Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Taking Offense

I've been told a lot in my life time, "One Chooses to be offended!"  Is this true?  I had a memory come to mind that made me think of this.
I was teaching the women's class at my church, or Relief Society a song we were going to sing in Sacrament.  The whole time I was trying to teach, I could hear constant muttering over me.  I finally figured out who it was and said something to the person.  I'm sure I said it politely, like, "Please Stop Talking!" or something to that effect.  Well, this person got mad and stormed out of the Chapel.
This made ME feel awful!  Why should I feel awful!?  She was the one talking over me, when I was teaching the group!  I guess I chose to be offended, and still do to this day, that she would react in that manner.
Afterwards, I went up and apologized to her.  She explained to me that she was having a really bad day, and I wasn't helping her.  From that point on, we really didn't get along.  I tried to just tell myself, it was a difference in maturity levels, as in, she acted like a child. Maybe I shouldn't have pointed her out, but she was the one disrupting the class!

Random side note:  After this happened, I had a dream about this person.  She had made me really upset.  I don't even know what about, but I was screaming and cursing at her in my dream!  That was just strange!

I'm having a really hard time with pointing out people, whether they are being disruptive or just doing something wrong in general.  Now, I direct a choir, and I have my days where I'm scared to death, I'm going to piss somebody off!  The members of my choir keep reassuring me that, I should point people out. I'm the director! It's my job!  If they are singing something wrong or doing a dance move wrong, I need to make sure they know.  I also know that, part of the reason the members joined the choir is for a social activity.  I don't want to ruin that for them!
Some days, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells.  Others, I'm perfectly fine!  I just need to learn, it's O.K. to point people out!  After those rehearsals, I feel horrible!  They don't happen often. It's hard to me to say to an adult, "Hi, yeah, you're the one disrupting this whole rehearsal. Could you please stop talking!"  I really feel I shouldn't have too.  We are all adults!  Shouldn't we all act like it?
I'm really working on this.  I just need to accept, if someone gets offended and never comes back, maybe they shouldn't have been in the choir in the first place.  I've also asked a lot of the choir members to start helping me out with this.  They agree that, sometimes there's too much talking.  We are also going to plan more social activities outside of rehearsal.  We really do like each other and want to let each other know what's going on in our lives!
I'm to the point that, I shouldn't let an experience that happened in church five or six years ago ruin my ability to direct my choir!  I love my choir! I love the people in my choir! They are awesome and work so hard to get things accomplished! 
*This is probably showing one of my weaknesses, but admitting the weakness is the first step to overcoming it!
Does one choose to be offended?  Most of the time, people are not trying to intentionally hurt another person's feelings.  They just don't get that what they say is so hurtful.  Maybe, they are just trying to help you are the rest of the group (in my situations) progress.

Another memory comes to mind.  The Church choir was rehearsing for a Christmas Program.  People kept talking and joking around.  The group wasn't getting anything accomplished.  The choir director, whom I love dearly, was having a hard time getting people to cooperate.  The choir members just thought the whole thing was hilarious! I was offended, as a choir member, that adults would act like this!  I finally said something to the whole group.  It was to the effect of, "We could get a lot more done if people would stop goofing off!"  Then, the matriarch of one of the families replied, "Oh, she (the choir director) doesn't care!  It proves we love her!"  So, screwing around and ruining the choir rehearsal for every one else, proves to the choir director that you love her?!  Really?!  The choir is lucky that's all I said!  The next time, I'm not going to be so nice!     
I really am getting meaner in my old age.  I tell people this all the time!  They just laugh at me. One of these days, they won't know what hit them!
Is there an appropriate time to be offended? I don't want to be accused of over reacting.  That's the coming reaction to someone being offended. "Oh, they're just over reacting!"  But is this a true statement?  What do you think?

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