The feeling of resentment is familiar to many people, and sometimes this feeling can be very destructive. This negative emotion is associated with a reaction to the actions of another person, perceived as unfair, and not corresponding to expectations. Psychologists believe that the development of such a feeling is based on three thought processes: the formation of expectations, the assessment of the opponent’s behavior, and the comparison of reality with what was expected. If the reality differs from what was expected, there are resentful feelings. A person begins to learn about resentment from childhood, from about 3-5 years old, when he or she already evaluates the behavior of others, analyzes events, and forms his or her thoughts.
How to cope with resentment?
How to overcome the feeling of resentment? Here are the simple strategies that help you to do it.
- Tell the offender about your feelings. Do not shout at him and go to insults, just talk. Calmly say all that you think, and try to find out why the person behaved in this way. He probably didn’t mean any harm and either made a mistake or simply didn’t know what was expected of him. In such a case, forgiveness is required of you.
- Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who offended you. What would you do in such a situation, what would you do? Perhaps the person simply had no other choice.
- Analyze the situation in a calm psychological state. Give yourself time to calm down, and then evaluate what happened. Go through the events in your head, remember the actions of the offender and your own, but do not try to give your thoughts an emotional coloring: think cold-bloodedly and soberly. This technique will allow you to get rid of negative emotions and understand what caused the upset.
- If the offense is “fresh”, try to just relax and relieve stress, for example, take a walk in the fresh air, play sic bo, listen to your favorite music, or eat something delicious. Perhaps the emotions will subside and the offense will simply go away.
- Try to work and release negative emotions. For example, you can do sports or creative work. Such sublimation of energy will allow you to get a periodic discharge, relieve stress, organize thoughts, and achieve inner harmony.
- Learn to look at things more simply and positively, not to take everything to heart. An optimistic attitude helps in life and gets rid of negativity.
- Use self-criticism to find out if the expectations are not the result of ego and selfishness.
- There is an interesting trick: imagine yourself as the offender’s lawyer and try to justify and defend him. This way you will be able to understand why the person behaved the way he did.
Why is resentment mentally unhealthy?
What is dangerous to be offended often or to harbor resentment? Such a negative feeling is destructive and does not let you live normally. It can cause a desire for revenge, which can turn into the main purpose and meaning of life. Some doctors believe that many diseases are psychosomatic. Indeed, stress reduces immunity, provokes exacerbations, and increases the burden on the nervous system.
Because of resentment, you can permanently lose a loved one, and remain alone. Loneliness and experiencing negative emotions lead to depression and mental disorders. A general dissatisfaction with life is formed: offending, a person fixates on himself and his feelings, does not see anything around him and does not get pleasant impressions. As a result, everyone around can suffer. That’s why letting go of resentment is so important.