"Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment."-Dale Carnegie
Holding a grudge can not only zap your energy; it can steal you peace and happiness. Resentment is like a constant smoldering fire lives under the surface of your emotions. The situation that you have felt wronged replays in your head. Sure, it allows you to justify your feelings of anger or sadness but the grudge never lets go. It takes up rental space in your mind and the resentment eventually just sucks the life out of you.
However, the destruction of holding a grudge doesn’t end with you. Resentment eats away at your close relationships and blocks your ability to have an intimate connection with others. In other words, it places stress on your relationship with yourself and others.
To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee. ~William H. Walton
Resentment can come from a recent event, or build over a long period of time. Layers and layers of unhappiness can be refueled with every real or perceived wrongdoing. As a result, the grudge just hurts you with each stuffed negative emotion of sadness, anger or grief. It can be a long slow death of your soul. Holding a grudge can be addictive because what exactly would you do with your time if you let the resentment go?
Signs of Resentment
- Putting on a front of happiness when you are actually seething inside
- Short-tempered or very strong reaction to an otherwise small situation
- Continually bringing up the situation when talking with others
- Difficulty with getting creative with your work
So what is the reason for the constant smoldering fire of resentment? Refusing to forgive and just let bygones be bygones. That can be easier said than done. Admitting that you are angry or feeling other emotions can be the first action in letting go of resentment. Empowering yourself to really experience your feelings moves you from being a victim to setting yourself free. It’s OK if you don’t know what that might look like. Journal your feelings and get emotional support or counseling if needed in the healing process.
Taking charge of your own emotional situation is so important. The bottom line is that only you have control over your choices. Finding different ways to deal with your anger helps to heal your wounds. For example, choosing to stuff your anger will only perpetuate the bitter feelings, increase your stress and affect your health. Finding and practicing ways to express your resentment and be assertive can empower you.
Some situations may be a little more delicate than others and the acts much more seemingly difficult to forgive. The act of forgiveness actually frees you. It’s not about justifying that what the other person did was acceptable. Living with resentment causes you unhappiness, pain and distraught. Forgiveness allows you to live in the present moment and evict the feelings of resentment that live rent-free in your head.
There are other ways and choices in releasing resentments. You do have choices to heal your wounds and find peace and happiness in your life.