Letting go of resentment is difficult because doing so invites us to mentally and emotionally deal with the source of our anger.
When we stop blaming, we need to recognize that our need to hold someone or something responsible for our feelings has harmed us. We thought we were coping with our hurt feelings where in fact we were holding onto our hurt with a vice grip.
When we are angry and resentful we need to shift our attention away from those we resent and back toward ourselves by exploring what we need?
People will often say…but I express my needs and the other person doesn’t listen, gets defensive, or doesn’t try to understand. Maybe the other person is triggered too and they don’t know how to sit down and learn to repair in a relationship. Some people have never had a safe place to discuss feelings or needs. Meanwhile you can ask yourself some questions like how important is this issue for me? Have I expressed this from a gentle, more vulnerable place? Why does this trigger me so much? Does this relate to my history? Trying to see things from another’s perspective can also help. Can I have more compassion for myself or the other person?
Remember we can get addicted to “turning away” too. This can lead to other behaviours that don’t help repair in a relationship.
Holding on to resentment has also been linked to an increasing blood pressure, heart rate and your nervous system. These issues can cause health issues over time.
So when we have tried to communicate our needs and feelings. When we have practised having boundaries, explored our feelings and taken the other person’s feelings into consideration and it still is difficult or feels stuck..it may be time for help! Counsellors can help build resilience, teach new tools and create safety to move yourself or your relationship with yourself and others forward.