56. 7 Tools to Not Get Offended When People Say Dumb Stuff

Mar 21, 2022

Family, friends, loved ones - we know how to love them hard and love them well, but inevitably, they don't always say the things we expect sometimes. In return, we become offended and turned off to wanting to approach any topic with them because we naturally want to protect ourselves.

The things is, people are going to say dumb stuff regarding every area of our lives - and that's ok! What we can understand is that each human being experiences things differently - that's what makes the world interesting and exciting. Without this, it would be boring. But how you choose to respond to their thoughts or ideas is where the beauty comes in. Being offended is rooted in our emotions and how we respond to that emotion is where we have the power to choose how to move forward.

Listen in this week as I give you 7 different tools on how to not get offended when people inevitably say those dumb things. By the end of the episode, you will find yourself feeling empowered to feel however you want to feel, regardless of what people say and do around you.


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What You'll Learn on This Episode:

  • How to feel completely empowered to feel however you want to feel, regardless of what people say and do around you
  • Understanding that it's our emotions that are making us feel offended and realizing we have the power to choose how we want it to impact our thoughts or feelings
  • Realizing that it is okay to allow yourself to feel offended, if that is your choice to sit in that feeling
  • How each human experiences life differently and that life is 50/50 for us to be able to see the joy and the pain in situations
  • Trying to see where the other person is coming from and how they may not understand or intend to say something offensive, but that they may not know because they haven't had the same experiences - and why it's okay


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Full Episode Transcript:


[00:00:00] Jenica Parcell: Hi friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility, a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long, I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind and create joy during my infertility experience, I'm here to help you do the same sister. Let's dive into today's show.

[00:00:26] Jenica Parcell: Welcome to Fearless Infertility episode 56, 7 tools to not get offended when people say dumb stuff. At the end of today's episode, you will feel completely empowered to feel however you want to feel, regardless of what people say and do around you. You have been giving that power away for far too long sister and the tools to help you take your power back are in today's podcast episode. Let's get to it.

[00:00:54] Jenica Parcell: Hello, my friends and welcome back to Fearless Infertility. I am so excited to have you here with me today. And to start off today's podcast episode, I want to read a podcast review on apple podcasts. So the reason why this is so important for me as you know, if you haven't heard by now, if you leave a podcast review on apple podcasts, it helps more women who have absolutely no idea who I am, who are feeling alone, who are feeling overwhelmed in their infertility, and they're like, all right, I need some support. I need some help. Where do I turn? I think we've all been there. I think we can all relate to that and by you leaving a review, it helps me to be able to reach more people.

[00:01:30] Jenica Parcell: So I'm going to read the winner of the week. Another exciting thing is like, why not treat yourself? You can no longer buy my PJ's and socks, cause I'm really focusing on my program to help you with infertility and give you the tools that you need to help feel less alone and overwhelmed in infertility. So I'm not selling them anymore. And the only way that you can get them is to leave a review. So help me help you win. So the winner of this week's pajamas and socks, my buttery soft, bamboo PJs, my incredible socks is username @mccall_wright. The podcast review title is I feel seen and heard. She said, "No one understands the infertility struggle more than someone who has walked that road before. This podcast has helped me get through very tough emotions from the situation I find myself in day in and day out. The trial of infertility feels like a lonely road, but Jenica's podcast is like the friend you hardly ever see, but you know, they get you because they have been there too. It's hard to explain the positive impact of this podcast, so I highly recommend listening for yourself and seeing how this can benefit your life to support your family, friend, neighbor, or coworker who struggles with infertility." Please email me at [email protected] with your address and your size request and I will get those PJs and socks sent out to you. And thank you so much for helping more women come into our family of Fearless Fighters.

[00:02:57] Jenica Parcell: I also want to invite any of you who are listening here to join my new free Facebook group. It is a beautiful family, and I provide you with tools in there to help take that next step in your infertility experience. It's called the Fearless Infertility Movement and it's just a really cool space. So I'm excited to have you in there.

