In a blended family, there are tremendous opportunities to find yourself offended by the actions of ex-spouses, current spouses and even the children. It’s unfortunate, but today, many people are actually looking for reasons to be offended and then reacting in anger rather than overlooking an offense and responding in forgiveness. A successful blended family is going to require a lot of forgiveness on everyone’s part.
So what is an offense? Well, according to Webster, one type is criminal, such as a breach of a law or rule. Another is less severe, such as – something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset. It is the latter that will be addressed here.
An offense can be something done deliberately in an attempt to upset you. On the other hand, something totally unintentional can occur that results in a negative emotional response by you. A third possibility is that you choose to be offended when you are not involved in a particular situation.
When an opportunity arises that has the possibility of triggering a person’s emotions, that person has a choice to make. They can choose to let their emotions drive their bus, lose self-control, get angry, focus on the circumstances surrounding the event and even blame the other party for ruining their day.
The other option is to stop and say, “On second thought… I’m just going to let that go and continue to have a great day. I’m not going to give you the power to ruin my day.” This second option is also a choice that is made at the moment circumstances raise their sometimes ugly head.
It also requires an attitude of pre-forgiveness. This attitude is based on the concept that you absolutely know that sooner or later, someone is going to do something that could potentially set you off. When you know some sort of offense is coming, you can “pre-forgive” that person so that you can refuse to pick up the “brick of offense” that they put in front of you. When you don’t pick it up, you don’t have to deal with all the negative emotional baggage and stress. This attitude also requires the ability to reflect on what things have the potential to activate your triggers.
People who tend to let their emotions rule over them, are generally more stressed out, less happy and much more easily offended by smaller “act of human nature” than those that are able to exercise self-control. Self-control allows you to be more of an influence on your circumstances and be victorious in life. The person with little self-control is going to be the target of their circumstances and be a victim.
Remember – how you respond to your circumstances says a lot more about you than those that you have to deal with.