How to let go of resentment and anger? – Easier said than done.
Human is mostly resentful by nature, meaning we always hold on to hurting and annoying stuff like burning pieces of wood rather than letting go of it. As a result, we feel stressed-out and heavy-hearted.
Fortunately, you can be dealing with resentment in one way or another.
Here I share some tips to fight against resentment in marriage, in work, and in daily life. Hope they are helpful.
Are You Resentful?
You refuse to forgive
How often do you find yourself boiling all the painful feelings inside when you are cheated or abandoned?
You can hardly forget every single piece of such experience or forgive anyone that you write down mean things ever said in a book. You turn the pain into anger and hatred.
Even worse, you desire those hurting you to get a taste of their own bitterness and feel terrible about what they have done – with words, ruthless cruelty, or even acts of revenge.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”
― Carrie Fisher ―
You think dichotomously and defensively
For you, there are two types of people: with you or against you – help you or betray you.
And when it comes to a conversation or an agreement, you tend to take everything defensively and personally. If people do not back you up, you immediately get upset at them, even for the smallest things.
Such an aggressiveness and selfishness put people away from you and make you even hate them more.
You wade in self-pity
Upon being betrayed, you feel so sorry for yourself that you are the one who hurt the most and none seem to feel compassion for you.
For that reason, you often drown in animosity and resentment against the well-being or happiness of others. And you want to take their subject down a notch by saying or doing reckless things to start a fight up. While you end up feeling better, others feel terrible.
Why Do You Suffer from Resentment?
Even when you are not naturally bitter, there are a bunch of stressful things that cause anger and resentment.
Resentment in marriage
What causes you to be bitter with your spouse is mostly when you feel unfair in that relationship. Your partner might take your love and sacrifice for granted or take advantage of you, knowingly or unknowingly.
I remember a time when I felt depressed with my marriage and I found my husband and I are resentful with each other, mostly by spelling bittering words and starting useless quarrels every day.
At that time, I felt like my partner being “married” to his job rather than being present at home with kids. He even forgot our special anniversaries. But it was not him who had faults. I was also over-acting sometimes. I screamed loudly, threw things, and even cried so much for his smallest mistakes.
Up to now when we have made up, I still wish to take back all cruel words we said. Truth be told, too much resentment can partly or completely destroy relationships.
Resentment at workplace
At the office, you can even easily get angry because people are hardly tolerant of you as much as your family is.
Sad to say, sexual harassment or work violence are the most common sources of resentment and hostility. Peer conflicts, bad feedback, poor or nonexistent communication, unreasonable demands on both employers and employees, excessive absenteeism or turnover, sagging morale are also counted.
For instance, you just received scathing criticism from your boss in front of other co-workers. And, definitely, you feel shameful and resentful towards that person.
Resentment in daily routine
When you are resentful for some reason, you just need a triggering to “burst” it out. Hence, even a stranger on the road or the neighbors who play music in the early morning can resent you.
And if you try to hold on such grudges from time to time, you might not ever let go of that resentment. Eventually, such resentment is like rust, spreading and debilitating an entire structure and identity.
How Long-term Resentment Ruins Your Mind & Health?
First and foremost, the inability to let go of anger and resentment leaves you depressed and anxious. That time, your mind will full of a complicated freeway with non-stop chattering, judging, and thinking about those unkind and how bittering they cause you to feel.
Kind of exhausted and you can focus yourself on anything else!
Even worse, being resentful is negative, whether it is your fault or people’s fault. Both will end up being hurt. Hence, the resentment ruins relationships around you, making you even lonely and down.
Not to mention, the resentful feeling even causes physical damages such as headaches and chronic pain, high blood pressures and even sudden heart attacks. Finally, you might get involved in alcohol or drug abuse.
How to Let Go of Resentment and Relieve Your Heart?
It is hard to take back your happiness in the case of resentment in life, in marriage, or at work.
Yet, I hope these following ways to let go of anger can, more or less, help you think more positively and get over the bitterness.
Find and evaluate the source of anger
Sometimes, you get upset at people, not because of their fault, but you might misunderstand them or you are already resentful at other things.
Now, sit down and reflect on the anger. Think about whether it is truly serious for you to be haunted by those words or acts all the time. If not, then forget it and consider the bright sight of your hatred person. If yes, learn to forgive and live more happily.
Have a thoughtful conversation
When it comes to the “bursting” edge, you often want to trigger a fight, starting with hurting words. At that time, take a deep breath and lower a voice for a conversation rather than a quarrel.
In my case, I had some chats with my husband after we shouted at others and kept silent for almost half an hour. I shared with him how stressful I felt with the housework, children raising, the love relationship, and my work at the office. I also listened to how he was suffering from. Finally, we learned to forgive and shared.
In case you do not want to talk with your hater, you can still have a conversation with your friend or psychologist who will give you helpful and realistic advices.
Take up a hobby
… or whatever will keep your mind busy from negative thoughts.
Do not let useless things or unkind people waste your time and get your mood down. Instead of sitting and writing cruel words in your notebooks, you should spend that time on your family, friend, and your hobbies.
How about painting, cooking, or starting 22 things to buy and sell to make money from home?
Pick up books on forgiveness and letting go
Words can relieve a painful mind, literally.
So, I strongly recommend having a cup of green tea in the afternoon and reading inspirational works such as Radical Forgiveness: A Revolutionary Five-Stage Process to Heal Relationships by Colin Tipping or Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant.
Free Your Mind, Free Your Life
Said like Shannon Alder, “Anger, resentment, or jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others – it only changes yours.” Do not ever allow it to affect yourself to obsessive feelings and physical damages. Learn to control the resentment and be stronger from time to time.