[00:03:18] Jenica Parcell: I also am thrilled to let you know that on April 1st, the doors open again, finally to my Fearless Infertility Program. I have been working so tirelessly. That's not, that's not true. I've been a little tired, but I've been pushing through it to help get this new program available to you. So if you want to feel less alone, you want to have the tools to empower you with confidence, to move forward with infertility. You're tired of being exhausted. You're overwhelmed, you're feeling powerless and unsure of that next step. This is your answer. So please come in here with me when the doors open on April 1st. There are so many tools available in there for you. Kind of what that looks like, a lot of you like to know, as I do, details, cause I um, I just like to know everything really. I'm an oldest child. Okay. I like to know all the things. So these tools that I provide in there will help you to feel less alone, less overwhelmed, through a self paced course that is next level. I'm so beyond proud of it. You can do 15 minutes a week. You can do 15 minutes a day. You can do it as fast or as slow as you need to. So it really fits into your schedule. You'll have access to my inner circle, Fearless Infertility Facebook group, where I can communicate with you and answer your questions and help coach any specific circumstances you're dealing with. I have experts come in each month to help educate you on different aspects that I really find valuable in helping with infertility, things like physical wellbeing and diet and things like that. We also have coaching calls and I'm just so excited to be here with you and to be able to offer you this. So please join me April 1st.

[00:04:53] Jenica Parcell: Today's podcast episode is a topic that has been on my heart and on my mind for quite a while. And I think initially I got the idea from a person, or actually probably quite a few people that have asked me, okay, how do I talk to my friend who has infertility? Or what are some things that I should say or not say to someone who has infertility? And I think we're asking the wrong question there. And I think it, like I said, it comes with the best of intentions, but I think in not knowing the truth about how people perceive things and what people think, is causing us to think that there's a right or wrong way to say things or do things.

[00:05:36] Jenica Parcell: And so today's podcast topic is seven tools to not get offended when people say dumb stuff and it makes me laugh because we've all been there, right? We're like, that was not a cool thing to say, or they shouldn't have said that and that was offensive. The truth that I want to bring to you today though, however, is that, first of all, who feels offended when we feel offended? Who is it that is experiencing that emotion? It's us, right? When we are offended, we are the ones that are feeling offended. And what is causing us to be offended? I'll give you a hint- it's not what the other person is saying, it is our own thoughts. So I'm going to give you a real life example that happened to me. It was probably six or seven years ago, and I still remember this because it kind of stands out in my mind as specific circumstance that I think a lot of us experiencing infertility have dealt with.

[00:06:28] Jenica Parcell: So, me and my friend were talking, and both of us experienced infertility. And we were both talking about our infertility and how difficult it was at the time. And this girl comes up to us and I don't think that she meant anything harmful by it, but we were talking about our infertility challenges and she said, I think one of those cliches that we've all heard, like, oh my husband and I just wash our clothes together and we get pregnant. And I was like, why would you say that? Like, it just seems so socially unaware. I was more shocked than anything that, that she would think that that would be a good time to step in and say something like that, right? And for me, it was just like, I wouldn't say something like that because I just feel like it just seems such an inappropriate time to say something like that. We were both talking about our infertility challenges and it's like, why? Like why, how does that add to the conversation? Do you know what I mean? Looking back on it. I think that, like I said, I don't think she meant any harm. I think she just literally didn't know what to say. So instead of just like not saying anything, she said something that was, in my opinion, not the most smooth move, we'll say, you know?

[00:07:34] Jenica Parcell: So anyways, this specific circumstance comes to mind because I just remember laughing about it later. Being like, how do you think that that is like a normal thing to say in a time like that, right? And knowing what I know now with coaching and being a certified life coach, that it was 100% in my thoughts about it that were causing me to feel however I felt about it. I think I was mostly like annoyed and appalled. I was like who taught you that, that was like a normal thing to say during a time like that, you know? Like in situations like that, you say, oh, I'm so sorry you're dealing with that. You're not like, I'm fertile. I'm so fertile and you're not. Do you know what I mean? And so, however, even knowing that, it is my thoughts about what she said that caused me to feel annoyed, right? So it's our own thoughts, it's always our own thoughts.

