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8 Ways To Release And Prevent Resentment In Any Relationship

8 Ways To Release And Prevent Resentment In Any Relationship

If you’re not careful, resentment can build in any relationship. Over time, resentment can grow and lead to bitterness which makes it impossible to maintain a healthy relationship. Practice strategies that will allow you to prevent and release resentment before it builds up. Here are 8 ways to release and prevent resentment in any relationship.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings, Even if They’re Negative

Feelings aren’t bad, even if they’re negative. What you choose to do with those feelings is what makes the difference. It’s normal to feel angry, disappointed, embarrassed, and hurt.

When you experience painful emotions, label them and acknowledge them. Trying to ignore them or stuff them won’t make them go away. Instead, they can build up over time and lead to resentment.

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2. Speak Up When Your Feelings are Hurt

When someone hurts your feelings or has unrealistic expectations for you, be willing to speak up. Holding in small hurts over time and can cause anger and resentment to build. Wait until your calm and use “I” messages to express your feelings.

3. Create a List of Reasons Why Holding a Grudge Won’t Help

Holding onto a grudge about something in the past is likely to hurt you more than the other person. If you harbor anger, resentment, and even hatred toward someone else, it can impact other areas of your life negatively.

Create a list of the reasons why holding a grudge isn’t helpful. Seeing it on paper can help you see the ways that harboring resentment can impact your life.

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4. Create a List of Reasons Why Forgiveness Can be Helpful

Be willing to consider forgiveness. Forgiving doesn’t mean you need to excuse the other person’s behavior or that you’ll forget what happened. However, it can be about letting go of all those feelings that you are holding on to.

Create a list of the reasons why forgiveness could be helpful to your life. Look at what positive things could happen if you let go of those negative emotions that have been building up.

5. Avoid Complaining to Other People

If you’re feeling angry with someone, avoid talking to everyone else about it. Sharing your anger with others over and over again is likely to fuel your anger and frustration. Don’t get others involved or expect others to take sides. Instead, talk directly with the person that you’re angry with to address the problem in a direct manner.

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6. Try to Look at the Issue from the Other Person’s Point of View

Try to establish some empathy for the other person. Imagine what that person might have been thinking and feeling when your feelings were hurt.

Looking at the situation from the other person’s point of view can help you develop compassion. Don’t assume the other person had evil intentions but instead, recognize that the person could have had good intentions.

7. Accept that People Aren’t Perfect

Prevent resentment by accepting that no one is perfect. People who care about you and love you will hurt your feelings sometimes. Other people can’t meet your needs all the time.

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It’s unrealistic to expect that people will always behave in a way that is pleasing to you. Everyone makes choices in life and there will be times when you don’t like the choices someone else makes.

8. Say No When You Don’t Want to Do Something

If you behave like a martyr by always saying yes to everything, you’ll likely feel taken advantage of quickly. Saying no to things you don’t want to do is one of the best ways to prevent resentment.

Whether you say no to your sister asking you to babysit or you decline an invitation to dinner from a friend, if you don’t want to do it and you can’t do it with a cheerful attitude, consider saying no.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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