7 Tips to Keep Resentment Out of Your Life

Resentment is incredibly damaging not only to relationships, but to the one carrying the resentment. What’s surprising to many is that resentment isn’t born from someone else’s behavior. Resentment comes from within and grows quickly with unspoken communication. Many a relationship has come to an end with one side relatively clueless about resentment that had been building for years. Worse, is when that resentment is never released and the one carrying it just keeps drinking its poison.

In order to eliminate resentment, we have to shine a light on it. Resentment is like “emotional mold” – it grows and thrives in dark places. The question then becomes, “How?” How can we prevent and eliminate resentment? So glad you asked!

  • Get it Out – Getting your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and out into the open will stop resentment from growing. Talk about what’s on your mind soon after it shows up for you. You can wait for a bit while you figure out the best way to communicate your feelings and concerns, but waiting too long can give resentment just the time it needs to grow. That being said, even if a lot of time has passed, once you recognize resentment, it’s time to say something. Try, “I just realized that something happened between us that is really weighing on me and I’d like to talk it out with you.”
  • Stop Replaying – Often when we feel we’ve been wronged in some way, we just keep replaying the offense. Over, and over, and over in our mind. Each time we do this, we are living it again. Our stress hormones increase as does our resentment. Bad plan.
  • Check-in with an Impartial Person – Try not to make this a friend that will agree with you just because they’re good like that. You want someone to really tell you what they think based on the facts you share. They may provide you with an alternate perspective that resolves the issue altogether.
  • Don’t Fill-in the Blanks – As we replay the offense, we fill-in some of the blanks – like why it happened, why it has a particular meaning (that we come up with). We are building a story that is largely being created in our mind. Only the offender can answer some of these.
  • Don’t Assume It’s Obvious – Often, inconsiderate behavior is so obvious to one person but not another. Assuming someone else sees things the same way we do often leads to resentment. It’s building that story again.
  • Assess How You May Have Contributed to the Situation – Could the other person have acted out of resentment towards you? Are you misinterpreting their actions? Are you being overly sensitive? Did you go into the situation with preconceived ideas that you unconsciously just needed to prove right?
  • Forgive and/or Forget – Sometimes we won’t get the answers we need. This can be very difficult, however, we have to know when to let it go. If we can muster up forgiveness, we should take this route. If the offense is too much to forgive, then work on doing your best to forget it. Neither of these is letting the offender off the hook, it’s actually letting YOU off the hook. Remember, you’re the one carrying around the weight of resentment and drinking its poison over and over.

Emotions have a shelf life before they turn into something else…like bitterness, hurt, or resentment.  You have a lot of control over whether this grows or is taken care of before it becomes an issue. It’s never too late to clean out the resentment in your life. Stop carrying around that burden so you can live a freer, happier life.

Which of these tips have you successfully used in the past? Share in the comments section.

If resentment is weighing you down and you could use some help communicating or releasing it, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of the complimentary strategy session!

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email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

 

Comments

  1. Great tips April! I’d have to say “Get It Out” works really well for me. When you see it, even feel the resentment coming from the other person, it is so uncomfortable…I can’t even explain it. So the best thing is to Get It Out and talk it over with the other person. Sometimes it’s “legit” and other times a pure misunderstanding. It makes my day so much smoother knowing when I stand with people. A lot more smiles!!

    • That’s such a good example, Carmen!! You are absolutely right about it sometimes being legit and other times just a misunderstanding, but you won’t know for sure unless you deal with it just like you suggested! Thanks so much for sharing!! 🙂

  2. April, this is so greatly written! Thank you
    For sharing, I never knew how much this
    Really can become such a burden on us and
    Like the title of “poison”, enjoy the week of
    Getting out the Toxins.

    • Hey Joe, pretty scary when we realize how much resentment hurts us, right? Like I said in the post, I’ve taken my doses, but thankfully, I’m much better now at communicating before resentment can take hold of my thoughts and emotions. When that doesn’t solve it, I do my best to just let it go. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Thank you for the kind words! Happy Toxin-free Week! 🙂

  3. Great tip April. One can get stuck in reliving the situation or event over and over creating undue stress. I’ve done this myself, and your tips are priceless in order to let go and move on!

  4. oh april, this is so so good. i struggled for many years with growing resentment over a family issue. everything you’ve said here fits my situation exactly. i can clearly see now (reading your words after geographically removing myself from the bitterness) how i kept the “emotional mold” growing by continually “replaying” and “filling in the blanks.” i have always had a difficult time with forgiveness, even though i know i only end up hurting myself in the long run. i’m going to save this article and reread it often. thank you.

    • Oh April, I, and so many others can relate. That’s precisely why I wrote it. Thank you for sharing your struggle with a similar situation. I truly hope you find the tips immediately actionable and helpful! <3

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