[00:08:23] Jenica Parcell: The first tool I want to share with you, is that when you are feeling offended, you can feel offended. If you want to feel offended, that's fine. Now, knowing that your thoughts are causing it, you need to own that. I do not suggest blaming or victimizing what you are feeling, right? She said that, so that's why I feel this. No, she said that, so I'm choosing to feel this based on my own thoughts. And I think really owning that helps you to take back that power. And that being said, if you want to feel offended sometimes, feel offended. Sometimes I want to feel offended. Sometimes I want to not deal with the thought work that it takes to rephrase the circumstance in my mind so that I feel good about it. I just want to be offended and move on, right? So you don't always need to move from feeling offended, to feeling amazing about it. Sometimes you'll want to choose that, but I want you to own that and realize that you are in control of how you're feeling. And it's okay if you want to feel annoyed too.

[00:09:22] Jenica Parcell: The second tool that I want to share with you is that your brain gets trained to search for things that are offensive or that cause you to feel a certain way when it feels uncomfortable with feeling peace. For me specifically, this happens a lot with anxiety or it used to happen much more frequently with anxiety until I realized that I was doing this, where everything would be fine. Everything would be positive. I'd be having a great day, feeling good. And then my brain wasn't comfortable with feeling peaceful, so it would find something to feel anxious about, right? That was homeostasis for me. Even though I didn't love it, that's where I had lived for so long in anxiety that that's where I had trained my brain to find evidence for, so that I could stay anxious. And so maybe you've have felt annoyed for so long. Maybe you felt turmoil for so long. Maybe you felt angry for so long. That feels comfortable to you, even though it's not enjoyable, you feel comfortable there. You know how to feel that emotion. You don't know how to feel peace because you haven't felt peace that often. So even though it's uncomfortable, it feels easier because you know how to get there so much easier. It's a lot harder for your brain to work, to feel peaceful. To feel happy. And so oftentimes we have trained our brains to look for ways to be offended or to be sad or upset when we're feeling peace, because that feels more comfortable to us.

[00:10:50] Jenica Parcell: For me in helping to realize that this was happening, I read the book, The Big Leap, which I highly recommend. It talks about what's going on in your brain and why your brain is essentially feeling uncomfortable with feeling that joy. Or feeling the peace or feeling whatever comfortable emotion that you are used to feeling. And how to recognize it so that you can get past it. I think recognizing it for me was the first step where I was consciously aware of, oh my goodness, my brain is searching for things to be anxious about. And being aware of that is, I think, so important in taking that next step to then take control over it and take control over that situation versus feeling like a victim to it, right?

[00:11:32] Jenica Parcell: The third tool that I want to share with you is that people are only talking from their own life experiences. And some people just don't understand because they just aren't you, right? Even people who have experienced infertility, I'm not going to relate to every single person who's experienced infertility because I haven't experienced infertility like them. And so something that I try to say, to help comfort or bring peace or bring some direction to someone might fall totally flat because I'm talking from my own life experiences, and I just don't understand what you've gone through because I'm not you. No one can fully understand you. No other human being can fully understand you and your life experiences, even if it's similar. So, keep in mind that people are talking to you from their own life experiences and something that might make sense to them doesn't necessarily make sense to you because you are coming at it from different life experiences, because all human beings experience life differently. We all have different circumstances. We all have different trials and challenges that we go through. And even if they're similar, it doesn't mean that they're exactly the same.

[00:12:37] Jenica Parcell: The fourth tool I want to share with you is that it's okay to set some boundaries, both verbally and unverbally. For example, in my podcast interview with Samantha Busch last week, we talked about verbally setting boundaries. So there may be days where I just don't want to talk about infertility. I don't want to talk about miscarriage. I don't want to talk about infertility treatments. I'm just not in the headspace to where I feel that that would be helpful for me, but people don't know that. People can't read my brain, right? So say for example, I'm at dinner with a friend, and they start asking about it. I can kindly say, you know what? I just don't want to talk about infertility right now. And I think that verbally setting some boundaries for yourself is super important and being an advocate for yourself. And on the reverse end, if I was a friend who was just trying to help and ask about a certain situation, I would want that person to tell me how they're feeling and what they want in that moment and what they need in that moment, so that I'm not pushing through, thinking I'm helping, but I'm not, right?

