fact that though I may not agree, s/he is entitled to an opinion and can live the way s/he wants to irrespective of what I think.

    I just try to be as less intrusive as possible. And hope I receive the same.


  7. axinia Says:

    you are a wonderful soul, very sensitive and sensible…
    There are different ways to deal with such things that annoy us (to tell you the truth I can not stand smoking myself, but i often tell that directl and demand that others respect it. May not work in every situation, though). However these things are not the reason to feel hurt or offended, and mostly other people do not mean that at all!

    I personally see it that way: to feel offended will cost me a lot of unpleasant feelings. Why should I spoil my life like this? I try to find other ways to solve a situation, and I do find such way. Acutally everyone does 🙂 – more or less…

  8. Raman Says:

    Very true. With my near & dear ones, I can ask them to stop or start doing something & get away with it. My mom will put of using the mixer in the kitchen because I love to sleep late – she plans it in such a way that my sleep doesn’t get disturbed. But then (hope you’ve faced this dilemma too) that we can’t ask everything from everyone.

    The other day, I was travelling by an air conditioned train when a co-passenger ordered non-vegitarian food. I happened to mention that the smell kind of makes me nauceous and he ensured that he eats non-veg food for the rest of the trip 🙂

    When I get “hurt” I steer clear of the people and that ways, I remain happy – and I hope, they remain happy too!!


  9. […] Someone`s ego is hurt. EGO, not heart. The heart can not be hurt,never belive that statement: “oh, it hurt my heart” – normally it is the ego`s […]

  10. […] of poisoning your head with the ideas of pain and revenge, simply make a nice special present for the “offender”. For the generosity opens the heart and dissolves everything in […]

  11. Jim Says:

    I like that you have a when-all-else-fails clause… It’s necessary..

    But i find your thinking simplistic. That’s pretty blunt of me to say so. Are you offended? 😉

    Here is why it is an over-simplification. Your #2 clause basically means you do not forgive the other person for being offended. Indeed, you don’t tolerate their behavior, and I’m not saying you should… But you see “being offended” is how you percieve the other person, and perhaps how they convey themselves, but what has really happened is they are either uncomfortable or aren’t tolerating your behavior, so you are not so different as you think you are.. Both of you have discomfort, triggored by the other’s behavior.

    The problem is not in the feelings, but rather in how people communicate and deal with those feelings.

    So why is it uncomfortable for others when people are “offended”? There are two reasons.

    #1) The consciousness of Gratitude is absent. why? It is a skill to keep one’s feelings of low enough intensity to maintain spiritual awareness.. One needs to self-sooth, and the offended person is not skilled enough in that way. They don’t see the beauty in front of their nose… It is a special thing that you talk to someone, you have given something, but they can’t appreciate your gift because of their emotional state. Be aware tho, you too are not so skillful as you might wish to believe. After all, if you could better maintain the state of consciousness of gratitude, in yourself, you would not feel such a lack. This is not so horrible, you like them are human and have limitations. Appreciate them and heed to them. Challenge yourself a little bit if you wish to grow, but be cautions and keep it at a bearable. To use an analogy, if you have never lifted weights, don’t go trying to lift 100 lbs right away.
    #2) Blame. Usually when you see someone as being offended, it means you are thinking that the other person is seeing you as being at fault for their emotional state.. That you said the wrong thing.. that you are mean.. or just otherwise not right. When communication breaks down, it is not because soemone is right and someone else is wrong. If you see the other person as blaming you, you may or may not be correct in that assessment, but to the extent that it bothers you either way, you at some level have a part of yourself which is agreeing that you are wrong.

    All humans are limited.. even spiritual giants like jesus.. It is indeed wise to spend good amount of your time with those who will not present you with such a level of challenge. People with whom the consciousnes of gratitude is more readily at hand.

