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  • Writer's picturesteve richardson

Self-Regard is The Domain of Your Heart

It was, I thought, a compliment. A passing observation to a stranger who did not need or ask for my view, but received it anyway. It turned out, some people are offended - very easily.

To clarify, I commented to a stranger that I thought his Chinese-styled Coy fish tattoo, adorning his calf, looked amazing.

And to my eye, it was both colourful, artistic and professionally done. What I received in return was the barbed retort, “Are you being sarcastic? What’s wrong with having a fish on my leg?”

The compliment, it seemed, was lost. And that is a shame because it is a glorious tattoo. Notwithstanding, the interaction with this man, got me to thinking about why people take offense. Sometimes, way too quickly. And often, over the smallest of things. After all, he displayed willingly the fish tattoo for all to see. Perhaps my compliment lacked sufficient largesse?

Still, being offended about superficial matters is akin to opening a Pandora’s box of weak emotions. From the box, out tumble superficiality, vanity, situational friendship, low self-esteem, high-mindedness, egocentricity, pseudo-morality, anger, bitterness and lazy thinking.

Being offended is a product of devaluing yourself

Of course, at the root of being offended, you are devaluing yourself because your self-esteem should never ever rest upon the view of another person. Neither should it anger you or cause you emotional and mental unrest.

Self-regard is the domain of your heart of which you have total power. Nothing outside your heart has power over the precious content of your heart. And that is particularly true of someone’s view of you. Equally, emotional mastery is a heart-centric quality that is available to all.

Hence, no author should wring their hands over negative Amazon reviews. No influencer or performing artist should spiral into a depression if they are not influencing or being pursued by the media or fans.

And if someone doesn’t like the way you dress, what you post, your hairstyle, your blog, your cat, the car you’ve just bought, or people using upper case to illustrate a point…please, DON’T GET OFFENDED.

And if any reading this blog should think that being offended is a modern plague, I would like to leave the last words to someone who lived 2,000 years ago. Even back then, he had a clear view about citizens who took offence easily.

It is our own opinions that disturb us. Take away those opinions and resolve to dismiss your judgement about an act as if it were something grievous. And then, your anger is gone. Marcus Aurelius – Roman Emperor (One of the good ones and Stoic Philosopher)

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