“Resentment is you drinking the poison, and expecting the other person to die” - Buddha
We’ve all been there.
That twinge of angst towards a person… or a situation you have been subjected to. A snide comment from a loved one, an unsupportive family member, being looked over for a promotion, losing an opportunity to a competitor who you know isn’t as good as you.
You stew on it for a while… and then push it down and get on with life. But, its never really in the “finished box” is it??
Then as if to tell you this repressed emotion needs to be dealt with; something happens again! The person repeats the behaviour, you are treated badly, or another event unfolds, and the SAME feeling of resentment arises.
You are back to feeling bitter and twisted.
You try to focus on something else, push it away again but the feeling has grown. It’s now on your mind constantly.
The resentment becomes a burning anger that gets deeper and wider. Kind of like that reflux you get when your pregnant (if you’ve ever had that joy, it's horrendous). A slow constant burn that refuses to go away – nothing helps to subside it.
Your resentment feeling bubbles up - now resembling a firing inferno that… OMG just needs to BLOW OUT!!!
One more “little thing” happens to tip you over the edge and BANG - your rage is LIT! God help anyone in your path.
You are spitting fire at the person who placed you in this situation. You are angry at everything THEY have ever done to you. Angry at ANYONE who has ever done something to you. Angry at the opportunity you’ve missed out on, angry at every relationship that went pear shaped. And telling EVERYONE about it.
Angry at your LOT in life.
And yet, the situation doesn’t get better after you’ve exploded. It feels good for a moment to have that voice, to scream about the black poison running through your veins.
The thing about resentment is… it traps you in a negative headspace and you are unable to move forward.
Every. Single. Thing. that happens around you becomes an obstacle.
Holding onto this emotion does more harm to YOU, then any outburst will ever do to them.
It will do two things. Either continue to fester and eat you up inside. Or, it will cause catastrophic issues and exacerbate the problem because it comes out with the full force of every wrong doing that has ever been done to you!
“Resentment is the space where you label yourself a victim” - Anonymous (Al-Anon)
What causes the negativity to stay is labeling yourself as a “victim”.
So, how do you deal with this feeling of resentment before it ignites??
As Deepak Chopra says, “What I am aware of I can change”. Every transformation begins with awareness.
First, when the angst of resentment begins to boil ask yourself:
Is it really related to the situation that I am in right now? Or is it something else I haven’t dealt with?
Is this resentment linked to any past wound?
Become aware of your feelings. Awareness precedes change.
Then, put pen to paper
I always guide my clients to PURGEevery thought, feeling, and emotion that is bottled up inside you about this person or situation you are resenting.
Let is ALL OUT.
ASK yourself – what is there to learn from this situation?
As a coach I believe everyone is doing the best they can with the resources available to them. Has this person who has wronged you also been dealing with something else?
Are they even aware of how they have slighted you? Is there a way you can find to not take this personally?
Then, ask yourself - what will I do differently next time?
Give yourself permission to FORGIVE.
Both them and YOURSELF.
The next time you find yourself feeling the poison of resentment – use this tool to calm the storm, hopefully before it explodes!
Please share your thoughts and comments on resentment, I would love to hear how you’ve dealt with it in the past - in your own life?