• Stopping Resentment in It’s Tracks

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    Stopping Resentment in It’s Tracks

    To stop resentment in its tracks, the first step is to recognize that feeling of resentment. As you know, unskillfully indulging in that emotion is not going to be helpful for you or your family in the long run.

    Before we go any further, what is resentment?

    Resentment is having spoken or unspoken contempt for your partner. 

    If it’s spoken, it may be expressed via anger, mockery, or condescension – all things that ensure you won’t get what you really want in your relationship.

    Or it could be unspokenly expressed via passive-aggressive withdrawal. On a bad day for me, that’s one of my favorites (don’t worry, I’ve really worked on that) …

    Terry Real dubs someone in passive-aggressive withdrawal as a constipated rager. Clients often chuckle when I share that term (especially if it’s about their partner).

    So, once you’ve recognized you’re feeling resentment, you’ve done the first part.

    Now you’re at a crossroads. Will you go down resentment-road, or will you take the high road?

    Going down resentment-road is old and easy. 

    The high road involves discipline and remembering our why. 

    Why don’t we take resentment-road?

    Some reasons:

    My partner deserves better.

    My partner can’t hear what I’m really upset about.

    I want to create a peaceful family.

    I want to provide a good example for my kids.

    I want to be better than my parent who indulged in resentment and anger.

    Now that we’re motivated, reflect on what’s underneath your resentment and share that. 

    This is called sharing vulnerability. If you do that, you’ve stopped resentment in its tracks.

    For example, underneath your anger are you feeling unheard, controlled, or lonely? Such reflection slows you down. Then share that feeling from a centered place and request what you need.

    Is this easy?

    No, it takes a lot of practice and skill. 

    Can it be done?

    Yes.

    Maybe a better question is, why can’t you do this for yourself and your family?

    Do this and you will be heard, and it’s likely you will get what you want – at least a part of it. 

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