If there are thought patterns and emotions that drag us down more during our lives than regret, resentment and jealously it would be difficult to figure out what they are. We all resent “things” and “people” but the strong and successful among us learn how to get rid of resentment.

The background of the words “resent” and “resentment” is quite interesting. The word comes from the French language and implies that we are not pleased with some action or person who has caused us injury or has insulted us. It is natural to be hurt by the actions or speech of others, or by events that work against us. In some cases it may even be a little bit healthy to feel those emotions.

Get Over It
However, the key to handling resentment is being able to feel it and get past it so that it doesn’t become an anchor in our lives. Holding on to resentment is definite not healthy. One of the first steps to moving on involves identifying the problem, facing it and doing what is necessary to make it a part of the past. Ideally, we can do this and learn from the experience.

Be specific when dealing with resentment. Get a pen and paper and write down what it is that is causing you to feel this way. Don’t be satisfied to just write “I feel angry.” Don’t stop with “That was mean” or “That wasn’t fair.” Make a list if there are several “things” you are having problems with. Number them in priority order.

If your spouse has done something that puts you in this thinking pattern and you resent having to work with someone who is slacking and leaving you with extra work, don’t tie those things together and “just feel angry.” Separate them and deal with them as individual resentments.

Now sit down and read the list carefully. Memorize them and think about how you are wasting your time and mental energy resenting when you should be moving on with your life. Address the resentments and ask for the strength to get past each one. Face each one individually. Say out loud, “I am over this.” Now burn that paper or crumple it and throw it away. This simple act may be enough to help you move forward.

Deep Breaths
When you are faced with a current feeling of resentment, stop whatever you are doing and take three deep breaths. Think about what it was that caused you to feel resentful. Ask yourself if it is really all that important. Chances are you will answer, “It’s not that serious.

Once you have done this, immediately turn your attention to something else. If you are driving and another driving takes advantage of you or cuts you off, turn on the radio and find some music you like. If a family member has said something that makes you feel resentment go away from the location. Take a walk, do a small task around the house to get your mind off of the situation.

If you feel you have to deal with the individual directly, don’t make it an aggressive confrontation. Tell the individual you want to talk about how you feel. Bring those resentments out into the open and then let them go.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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