Many people cut through our neighborhood to save time. Because I live in the neighborhood, I know the importance of driving the speed limit to keep our kids and furry friends safe. I also know when someone doesn't live in the community because they operate well above the 25 miles an hour speed limit. This causes me to become offended. I've found myself so frustrated and annoyed at times by speeding people that I purposely drive 15 mph to make a point. I walk my neighborhood with my dog and give the speeders the eye roll and a possible "you're an idiot" comment; I may have wished a citation upon them too. In addition, I find myself complaining to anyone that will listen, annoyed and frustrated.
Why do we get so offended by the actions of others?
I believe it's not about the offense; it's what is underneath the offense. Usually, it involves, resentment, fear, annoyance, anger, frustration, or unmet expectations
When we stay stuck in our offense, it often leads to unhappiness, frequent complaining, victim mentality, and sometimes malicious intent to take revenge.
I can pinpoint this easily offended person because I used to be her. Yes, past tense. I still experience moments when I get offended by the actions of others, but I have indeed grown in this area. You can, too.
Think about my neighborhood example.
I am offended by the speeders in my neighborhood.
I am angry that they are not following the rules.
I expect others to be more considerate of others.
Now I am aware of my offense and what is underneath it, what do I do about it?
I could complain, play the victim, or even take revenge. Our offense is meant to indicate an issue, not dictate your response. Instead, I recognize what is under my offense, then focus on the facts, reframe and take positive action forward towards change. I am not changing the person (I can't); I can do is change how I see it (reframing it) and then I can choose to take positive action forward.
I decided to write a letter to our HOA and to the city about my concerns. The act of doing something made all the difference.
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