Chip and Veronica answer questions from the Soberful Life Community on resentments.
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This week, we’re answering your questions about resentments.
Is it deemed unhealthy to have resentment, especially if they occur regularly? Or is it part and parcel of life? And we must learn to navigate them?
Everybody gets resentments. That is part and parcel of life. Since it’s normal to have resentments, it’s not about how to avoid having them, but how to deal with them once you have them.
How much power are these resentments having over your life?
You can tell by being aware of how long you’re harbouring them if you’re putting yourself in danger, or the quality of your life in danger by harbouring them, and if you’re ignoring the well-being of the ones you care about to pursue these resentments.
Once you’re aware of how much power they have over you, then you’ll know how many unhealthy resentments to release from your life.
How do you manage resentments when they’re entirely justified?
Although it’s normal to have resentments, it’s unhealthy to hold on to them. However, there are some that get under your skin and can really stick with you. Those are the resentments for the ones you care about or trusted, the most.
And there’s a certain amount of seduction that you can get from it, a kind of justified self-righteousness that it brings.
But it’s a trap. The more you give it power, the less power you have, and the more likely you are to use that resentment as an excuse to drink again.
You need to find a way to take your power back. Chip was able to release the resentment he harboured for his abusers as a child by getting therapy and turning them into the authorities.
What can you do, no matter how small, that gives you some control over the situation? Can you journal it, tell a close friend, or go to a meeting?
What is the quickest way to help one feel better with a justified wrong done to you?
You’re at the stage where you realize holding on to resentments don’t serve you and you’re ready to release it.
The fastest way we’ve found to do that is to shift your perception of the situation. I’ve been able to do that through a process based on Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy that I coach people on. It’s a journalling process that by the end of, I now have options of what I can do instead of continuing to hold the resentment.
Chip has cultivated strong friendships with who he is able to turn consistently to help him work through his resentments. They give him a grounded, objective yet supportive field of view of the situation which helps him to release the negative emotions and see the resentment from a new perspective.
Other questions answered on this episode:
- What is the best way to deal with someone who you think has resentment against you? How can you process it and untangle it with the other person?
- Where’s the line between letting go of resentments, and reminding yourself of historic bad behaviour, in order to establish and maintain healthy boundaries?
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