[00:13:36] Jenica Parcell: You can also set unverbal boundaries as well. So for example, I was thinking about today and I haven't felt well enough to really work out but today I woke up and I'm like, all right, I feel like that feels good to me. I just didn't feel like going to a gym or to a studio, though, that I normally go to, right? I felt like it would feel loud. There would be a lot of people there. That felt very overstimulating to me and I felt like I needed something a little bit calmer. So I dropped off my kids at school and went down to work out on the Peloton and that felt perfect for me. I got my workout in, but I also knew for myself that throwing myself into a place that felt kind of overstimulating, because I've already been dealing with so much, didn't feel like I was protecting myself and protecting my energy. And so I set a little boundary for myself. I didn't need to tell anybody about it, right? I wasn't like, hey everyone, I'm not coming to the gym today. And this is why, right? I just said, I'm just not going to show up there. I'm just going to go downstairs, have a nice, quiet, peaceful workout, have a shower, and then go get to work. And that felt very, like self care-y for me today. I was taking care of myself.

[00:14:43] Jenica Parcell: The fifth tool that I want to share with you is that not everyone reacts the same way, which is why I genuinely feel like it's unhelpful to write lists like, what to say to someone experiencing infertility. And when I was initially asked that, I was like, oh great, I'm going to come up with a whole list. I think it'll be amazing to offer this to people. And the better I got at coaching and the more experience I had, I realized that what we're trying to do essentially is, one, manipulate how other people feel. We have the best of intentions, right? We want other people to feel happy to feel good around us, but, no matter what we say, it's not going to make them feel a certain way, whether we have good intentions or bad intentions, because each of us as individuals need to own how we're feeling, based on the thoughts that we're having about the circumstance.

[00:15:31] Jenica Parcell: And so I just don't think it's helpful to make lists like that, one, to try to change how other people are feeling when maybe they need to be experiencing a really hard day today and maybe they need to be experiencing a really great day today, even though we have the best of intentions, right? I want my family to be happy. I want everyone around me to be happy. However, the things that I can say or do aren't going to affect that, that much. And also, not everyone reacts the same way. So something that someone may say to me would be very comforting, would feel happy, would make me feel joyful, right? You could say that exact same thing to the person sitting right next to me experiencing infertility and they could feel the exact opposite. And so I just think everyone is going to respond differently regardless of your intent and regardless of the thing that is said, because like I mentioned earlier, we all have our different life experiences and we all get to choose the way in which we interpret what's happening around us and the things that are being said to us and our circumstances.

[00:16:42] Jenica Parcell: The sixth tool that may help you not get offended when people say dumb stuff, and this goes with do dumb stuff too, right? Is that I like to think they must have a great reason for responding this way to me. They must have a great reason for acting in this way. And this helps me a lot because it helps me to remember that I don't have the whole big picture. I don't know what's going on in their life. I don't know about all their life experiences. I don't have the whole big picture. So me being offended by something that they are either saying or doing, just puts me in pain. And, one thing that a lot of us can relate to is maybe being left out, right? Say somebody doesn't invite us to a party that we are super interested in going to, or we have a group of friends that we would have loved to been invited to their dinner, but they didn't. So something that has helped me a lot recently is to think to myself, they must have a great reason. And this allows me to not have to control the situation. This allows me to not think that I can control a situation. And that I, I can't see everything that's going on, right? So that thought for me helps a lot is that they must have a great reason. I don't know what that is. I'm going to go ahead and trust that they have a great reason for responding this way to me or if we're doing this thing, and that may be something that could help you as well.

