Resentment is Poisonus

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I just came across this quote while searching for quotes on babies’ temper tantrums. I immediately thought of all of us:

RESENTMENT IS LIKE TAKING POISON AND WAITING FOR THE OTHER PERSON TO DIE.
–Malachy McCourt

I laughed out loud upon reading that.  How true it is.  How absurd resentment is. Resentment has everything to do with us, with our unexpressed needs and wants, and not much to do with the other person. It sometimes feels as if our resentment is so big, so bitter, so sharply painful that it has the power to be felt by our partners. But, in fact, they rarely know that we’re harboring such resentment. Rather, they’re just wondering why we’re being moody (or passive-aggressive, overly sarcastic, or quiet).

When someone does something you have become resentful about, remember that they’re not doing the thing to purposefully get to you. (Or, rather, they’re not avoiding doing something simply to frustrate you.)  They’re just doing their thing, doing their best (their best for them, not according to you).  It’s up to you to point out what you want from them (or change your own action or response), otherwise you should not expect them to change of their own accord. They don’t have the issue, you do.

  • Ask someone to stop doing something, explain why (don’t make it judgmental or personal)
  • Ask for help (don’t expect it, don’t attach strings to it, keep it simple)
  • Work it out – sometimes you have to negotiate to get there (and…eww…compromise)

Adult children are prone to seeing themselves as victims.  Resentment is a form of victimhood.  Try to get out from under resentment by either speaking your mind or changing your perspective on things.

Say what you want. Do what you want. Asserting your needs and wants is easier than you think.  And gets easier with time. I promise!

–ae

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