Lately it seems that I have found myself giving a lot of counsel to people who have high levels of bitterness in their spirit. Usually they come to me upset because someone has said something about them or offended them in some way. When I begin to ask questions and try to understand their feelings, the conversations often seem to revolve more about how they feel about themselves than about the person who supposedly hurt them.
Not long ago one friend of mine was highly offended by a joke that another person told. Dozens of people were in the room, but the person who was offended was so sure that the joke was pointed specifically at them. To be honest, in my own mind, I could not see any connection between the joke and the person who was offended and the joke teller clearly had not intended the joke to be aimed at anyone. But to the person who was upset, it was obviously all about them. Then there was the time that someone put a movie quote as their Facebook status, and half a dozen people were sure it was some kind of veiled jab at them, but it wasn't, it was just a movie quote from a movie the person had seen earlier in the day.
It seems that people are just more easily offended now than ever before. Our culture has somehow created a hyper-sensitive emotional state where everyone is convinced that the world is out to get them.
Though I am not a psychologist, it seems to me that this is a result of our own low self esteem. We feel bad about ourselves; therefore we think others feel bad about us too. Since we think that everything feels bad about us, then we interpret anything they say or do as a "bad" intention toward us.
And once we get angry and upset about one "offense" that someone did to us, and then we transfer that anger over into other relationships too. Instead of finding joy in our friendships, we just find pain and hurt. The pain and hurt cause us to end friendships that are really important to us, which just brings more pain and hurt. The end result is that we spend a lot of time angry and upset about stuff that often only exists in our own mind.
I am guessing that right about now half the people reading this are mad at me because you are sure that I am talking about YOU in this post! News flash, the world does not revolve around any particular one of us! People do not really sit around dreaming up ways they can hurt us. People are too busy trying to make a living, trying to pass the 10th grade, trying to find a job or be a good spouse to spend time being obsessed with us. The only person obsessed with us, is US. Maybe we just need to relax a little and stop creating drama that does not exist. We will all be a lot happier if we stop taking everything everyone says or does personally.
Take a deep breath. Relax. It's not all about us. And that's a good thing.