In your relationships, friendships and work associations, you may notice a deep anger that sometimes comes up in you.
You might have been looked over for a promotion, or not given credit for planning a friend’s event. You may be constantly compared to a family member’s success or not accepted to the academic program of your dreams. It’s fair to say that this type of anger that builds up in us when we feel we have been treated wrong is called resentment.
Resentment is an extension of anger: feeling resentful means feeling a bitterness related to being treated wrong, unfairly or unjustly.
Resentment may specifically show up in your relationships and circumstances with others. As mentioned previously, we sometimes feel we were not treated the way we were supposed to be treated. And this feeling of resentment can take up a lot of space within you when this happens.
As we discussed in learning the difference between reacting and responding, heavy feelings like resentment exist within us for a reason. Resentment is an internal signal that we have been hurt and we are impacted by that hurt.
When we do not do our work to understand why we feel resentful, we risk pre-maturally ending meaningful relationships that could have been repaired, missing opportunities for us to be successful or becoming emotionally exhausted by holding in the anger we feel. We as humans can only hold, ignore and deny our anger for so long . . . before we explode.
Therefore, the key to healing from resentment is . . . forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an incredibly valuable component of healthy relationships and an important coping mechanism for handling adversity. If you ever decide to have an interaction with another human being or take a chance to go for your goals, there is chance that mistakes could be made or disappointment will ensue.
Learning how to forgive gives you the ability to:
- Hold the other person or entity accountable (if necessary)
- Address what hurt you
- Discuss solutions for moving forward, boundaries that need to be set and opportunities for repair
- Work towards understanding, re-building trust and repairing the relationship
As we have discussed often on this platform, not all relationships and friendships will involve the mutual collaboration of forgiveness. Sometimes, forgiveness is one-sided: you may have to forgive someone or something from afar because the relationship was toxic, the other person is not willing or refuses to accept accountability or even after you have tried to repair, the other person continues to make decisions that result in you feeling hurt.
Decipher where your relationship falls and decide for yourself if forgiveness is the healing you need to move forward from the hurt you feel.
What is essential is recognizing that you feel hurt, and the resentment you feel is a signal that you should try not to ignore it.
What do you believe the key to healing from resentment is?