Reasons Behind Resentment

 

Reasons Behind Resentment
Recently I found myself to be out of sorts, to say the least.  I was irritable with people, critical, impatient, disappointed, angry and hurt.  When I recognized this I took some time to reflect on what was really going on.  After some thought I realized that there was some resentment creeping in.  My next task was to figure out where the resentment was rooted.  I believe all of us experience resentment at different times.  There are different causes for resentment and some healthy ways of addressing it.

 

We often experience resentment in a relationship when we feel:

•taken for granted, unappreciated or that our work and efforts seem to be unrecognized

•taken advantage of

•not heard, considered or validated

•as though we are putting more effort and energy in to a relationship than the other person

•an injustice has been committed against us

•that the other person’s needs are considered more than our own

Now that we’ve identified some of the causes of resentment, how do we address it?

First, we must acknowledge the resentment is there without judging ourselves and then identify the root of it.

Second, we need to express ourselves. This is not a luxury; this is an absolute necessity. This needn’t be self indulgent or pitiful, but an understanding that it is our right to express that pain in an effective, healthy manner which helps us to let go and move forward.  We do not want to attack or challenge the other person as this will cause defensiveness.  We just want to express our feelings. Addressing the resentment toward the other person is really the only way to begin healing.

Third, if this is a healthy relationship that you value it is critical you give the other person a chance to make things right.  Forgiveness and second chances can go a long way.  Of course, if bad patterns continue then that is another issue to address altogether.  But in regards to resentment alone, give yourself and others the opportunity to learn and grow in self awareness and in becoming others-focused instead of self-focused.

Ultimately, we cannot control what other people do, but we can control how we react. When we practice truthful living, self-expression, and forgiveness, resentment simply has no place or power in our lives.

Written by Lisa Smith

SMFT Lisa #1 (1)

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