The feeling of hostility directed against someone can become a problem.
Emotions can lead us to react quickly to situations that require an urgent response, but, paradoxically, they can also anchor us in the past if we don’t know how to manage them well.
The case of resentment is the clearest example of the latter: through it, a past experience is able to keep us reliving over and over again the feeling of annoyance that we once lived, but that in reality we would not have to be suffering in the present.
In this article we will see several keys on how to overcome resentment, redirect our emotions and stop feeling frustrated by something that no longer has the importance that we give it.
Overcome resentment, step by step
These are some keys to understanding how you can overcome resentment. Of course, we must not lose sight of the fact that each case is unique and we must know how to adapt these ideas to the way in which we live in a given context and moment.
1. Define the reason for your resentment
The vast majority of times in which resentment is experienced is directed towards a specific person or group (regardless of the size of the latter).
Therefore, the first step in dealing with this psychological phenomenon is to detect who we are directing this hostility against. This is something that can be a matter of seconds in some cases, but sometimes it is complex, especially when what we adopt negative attitudes against is something rather abstract.
In any case, identifying this element will help us to undo this hostile dynamic as quickly as possible.
2. Write down the negative consequences of feeling resentful
The main reason you want to let go of resentment is to stop hurting yourself.
It is important to bear this in mind, because if we do not do it, there will be the paradox that the fact of fantasizing about the humiliation or defeat of someone who we believe has hurt us is something that keeps us mired in a state that hurts us. suffer, so we give that other person more power over us than they normally would.
Therefore, stop and think and make a list of the negative consequences of feeling the way you feel when harboring that antipathy towards someone, without forgetting that time is also an aspect to take into account: the longer we prolong this phase, the longer they will last your damages.
3. Assume that accepting is not forgiving
Sometimes forgiveness is practically impossible, or so complicated that the cost of trying outweighs the possible positive consequences in terms of effort and time. So think about the difference between forgiveness and acceptance.
To deal with a person or have them close to us on a day-to-day basis, they don’t have to be our friend, that we can trust them or that we like them. Accepting that some people are not made to have an important role in our lives is necessary to overcome the resentment that in some cases we may harbor against someone.
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4. Don’t let zero contact enslave you
Sometimes, getting away from a person is good to overcome the first phase of anger, but this phase should not be prolonged too long if we do not want the negative consequences of seeing our freedom restricted when it comes to moving become another source of discomfort and resentment.
5. Learn not to take it personally
Not taking something personally does not mean ingratiating yourself with someone and assuming they didn’t mean to hurt us. Indeed, the world is full of people who, given the right conditions, can pretend to hurt us, but that does not mean that we should give importance to their intentions.
If we adopt a distant perspective, we will see that events only matter if we give it to them, and that unless we give prominence to those who offend us, we can make sure that what they think of us or the fact that they try to make us uncomfortable does not have importance.
6. Assume that people are not perfect
Finally, we will save many moments of anger and resentment if we learn to accept that making mistakes is not in itself a reason for us to antagonize someone, even if it has significantly negative consequences for us.
Life is not perfect and everyone has moments when their strength fails or when they make the wrong decisions. If that causes us frustration, it is one thing, but it does not mean that we should blame someone for being wrong.
7. Change your lifestyle
Even if we have very valid reasons to be resentful towards someone or a group of people, the one who is harmed the most by that situation is oneself.
Therefore, knowing how to overcome resentment is not so much an act by which we assess whether we have reason to blame someone for something bad that has happened, as an act of turning the page and focusing on other aspects of life that are more stimulating. .
And since it is very difficult to think differently doing exactly the same thing, it is important that you modify certain things in your day to day. New hobbies, new friendships, new places … All this will allow you to close a stage of your development and move on to another in which the past does not limit you so much and you can look back without being dominated by discomfort.
Jeronimus; et al. (Jan 2018). “Frustration”. In Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, TK Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. New York: Springer. p. 1-8.
Martin, Courtney E. (2014). “The Violence of Humiliation”, On Being, September.
Reber, AS, & Reber, E. (2002). The Penguin dictionary of psychology. New York: Penguin Books.
Szasz, PL; Szentagotai, A .; Hofmann, S. (November 30, 2010). “The Effect of Emotion Regulation Strategies on Anger”. Behavior Research and Therapy. 49 (2).