I recently read a comment about someone who was deprived of a $50 rebate from HP, so he used every possible opportunity to disparage the company and prevent people from buying their products. The effect on HP’s multi-billion dollar budget was negligible. But this person has carried this resentment for months, or even years!
This is a lot of energy wasted on the original perpetrator – who did not even notice the offense. We can all relate to a similar – or worse – experience. We return to it regularly – reliving it…imagining the best way to exact vengeance on our enemy! Relishing the sweet taste of righteousness!
But that sweet taste has a bitter aftertaste.
It’s over. Let it go. It happened in the past. You can’t unring the bell.
Many studies have shown that carrying resentment leads to health problems. It’s been said that carrying resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
So how do you let go of that resentment? Here are a few ideas:
Forgive in Person
If you can talk it over with the person without the emotion rebuilding, do so. Listen to their perspective – you may be surprised by what you found out. Or you may be reinforced that they are a jerk. Regardless, you forgive the other person – for you.
Write a Letter
If you can’t talk to the person, write a letter. Say everything you want to. Get it all out. Let them know what they did and how they hurt you. How angry and resentful you felt. What it meant to you. Then say, “I forgive you.” It doesn’t matter if they deserve it. You’re doing this for you. Afterwards, destroy the letter. Perhaps a ceremony where you burn the resentment would be helpful.
Talk to a Chair
Clint Eastwood was able to vent his frustrations to a chair. Some people respond better to talking it out. Always end with a message of forgiveness.
Set a goal and pursue it
If you are focused on a goal to achieve, you can’t clutter your mind with the distraction of a resentment. Reliving that resentment in your mind just strengthens it. Distracting yourself from the thought of your percieved (or actual) offense reduces the strength of that feeling. Any time you catch yourself returning to that resentment, just smile, focus on your goal, and take some action towards making it happen. Don’t fight the resentment – it likes that! Just refocus your attention.
Now go out and make today count! You only have 24 hours to make a difference today. Don’t waste a minute of it wallowing in resentment!