Sometimes, in friendships, romantic relationships and marriages, some people find it difficult to let go of wrongs done against them by their friends or partners. Hurtful words or thoughtless actions remain indelibly etched in their memories, replacing affection with feelings of resentment.
There are few things to note about this cancer called resentment.
First, resentment, is a choice. Some people may argue that resentment is a reaction to hurtful actions. Such thinking puts emphasis on something that cannot be controlled – the actions of others. Whilst we cannot control people’s actions towards us, we definitely can control how we react.
Second, when we harbour feelings of resentment towards others, we hurt ourselves more than those we resent. It’s just like hitting oneself and expecting others to feel the pain.
So, regardless of the gravity of the offense, letting go of resentment is the best option. Here’s how you can do that.
The first step is to take responsibility for your resentment and adopt forgiveness. Remember, resentment is a choice and so is forgiveness. Learning to forgive will help you approach your problems with a better mindset.
The second step which is more like a preventive than a corrective measure is learning to be tolerant and patient.
Another way is to stop keeping a mental list of offenses. When you keep an account of every wrong an individual has done to you, it is easy to relate one to another and create a very negative image of the person. Everyone has good qualities. So, instead of recording offenses, considering a person’s better qualities may help lessen the magnitude of their wrong.
Finally, decide what’s more important: your anger or your friendship or relationship? Except they are deliberate acts of wickedness, some offenses occur based on personality differences, misunderstanding, external pressures, weaknesses or even as transfer of aggression. Talking things over would help a lot although it is advisable to do so when the initial irritation has passed.
In the end, we realize that our relationships are more important than our anger and resentment is definitely not the best option.