[00:18:09] Jenica Parcell: The seventh tool to not get offended when people say dumb stuff is, do you want to be able to stand being in your own brain when you're around them? Because that's really what it comes down to. If you are offended, if you are annoyed, if you are upset, then, you are unable to feel good in your own brain when you're around them. The first time I heard this was from my coach, Jody Moore, and I was literally taken aback. Like I think I was driving in the car and I was like, oh my gosh, that is one of the biggest truth bombs I've ever heard in my entire life, because that's what it is, right? If we're saying like, oh my gosh, I just cannot stand to be in the same room with her. She says too many offensive things. It's like, okay, what she says and does has nothing to do with how you're feeling. It's how you and your own brain are interpreting it and you just can't stand being in your own brain when you're around them. And that is I think the biggest truth bomb of all, because it really takes back ownership of what is happening around you. And do you realize how powerful that is when you realize that no one makes you feel a certain way? I mean, I can't think of much more power in the world. You can do anything, you can be anything when you realize that you are entirely in control of how you are feeling. It's, it's incredible. It's the most freeing thing in the entire world, because you're no longer victims through the circumstances that surround you.

[00:19:30] Jenica Parcell: Now, all of this being said, like I mentioned earlier, the goal in life is not to be happy all of the time. Life is 50 50. As a human being, you were born into the 50, 50 human experience. That means you're going to experience things that are not enjoyable. You'll experience heartache. You'll experience taking offense. You'll experience anger. You will also experience the opposite of that. Feelings like joy, like happiness, like motivation. And as a human being, there are no right or wrongs. I think that we would prefer to feel happy, joyful. But what is that feeling if you haven't experienced the opposite? You literally wouldn't know what joy is without experiencing heartache or whatever that opposite emotion is for you. Everything would be neutral. Everything would honestly be boring, because you would just have that plain feeling. There would be no ups and downs. So you wouldn't be able to fully experience either without the other.

[00:20:29] Jenica Parcell: And although we wouldn't wish heartache on ourselves, I do understand the wisdom in this, because I can think of situations like, for example, being sick, right? Being sick for a couple of days, stuck at home. And then I remember a specific circumstance, just this last summer where I was so sick and weak and couldn't get out of my bed for a couple of days. And that first bike ride outside after, I remember literally crying, like I had tears in my eyes because I was so grateful that I had strength and health in my body. And just that sense of deep gratitude and that deep joy in breathing in that air and seeing the sunshine and hearing the birds- all of that would just seem normal if I didn't experience the opposite, which was sickness and weakness.

[00:21:13] Jenica Parcell: And so, although we don't choose these hard experiences that we're dealing with, we don't wish them on people, I want to offer to you that there is also great wisdom in it. And because of those differing experiences in life, those differing emotions in life, they make those positive feelings so much more rich.

[00:21:36] Jenica Parcell: I also don't want you to quickly say okay, I'm feeling horrible and offended. I shouldn't ever feel like that. This is just terrible because I, I know I can control it. So I never want you to use this as an excuse to beat yourself up, right? You are in control of it and sometimes you're going to choose to feel upset. You're going to choose to feel annoyed and mad. And so I never want you to use any of this information to beat yourself up. Instead, I want you to be curious about it. I want you to look at your brain from an outsider's perspective to see what's going on. And if you so choose from that curious versus a judgmental standpoint, then you know how to move forward using these tools. I love you guys. I hope I will see you in my free Facebook group, Fearless Infertility Movement and I hope I will see you in the membership when it opens on April 1st. Love you. I will see you here next week. Bye.

[00:22:27] Jenica Parcell: I know how tough it is to struggle through infertility. If you're ready to get ahead of the pain and frustration, the best way is to create an ironclad mindset. That's where it all starts. I have the best free download for you. You're going to love it. It's my free Morning Mindset Magic Checklist. You'll get the seven tips I use to create my mindset each morning so I can create a life I love despite my challenges. You will lower your anxiety and increase your peace. I spent a couple of years of trial and error and finally it came upon this list of actions I take or never take every morning, even when I don't want to, because they work every single time. Download for free at fearlessinfertility.com/mindsetmagic.

[00:23:12] Jenica Parcell: Thanks for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want the best infertility support and community on the planet, visit fearlessinfertility.com. See you there.



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