Resentment eats away at a person’s well-being. The resentful person becomes unhappy, works less effectively, and pushes people away. Yet, the person resented is not called to task and is barely affected by the resentment.
Often, resentment is based on irrational thoughts. So if we clear up our thinking, sometimes we can eliminate this bitter feeling and its ill effects.
Irrational thoughts and their alternatives:
1. “Speaking up for oneself is wrong or abrasive.”
~Not speaking up often causes more harm than good.
2. “There are no disagreements in good relationships.”
~In all relationships there’s room for diplomatic disagreement. When people hide their opinions and feelings to avoid conflict, such suppression can lead to resentment and a bad relationship.
3. “I’m a victim; no one will accept me. So, I’ll reject them before they reject me.”
~People are much more likely to be accepting if you have some self-assurance and are accepting of them, warts and all.
4. “I’ll never win at anything I try; I’m unlucky.”
~Successful people learn from mistakes and persevere through failure.
5. “It’s WHO you know that matters.”
~Many people work their way to happiness and success through work, learning from their mistakes, kindness, and maintaining a good attitude.
It’s important to identify situations that trigger your irrational thoughts. Work out ways of responding to these triggers ahead of time. For example, if someone tends to take credit for your ideas, prepare to say with a smile, “I’m glad you like my idea.”
by Alison Poulsen, PhD