  12. Jesus Says:

    Hello, my children. To help the easily offended grow spritually, sometimes they need to endure some suffering. If that suffering is a negative reaction to something you have said, doesn’t it make sense to say even more offensive things to that person to help them grow? It is like spiritual exercise. Like physical exercise, pushing the body to extreme levels help the body grow stronger. And if that push is from the encouragement and forceful motivation of a caring coach or drill sargeant, isn’t that an act of love? So help your spritually weak brothers and sisters by offending them continously, keep pushing their buttons, in order for them to grow. They will benefit in the long run even though they may hate you for it, just like most people would hate the coach for making them run another lap around the track

  13. […] wrote something about my childhood experiences with that matter here, I mean I was aware of that thing long time ago. However only recently I could really understand […]

  14. guqin Says:

    I found this post of yours inspiring, and quite true, but I am not sure if I should agree with you entirely. Perhaps I don’t understand the English word “offended” properly?

    As it seems to me, being offended isn’t always about the ego. Just imagine, if one approached a family member of a victim of the September 11 terrorist attack in New Yord city and said: Bin Ladin wasn’t really that bad a person… I am quite sure that person would feel offended. And it doesn’t seem as much a result of the ego being hurt but something more fundamental and universal.

    However, I do believe people who had blessed growing up experiences such as joyful childhoods and family lives would be less likely offended since they are more sure of themselves and more likely to view the world as a friendly place.

  15. axinia Says:

    thanks for this insight., I think I know what you mean. Probably it is not the same.
    but still, at some point, even if someone has done something very evil to me, I can forget and forgive – that is what makes a human being after all.

  16. guqin Says:

    With this blessing personality and your language skills, you could be an ideal diplomat or embasstor.

  17. axinia Says:

    guqin, good Idea 🙂
    But actually, I believe it is what I am anyway – without planning it, I am actually practicing “floks diplomacy” and contirbute to the improvement of the image of my motherland online online and offline – and that is, from my heart.

  18. guqin Says:

    You are already succeeding with this purpose. While reading your writtings, I have been feeling better and better about Russia.

    Hope there will be more and more folk diplomats or on-line diplomats like you from different countries.

  19. axinia Says:

    thanks, guqin,
    glad to hear that! 🙂 Also my friends in Austria keep telling me that.
    I guess many people are doing that, knowingly or unknowingly,…

    may be you want to start a blog on “true China” too?

  20. guqin Says:

    The language barrier may be a problem. Most Chinese blogers are not fluent in English. As for myself if I write, it won’t be about politics.

  21. axinia Says:

    i believe in that case it is better to write in Endlish, so that many people can read – in that case you should not orient yourself on Chinese. I think I have only few Russian readers…
    You dont need to write about politics, nobody needs that. What people really need is the true information about life in China, about their character, about something special.

    to get inspired, you can read my post:



  22. Jules Says:

    Hi 🙂
    I just wanted to say my photo goes lovely with your post 🙂
    I was just googling for something, and your blog came up in the search. What a pleasant coincidence 🙂
    I appreciate you linking my photo back to my name
    My apologies for going off track to your topic in here .

  23. axinia Says:

    HI, Jules,
    I am glad you like your photo here, I find it fits perfectly the topic. And I am very greateful to you for letting me use it!!

    I am a bit surprised you write “I appreciate you linking my photo back to my name” because it was actaully done from the very begining!! Don`t you see?

    You see, cases like that made me to an amature photographer and now I only use my own photos :;)

  24. Ldinka_108 Says:

    Axinia, love your blogs, have been reading and enjoying most of them for long time. Very nice vibs and something to digest all the time 🙂 great job 🙂
    With “offended” people I think most of the time we are dealing with over-sensitive though over-reacting people. I think you are right – reaction comes from Ego. But it is not as simple as it might seem on the first sight. Being around artist lots of my time now, I noticed that over reacting or offending reaction is an protection based on the low self-esteem and a fear of being rejected… I don’t say it is right, but mechanism behind it might be very complicated. Their over or hyper reaction made them artists, musicians etc. so, i see it as an other side of the blessing of having a talent. And in the college design department, where I study now, we have part of the creative process which is called “critique”. Class-mates and instructors critique your work and you have to develop thicker skin to tolerate it. it is done in very diplomatic way, though, which is part of American culture of communication, but still it helps sensitive people to overcome inner problems as having too much attention of being placed on the hot spot…
    So, what could be done in this case? sending love to them to relax them and make them feel appreciated and loved instead of being judged… it is a curse to them to have it as an side effect, i feel sorry and compassionate for them… Being around those kind of people taught me to watch myself very carefully as what I’m saying and how I’m saying things. When person feels secure with me, only then i can deliver comments about the work. Before that – only absolutely neutral comments on how it makes feel ME and not about their works… Hope, it makes sense 🙂

    with nirmal love.

