OFFENDED and UPSET!
It had been a long day of meetings and I was already feeling the pressure on my brain to escape the building to enjoy a cold frappe and some quality time with my family. With one giant group meeting left to go, I found a seat in the back and proceeded to give all my attention to the presenters.
The presenter got on the stage along with three assistance. They were going to teach us a wonderful example of role play we could possibly apply to our own classrooms and areas of study. The scenario was explained that one individual would be the nurse, the other two would be son and mother. The nurse was to use techniques she had learned to give the mother the information about her son's condition. The teacher stepped down and told the actors to begin.
Suddenly the man on stage sitting in a wheelchair started convulsing, I believe in attempts to mimic a seizure. This continued as the nurse tried to calm the mother and explain they were doing everything they could and other such statements. The truth is I HEARD NOTHING. My brain just stared at the convulsing actor.
My heart started to race, my face began to flush, my breathing became shallow and rapid. My fight or flight had kicked in and I was needing to take action. I took a deep breath and reminded myself it was only a scenario and it would be over soon. This wasn't my daughter on this stage and there was no true emergency. In an instant I was overwhelmed with offence. How can they do this? How can they badly mock a seizure? Suddenly my mind shouted "THIS IS OFFENSIVE!"
Fortunately, my more rational calm trained side then asked "Why is it offence." Are they doing something wrong? Are they intentionally singling me out? Did they choose this disorder just to get me all worked up? No they did not. The answer as to WHY I was offended is because of MY FILTER.
I realized that the offence was because of my sensitivity to my daughters condition. After realizing that my filter was causing my offence, I was able to see the situation for what was. My breathing slowed, my muscles relaxed and I was a better person for the experience.
After the meeting many people who were offended for me asked me if I was okay. I replied with "Yes, I think I just got a little bit stronger." Then I explained my experience.
Should we be sensitive, YES, will we still offend or be offended, Yes. The key is to know our own personal triggers and what filters we use to see the world. It is my responsibility to understand that my sensitivity doesn't make others offenders. My sensitivity gives me an opportunity to educate others, share my story, grow, and live well.
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