Choosing to not be offended is never about abandoning your own beliefs & convictions, it's about giving people the freedom to express themselves & be who they are. Don't make who they are all about you & don't seek to define who you are by what someone else thinks, says, does, believes or feels. It's not fair to the other person.
People who are easily offended are easily one of my least favorite people to be around. They put a damper on my day. When someone always finds a way to take another person's personal convictions & make it all about themselves, it just reeks of a self-worship. It's hard for me to be around self-absorbed people. From now on I am just going to come out & say it, "Here's a hint. it's not always about you." I don't like to feel as though I have to walk around eggshells just so I won't "hit a nerve". Humans will not always agree on everything, we're complex & diverse. This is not breaking news. Quite frankly, the more someone reacts to negativity, the less freedom they have.
When someone says something that I personally believe is way out of line or offensive, I don't make it all about me because I know I will miss the lessons. What do their views show me about myself or my life? Do I have big heart? Do I have enough compassion? Can I sympathize with their views? Should I be more tolerant? Should I learn more about different cultures & widen my horizons? How can I walk away a better person after encountering adversity or an opposing view? That's where I learn. I turn it into something positive. It can be a learning experience if you let it be.
We are not victims of the people or the opinions around us. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The same can be said in this case. We have the power to choose to not feel offended & belittled in almost every situation. I believe empathetic people are the ones who are the least likely to feel deeply offended & the most likely to understand another person's point of view or at least try to walk in their shoes. Getting your panties in a bunch because someone disagrees with you or has a different opinion on life is just childish.
Looking back at all the times I've felt deeply offended, I can honestly say that 95% of time I was the problem, not the "offender". Sure there are rude people who are just downright mean-spirited, but there was also an insecurity & need-for-acceptance in me. I thought that if I reacted to the negativity, I would feel better about myself or I would feel "in control". Wrong. There is nothing I can say or do to control others. I am only in control of myself. I can't say that I never feel slightly offended because that would be a lie. I am human & I feel. However, now whenever I'm faced with adversity or people who live to offend others, I choose to get over the initial shock & move on from it as fast as I can. Maybe I'll even try to educate them & have a civil conversation like two adults. I just choose to not dwell on rudeness, gossip, name calling, distasteful comments, etc. I rather put my mind elsewhere. I don't have to attend every argument I get invited to. It's been tough, but I've learned to choose my battles wisely.