  25. axinia Says:

    Ldinka_108, spasibo for your kind words about my blog – it is a great joy to get a comment from the “silent reader” 🙂

    And thank you for your valuable input! “I noticed that over reacting or offending reaction is an protection based on the low self-esteem and a fear of being rejected…” – I agree, it is not the Ego…but it is the super-ego then!! What say? :))
    Regarding artist and all creative people I also noticed that they are extremely sensitive and that makes a communication with them very difficult sometimes. I have several freinds like that (even my own sister is a singer!)… You know what I just spontaneously think of it now? May be it comes only from the their detachment to their art? Identification with it?…

    Your advise on the gentle communication is really a good one, it shows that you do care and have a good heart. But I think it works differently depending on the person. Like I am always rather direct and hones and intrestingly people not only dont mind – no, they actually expect an honest “critics” from me and are normally very greateful. May be because they feel my love and what somebody says “you don`t have back thoughts in your mind when you are speaking” :))) I think loving honsety is sucha rare thing nowadays that people are very grateful for the bit of it…There are some cases where it does not work, but generally it does 🙂

    • Ldinka_108 Says:

      Well, I think you are right. as well i think it is manifestation ofy damaged left channel, including super-ego, of course. and of course, complete attachment to the work. their works – their “babies”. another point, they are so insecure that they translate confidence as aggression, and being offended is a passive reaction in the try to protect themselves. the thing is, generally, such a behavior is a sign of the serious disbalance of the left channel. and those kind of people could be quite nasty energy suckers if you allow them to manipulate you through feeling guilty.
      when i face this kind of situation i try to use THE most diplomatic words i capable of (just a sec to hold a breath and put attention into Sahasrara to get what i need) and i’m always honest. but honest doesn’t mean straight forward 🙂 there is always a space for diplomacy…

  26. Daghead Says:

    How about people who are easily offended by misinterpreting email or chat text… argh

  27. gazorgy Says:

    Heck ya!!! I’ve never been able to articulate an arguement such as yours to justify my stance on offending people. Thanks:)

  28. JC Says:

    So true! Very cogent position you’ve posted here– kudos

  29. Izzy Says:

    I love this post!!! It’s very helpful. But gah, its hard to ignore an easily offended person if it’s your sister… (-_-)… I mean is it offensive to tell someone their car is cute? I just wanna give her a big hug so she isn’t so mean, but she’d probably punch me in the mouth, haha…

  30. Alex Says:

    Well, it IS both simple and not 😉 But too much here depends also on you.

    I will just tell you from my own experience. I have had at least 3 really strong such cases (up till now 🙂 ) when people became suddenly offended, paying attention to the fact that I indeed did not have to do or say anything “bad” (even think) towards them. For myself I took it as the tests for my steadiness “in the center” and real love to people withn.

    But thanx these “tests” I have found a the method of how to deal with that phenomenon… and all 3 times it worked!!

    …first of all, to be successful you yourself have definitely to understand better what human being is (well, as a Sahaja Yoga instructor, I might say I have at least basic experience with it and “how certain things work” from the subtle side). So, we can approach human being in a multy-dimension way, in sense we might presuppose s/he has physical, mental and spiritual bodies (let’s stop only on these three here). And now I would like to ask you just a question from something of your everyday life: are you normally offended at someone if s/he has flu??

    This thing is referring to the physical body. But what about transmitting this attitude to function of other “bodies”?

