January 26, 2011

How To Mend Fences . . .

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{Poor Ollie – he’s offended on a daily basis.}

Have you ever offended someone else without meaning to?  And then you learned that they were angry or upset or sad or devastated?  It is definitely one of my least favorite situations to be in.  And yet, it does happen.

Recently we’ve been the cause of offending someone when truly, no offense was intended. And this is what we’ve learned:

  • Apologize.  Even if you’ve done no wrong.  An apology can go a very long way in mending the hurt feelings of others.
  • Acknowledge the efforts of the individual who has been offended.  Help them to feel appreciated and validated.
  • Do not continue the cycle of offense by getting offended yourself.  Try to see things clearly by putting yourself in the shoes {moccasins} of the other person.
  • Recommit to not being offended by the actions of others in the future, by remembering that to be offended is a choice we make ourselves.

A favorite quote by David A. Bednar comes to mind {found here}:

When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else…

You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. However, we do determine how we will act. Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended.

So, in summary, choose not to be offended!  And, just in case, I am truly sorry if I have ever offended any of my readers with something I have written on this blog.  That was NEVER my intent. I am a pleaser by nature and just want everyone to feel happy!

9 comments:

Kasey said...

Great post!! I will be passing this on as well.

Apis Melliflora said...

Excellent post, Fence Mender.

The Queen Vee said...

Good choice!

squeezeme said...

An vital truth which leads to a happier life. I love Elder Bednar and I love you!

Jessie said...

I like the perspective that being offended is a choice we make ourselves. Most people just like to blame everyone else for the negativity in their life. We are in control of our responses. Hopefully you can mend whatever fence got broken without too much drama. :)

Aiketa said...

Incredible! I was talking about that exact same topic with my friends at lunch break. I was the only one though to think like you. My friends were saying how some professor comments had affected negatively on their lives, but although I also received similar comments, they had no negative effect on me because I had the predisposition of not being offended.
It's so wonderful how we can control it!

Aiketa said...

About the picture, Ollie is getting so so big!

tktakesphotos said...

I'm so offended! Ha! Just teasing Sam. I love everything about this post. Including little Ollie's crocodile tears.

Linda said...

I want everyone in the whole wide world to read this post. Well spoken, Sam. What a service to our sensibilities your words are. Thanks for the light handed reminder. Linda