Just thinking about the word, makes me cringe. Have you ever been stuck in resenting someone?
What did that person do to you? Did you get criticized, humiliated, yelled at for no reason, or accused of something you didn’t say or do?
Resentment is like a poison that we continue to drink, but the other person is not getting any of it. We constantly think about how dare he/she speak to us that way, and we hope to get an apology, but, most likely, never get it. Sometimes we resent someone for being mean to our family members or friends. Right now, though, I’m talking about resenting someone who we are dealing with directly.
There are a few things I took away from my own resentment experience.
1. Do not have arguments by text! This is the worst we can do if we have an issue or disagreement. Written words can be so misinterpreted! If said in person, many words can be brushed off and let go when being said with a smile (even if it’s sarcastic). If we fight by texting though, that smile cannot be seen, and feelings may hurt way more. Also, both we and the other person have time to think about how to respond, so the responses can be thought through and offensive. Instead, let the other person know that you want to avoid misunderstanding and try to meet in person. In addition, there is going to be a lapse of time, and both of you will have some time to cool off.
2. If a personal offense is an occasional thing, listen to the criticism and try to see if there is any truth to what is being said. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and see if there is something you might not have realized or noticed when you acted a certain way with them. If that person constantly criticizes you and you know that what he/she says is not true, remove yourself from a situation and that person, if possible. It’s harder when you deal with family because, eventually, you will have to see them at family gatherings. Notice if that person acts the same way towards others. If yes, accept the fact that it’s their character flaw(not yours!) shake it off and move on.
3. Set your boundaries! Say NO when your limits are being pushed. Done consistently, you might even earn respect for standing your ground. As long as it’s done in a respectful way.
4. Do not talk or gossip about the person. Even though you want to discuss how badly your feelings got hurt, it’s better not to involve other people in the conflict at hand. On the other hand, confiding in a good friend who can listen and support, is a good idea. Just don’t talk their ear off about the issue. You will look like an insecure person who can’t deal with their own issues. Instead, pray for them, and ask God to help the situation. After all, no one likes to have enemies.
5. Be yourself! Don’t try to withdraw kindness from the offender. Don’t remind them of your past hurts. And lastly, and most important, thank them for their opinion, apologize if there was any misunderstanding on your part, and DO NOT expect and apology back! If you keep expecting it, and it’s not given, resentment will keep eating you up. If you don’t expect an apology, but you do get it, it will just make your relationship so much stronger.
One definite thing that I discovered while trying to resolve a long–time resentment myself was that if I am happy with myself, criticism of other people doesn’t really bother me. As we work on ourselves daily and know we are progressing and growing, we have less time to be offended. Unfortunately, when people see you doing well, it makes them feel unhappy about themselves, and they look for negative things in you to focus, instead of focusing on what they can do better in their lives.
Keep working on yourself, and God bless you in your journey of letting go of resentment! 🙂
Share how you managed to let go of resentment towards someone. What are your best techniques? What are usually your challenges?