“RESENTMENT IS LIKE DRINKING POISON AND WAITING FOR THE OTHER PERSON TO DIE.”
Talking about getting rid of resentments and bitterness is easy to say, but very hard to do. How do you get rid of resentment and anger if that is what you are feeling? We know intellectually that anger adds stress to our lives and that stress is hard on us emotionally and physically. But doing something about resentment takes a lot of work.
A first step might be to notice any physical symptoms that you have. Are you suffering with stomach aches, indigestion, headaches, losing sleep, or ?? If so, the idea of living symptom-free can be a good motivator to help us accept other people’s humanness in exchange for better health and productivity. This is a first step, of course.
The next step towards relieving yourself of resentment is to think about the person you are resenting and try to understand their motivation for their behavior. Understanding someone else’s perspective is key to humanizing them. While you don’t like what they did, perhaps you can understand that they are imperfect and dealing from their own difficulties and damage which likely have little or nothing to do with you. This is the beginning to seeing the person as a whole person, not just as the unwanted behavior.
Another step might be to ask yourself why this person’s behavior affects you so greatly. How can you make the behavior matter less? What is it about you that makes you take in their behavior in so deeply?
Oh! And have you ever tried talking directly to the person about it? It’s surprising how much relief one can feel from having a good talk and it’s shocking how many resentments go undiscussed.
(The above quote has been attributed to many people, most notably Nelson Mandela, Carrie Fisher, and Malachy McCourt.)
The mind determines what’s possible.
The heart surpasses it.
— Pilar Coolinta
Working through an emotionally-charged conversation is never easy. But we learn that we can come to the conversation as a whole person, using not only our intelligence and our emotions, but also our heart. Try keeping your heart open to new possibilities, listening for new information, and listening for things that do not already fit your preconceived idea of what someone thinks or feels. This is extremely difficult and gets easier with practice. When you notice yourself sliding into judgment, clear your mind and start over again. We’re human. Give yourself credit for trying and then try again.
BARN’S BURNT DOWN. NOW I CAN SEE THE MOON.
Difficulty comes with other unforseen changes, usually some of them are silver linings, and often they surprise us.
Conflict works this way. Conflict isn’t something we look forward to, but there are many benefits that we otherwise wouldn’t know.
One of the best things about conflict is that we learn new things about someone (including ourselves) and, if we’re going to work through the conflict, it forces us to deepen our relationships. There are many, many potential benefits to conflict. That’s why we should WELCOME CONFLICT.
Are you in a prickly situation? Is this situation affecting your life? Your health? Your attention?
Contact a mediator in your area. The mediator directory on the NADN website is a great place to begin your search:
DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY TALKING ABOUT MONEY WITH YOUR PARTNER? “ASK A MEDIATOR” offers ideas on how to have a more productive conversation. Describe your situation and ask a question by clicking on “Leave a Reply”. Janet will reply with some ideas for you!
Do you have questions about conflict in your life? At home? At work? In your neighborhood? At church? Yes, everyone has conflict. It is a natural part of being human. You can ask Janet get ideas about how to deal with your difficulty or conflict. Do you have questions about a difficult situation you are in? Are you sad or angry about the horrible interactions you are having with a particular person?
Ask Janet – ASK A MEDIATOR!
Some wise words from James Taylor:
If I had stopped to listen once or twice,
If I had closed my mouth and opened my eyes,
If I had cooled my head and warmed my heart,
I’d not be on this road tonight.
Hello, thank you for checking out WELCOME CONFLICT, a blog to discuss and share ideas about conflict and conflict resolution. I look forward to posting ideas and inspirations about conflict and how to best deal with conflict and receiving feedback and ideas from you in return. See you soon!
Got questions about conflict? ASK A MEDIATOR