    Because some inadequate/agressive/self-destructing reactions of other person towards you – is another illness of his/hers mental or soul bodies. In short – the PSYCHE is ill… It is just another type of illness. But people are a bit strange creatures becoming offended on one “illness” and not on other 🙂 . You do not have to be a great sage or sir to understand and see it. BUT if you yourself will put forward your own REAL nature, your Pure Love – your motherly (or fatherly) instinct will come on the stage (despite of your onw age comparing to that person 🙂 ). It means that if a child misbehaves a bit, or does something that can hurt it, the mother will not start to hate the child. SHE WILL LOVE IT STILL AND TRY TO HELP SO THE CHILD WOULD NOT HURT ITSELF OR OTHERS MORE. Ofcourse, if you do not feel in yourself these powers, better not try, as it will really look artificial and can have an opposite effect…

    Now to conclude all of this philosophy from above, with what I had to do to handle situation these 3 times?

    – SIMPLY NOT TO IGNORE THE PERSON (unlike Axinia suggests for really bad cases, what can be applicable only when really nothing else is working), BUT IGNORED THEIR OFFENDINESS 🙂
    Yes, I continued to speak and deal with them the same as I did before! (well, may be just without clapping on the shoulder 🙂 ).

    So, what happened later?

    …Sometimes to receive something really profoundly good, you invest some time and skill into it. During these three days, the people as a rule really tryed to provoke you for some fight-type relations but I did not shake DESPITE ANYTHING. In three days, as the result all these people had at first a strong feeling of guilt for how they were behaving… and eventually, when they tested you during these 3 unpleasant for them days – your true pure-heartiness was proved towards them on practice (well, too many times in my life, unfortunately, people especially in the beginning could not believe in my sincerity with them just because I seem a-typically “openhearted”…) and after offered you the most kind-hearted friendship from their side.

    This is all actually close to how Abraham Lincoln was “killing” his own enemies 😉 .

    Good luck with this or your own way!


  31. chris Says:

    I agree that people get offended over stupid things. While living at college I came into contact with alot of people who got offended easily. Often it would be times when I would say an innocent sarcastic joke. Now, as I agree that there anger was unfounded, I did however come to the relization that maybe something can change within me. No matter how much of an ass someone is, or how stupid they are, when they call you out on something that might not even be true, 90 percent of the time there is something you can do to change yourself nonetheless and for the better! So I have been watching my sarcastic humer more and not using it around people I don’t know too well. I learned something that had to be changed within me.

    So my request for you is this. Please continue to look at yourself and not at other people. We can’t change others but we can change ourselves. “Stop pointing fingers and take some blame” Kid Rock… of all people to qoute haha

    • axinia Says:

      hi chris, thanks a lot, that’s good example. Mostly it is indeed we ourselves who could willingly or unwillingly cause an offended reaction. However not always. As in the examle I have given with that girl – I wanted to compliment her work, but to her it did not sound so. It can be a misunderstanding, and we just should be patient. I can also easily apologize, but if a person’s ego too seisitive when what can we do? Just forgive and forget, just don’t mix up 🙂

  32. julia Says:

    I never, well almost never get offended
    you know what offends me is when people get offended

    Im a girl once in a blue moon my feeling might get hurt. Im the type of person that makes fun of people and they make fun of me (and we’re as happy as can be)
    than I have some friends who make fun of people and if someone makes fun of them, they cry likes babies Im like WTF 0.O seriously ?

    its hard for me to deal with people who feelings get hurt so easliy and for too serious people.
    but its hard when they are like your brothers wife (she gets so offended too easily its annoying!!)

    anyways i wish people would lighten up and enjoy life more
    im also have a sarcastic personality my dad got angry at me recently (but I was like screw you) in my attitude and head (he’s really sensitive and kind of anal)
    I will never change my sarcastic personality even if some people don’t like it (like my dad)
    I have many friends and other family members that love that part of me ❤

  33. seo Says:

    Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  34. Erin Says:

    Thanks for this article. I have spent the past few years surrounded by other women who are easily offended and it’s exhausting. If I paid more attention to one person than the other, a person was offended…After years of being annoyed I finally decided I was helping them stay broken by not just saying, “Enough already.” More than ego, I believe easily offended people have low self esteem and self worth. Any time you do anything that seemingly validates their low self worth, they become offended. Mostly people who like themselves are not easily offended.

