Inadvertently Offending

I feel absolutely crushed when I realize I have said something that was taken the wrong way – or my wording was with insufficient care and failed to get its intent across – and caused someone to feel offended. Ugh! I apologize and wait until they assure me they now understand and all is fixed.

Sometimes, though, I don’t get that assurance.

It is an awful feeling, whether it is between a friend and me or between a stranger and me. All the more careful am I thenceforth about what I say.

I wonder, if I were less sensitive to the feelings of others, how I would instead react. I guess that is the way a lot of the arguing souls are in the comment wars I see on social media? Hardened? Not caring how their words are received, as long as they get their say?

I know what it is like to be argumentative, rude, and outspoken, as I used to be that way, more in my childhood and teen years, toward people who were rude to me, or with whom I disagreed. I didn’t back down. I had to one-up them and show them how smart I thought I was.

Gradually, though, I changed. Life experiences changed me. Choices changed me. Pain changed me. I absorb perhaps more than I should, but that, too, is a choice.

I am far from complete, and that is evidenced by my still screwing up and accidentally hurting others, causing pain that is penultimate only to the pain I feel for having caused theirs.

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