“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.)