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Stop Being Offended Today: 3 Cures for Everything That Irritates You

Stop Being Offended Today: 3 Cures for Everything That Irritates You


    There is an epidemic spreading across the world. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’re all carriers of the disease. It’s called Offend-initis, a skin condition whereby the thickness of our skin melts away to the point where everything offends us. Symptoms may include: hurt feelings, indignation, irritability, disappointment, grumpiness and an all-around allergic reaction to anyone who says or does something we don’t like.

    Fortunately, there is a cure.

    But, before the healing begins, we need to start by acknowledging that there’s a problem in the first place. For many of us, we don’t even know we’re walking around with this virus, but it’s there alright, destroying all the peace of mind cells we have in our body. Being offended doesn’t just hurt our feelings, it compromises our whole “happiness immune system.”

    So, go ahead, you can say it. It’s only three words: I get offended.

    And don’t worry. You’re not alone. We all do.

    In fact, there’s almost nothing we don’t get offended by. We get offended by a roll of the eye or a shake of the head, as easily as we get offended when we’re ignored, picked on, talked about, not talked about, overworked, unappreciated, or taken for granted.

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    And, that’s not counting all those times in a day when we get offended by life disappointing us. You know what I’m talking about…those times when someone cuts us off on the road, jumps in front of us at the market, doesn’t say thank you when we think they should. We get offended by parents who can’t control their kids in restaurants, friends who don’t invite us to parties, neighbors who refuse to pick up after their dog’s mess.

    Take your pick. There’s something for everybody.

    Now, you might say being offended is nothing more than a collection of pet peeves—all those little annoyances that get under our skin.  And it’s true.  Of course, seeing as how the skin is the largest organ in the body, that’s a lot of room for these “pet peeves” to get into our system and thrive. We need to be careful of infection.

    It’s time to let the healing begin.

    Here is a simple prescription on how to stop being offended — three small pills to help clear up the irritation of life.

    Pill #1: Don’t Be Offended By Anything You Can’t Change

    This isn’t a pill as much as it’s an awareness we need to swallow. Let’s face facts. We’re not helping the world one bit by being offended. And, yet, we often mistake our indignation for action, thinking that our being offended makes us more empathetic and caring, as if being upset by people who text while driving makes us pillars of the community.

    In other words, we try to justify being offended.

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    I know I get offended at texting drivers—the indignation of someone putting my kids at risk. And while it’s true that it’s dangerous, lets be real about this whole “justifying” business: my stink eye across the freeway isn’t going to save hundreds of lives, anymore than being offended at the guy who lets his dog poop all over someone else’s lawn will do anything to beautify my own.

    Being offended without taking action does nothing to make the world a better place. It only raises our blood pressure and makes us agitated.

    If we’re really offended by something, we should do something about it. Talk to the person who offended you, deal with the issue, elicit change. And if I really wanted to do something about drivers who text, I should march to City Hall, call my congressman, blog about it, talk to my own kids, rally the troops. Take real action.

    But, I don’t, so I stew in my indignation…and stewing does nothing but reduce the quality of my life. But, I can change that. We all can.

    We can choose, from this moment forward, to not allow ourselves to expend one ounce of energy on what we can’t change. Rather, let’s change the things we can—starting with our own peace of mind.

    Pill #2:  Stop Looking For Things To Be Offended By

    If it’s been said once, it’s been said a thousand times: we find what we look for. And when it comes to being offended, nothing could be more true.

    Some days it seems like we’re on the lookout for things to be offended by. We’re waiting for it. It almost becomes a habit and, like any habit, the more we keep at it, the more it becomes an everyday part of our lives.

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    Fortunately, habits can be broken. If we choose, we can change our perspective. And this isn’t just looking at the world as if the glass is half-full, it’s making a conscious decision to look at our entire life differently.

    Instead of always being the victim and looking for what someone is “doing to us,” we can start looking for all the things someone is “doing for us.”

    We could thank the neighbor’s dog for fertilizing our lawn, or the slow driver ahead of us for making us stop rushing. We could thank the texting driver for making us put our cell phones down, or the negativity dwellers for making us appreciate our positive attitudes, or the guy who’s always giving us grief for making us treat others nicer.

    In fact, we could thank all those individuals who offend us for making us stronger, happier and more content. Do this and the things that once irritated us, will now become our teachers, guiding us toward inner peace. Again, it’s all a matter of perspective, or as Wayne Dyer says,

    “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.”

    Pill #3:  Give Others The Space To Be Themselves

    I know this is a big pill to swallow, but the reality is simple: most people aren’t out to get us. They’re not doing things to make us miserable and ruin our day. They’re doing it because they’re living their own life experiences. Yes, that sometimes means they’re inconsiderate, annoying, unconscious, and not living up to our high expectations.

    But, guess what, we’re not always living up to other people’s expectations. I’ve certainly offended my share of people. I’ve rolled my eyes, said things I wish I hadn’t, been inconsiderate, unconscious and annoying. And while I’m not proud of it, I do know that I’m a better person today than I was yesterday, in the same way that the person who offended you today may be a better person tomorrow.

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    The fact is, we all need space to be ourselves—to have good days and bad days, and to not always be at our best. We need the space to change, grow, and evolve, and to do it on our own time.

    And the more we adopt this “big picture” attitude, the less demanding we will be of those around us, reducing the likelihood that we will be offended in the first place.

    And here’s the bonus: the more space we give for others to be themselves, the more space they’re likely to make for us. I know it’s a tough goal to stretch for, but it’s also one that could change the world. It’s called freedom and it’s a peaceful, energizing, and beautiful thing.

    That’s it…three small pills to cure what irritates you.

    Of course, it’s not that simple. If you really want to be cured from what offends you, you’ll need to stay on this prescription for the rest of your life.

    But, that’s a small price to pay for the freedom to live every moment with the knowledge that your days of being chronically offended are once and forever over.

    (Photo credit: Teenager Being Offended via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

    More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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    Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

    You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

    During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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    Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

    Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

    The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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    This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

    Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

    The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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    This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

    This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

    Conclusion

    While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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    Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

    Reference

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