    • axinia Says:

      well Erin, this is also a good point! I think it can be both – people with big ego when they feel their ego is not being respected, or people with lower self-esteeme.

  35. Stressedsoul Says:

    I never thought of it as being an ego, but now I am definitely certain it is. My partner of 15yrs can get very offended and every time I know I have to talk to him about something important I have to spend at least an entire week to think about my words and how I’m going to tell him very very carefully, but it always ends up with him getting offended and him calling me every name in the book, and then threatening to leave me and the kids. Its been stressful and I used to think that there was something wrong with me, but now reading your comments I’m starting to think that there is something wrong with his ego and self-esteem. I just wish found your comments earlier.

  36. raahul Says:

    Hi, my wife faces the same problem and she gets offended pretty quickly. Need ur urgent help as u cud help someone in this regard earlier.

  37. axinia Says:

    hi raahul, tell you wife to introspect on her ego – if she will analyze every case when she gets offended and she will see that in each case it is only her EGO which gets offended. Then she should work on her ego…at least even realizing that must help a lot!

  38. Punita Says:

    Hi, one of our family member who is elder to me has the same problem. She gets offended for anything said to her. Say, if she mistakenly puts something flammable near fire, and we(anybody from the family younger or elder) ask her to keep it aside, she gets angry and feels we are treating her badly as we always keep pointing her mistake. So, we tried it other way round by doing the things ourselves rather than asking her, and things got much worse as she was offended even more. If we try telling her what she is feeling is insignificant she gets angry that we are trying to preach her and nobody loves her. We have tried every possible way, but could not help. In worse situations she threats that she would run away from here. Anything if you or anyone can suggest. She is in big pain…and nothing is helping her….

  39. xinis89 Says:

    Thank you for your article! I really like it! It’s very hard to deal with offended people, you have to think carefully your words… This happened with my cousin…. She has some phone covers she doesn’t use anymore and i jokely told her “hey, i can accept those free” and she got offended and i asked why, She said that i was ungrateful and I told her it was a joke…. She hasn’t spoken to me for a week….. *sigh* what to do? what to do?

    And I am cool about it, If she’s still angry at me, I don’t mind,
    I’m not young but not too old but what I have learned is that life is too short to be bothered with something like this,

  40. Ryan Says:

    I can’t tell if you’re trying to offend your audience or not when you write that you have never even offended. Everyone gets offended and learns or doesn’t learn from it, that’s essentially the definition of shaping ego. To say that you do not experience a personal offense to anyone else’s words or actions is incredibly ignorant. Please think before you type.

  41. Linda Says:

    Easily offended people….stay away. If family members, retreat.

  42. Nick Says:

    This is extremely helpful to me in dealing with and.understanding these types of people. I appreciate the wisdom and insight. Jesus loves you and God bless you 🙂

  43. G G Says:

    Beautiful message. Thank you!

  44. Sun Tomorrow Says:

    This article is bunk. You sound more like a narcissist than anything. How is it that you, blogger, have all the knowledge and insight to ‘train your mother and sister’? Offense is based on systems of values and morality, and to never be offended tells me your systems are out of whack- or that you have dissociated yourself from them. Have you seen a child in pain? A suffering animal at death’s door? A zealot who would rather arm you with weapons than educate you? Have you no respect for the suffering of marginalized people, Natives, women, people of color? Then you do not stand for much. Personally, I find this article offensive, as not only do you reduce the human condition of empathy to ego, you have misled this audience.

  45. Elizabeth Avina Says:

    I, for one, never take offense except for when speaking to my sister. She is short tempered, mercurial at best, and easily upset. Often I just have to throw up my arms and walk away because if I don’t the conversation will further devolve and continue on past the point of being a benefit. I take my lashings, agree to her every whim, and try not to contradict what she is saying all in hopes of finishing much sooner and hightailing it out of there. Often it is best not to say anything, that is, if you value the relationship. I can’t walk away from family but if it was an associate of sorts I wouldn’t make small talk just give the simplest of pleasantries. I do make note of topics that are sticking points for others and try not to discuss those. For the most part this helps.

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