Ten Steps to Letting Go of Resentment
- Approach resentment as the addictive state of mind it is. In other words, realise how this is gripping you (do you want it gripping you? Is it solving anything?)
- Realise that you are using resentment to replicate old dramas (yes, we all do it). Acknowledge that you cannot change the past. We only have now.
- Examine how your resentment may come from mentally substituting people in your present life with people in your past. You can’t control others and you cant resolve historic dynamics and situations anymore. Remember that no matter how similar it seems, or how familiar it feels, this person you are currently dealing with is someone totally separate from those people in your past so relate to these people only by being in the here-and-now
- Acknowledge that you cannot control those who have rejected you. People do have the right to think, feel, believe what they wish. And they will do so. You may invite them to review, reconsider, or change, (with influence or new information) but ultimately its their mind and they choose what is in it.
- Recognise that your resentment gives you only illusions of strength. Instead, highlight and validate your real strength and power.
- Learn to identify signals that provoke resentment. Apply the acronym HALT, widely used in 12 Step Programs: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
- Practice cognitive behavioural techniques to stop indulging in resentment. Put a thought between your feelings of resentment and indulging in ruminating about them (I can help you with this in our cognitive behavioural therapy sessions)
- Acknowledge your part in allowing the situation or circumstances causing resentment to occur. Forgive yourself for that and make a decision to not let it happen again.
- Declare an amnesty with the person you resent. And with yourself. There really is more to life than this.
- Forgive when you can, and practice wilful and deliberate forgetfulness when you cannot. Keeping in mind that these acts are gifts to yourself rather than capitulation to the people you resent. You are not giving in. You’re choosing to spend precious minutes, hours, weeks and months, seeking joy, peace, and satisfaction instead (even if that is in a different area of life in which they do not have a part).
Resentment. A state that can flood the body and mind and bring pain and angst. We know it’s not good for us to hold on to it. Here are the ten steps to letting it go and finding freedom.