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I’ve been thinking a lot about this, lately.

I’m not saying that I wish that things turned out differently. I don’t. There’s not a single that I look back on and think, If only... But, I do look back and think, I wish I hadn’t wasted so much energy on being angry.

Which reminds me of this . I can’t remember the first time I heard it, but lots of google sources attribute it to Ann Landers. I’m 99.99% certain I didn’t hear it from Ann Landers.

Resentment is allowing someone to live rent-free in a room in your head.

I’ll admit to giving away a lot of rent-free space over the years. Space that could’ve been used for so many better things. Remembering people’s names. lyrics. Movies quotes. Hell, anything would be more productive.

But instead I’ve chosen to hold on to resentment. For days, weeks, months… even years.

So, like I said, I’ve been thinking about it, lately. I know it’s one of my major flaws (and by no means my only one). And I know that I’ll be a happier, healthier person if I can learn to let go. And meditate. And give up sweets. And work out 3 times a week.

I have no answers. No pithy to end the post with. This is just me pointing out an obvious flaw in my character. One that I’d like to think I can grow out of. But only time will tell.

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17 to “Resentment”

  1. NikkiB says:

    You know what? I kind of disagree. Do you need to let go of anger at some point in order to move on? You betcha. But.

    Sometimes people come into our lives and just F everything right the F up. I think, in those situations, some hard feelings are absolutely warranted – and actually healthy for getting over something. You can’t allow someone to treat you like crap and then say “oh, well, don’t wanna rent out that space to the likes of YOU.”

    First of all, they deserve that resentment. They do. Period. What I don’t condone, is telling them all about it or thinking your anger will change one thing about them. It won’t. BUT I think it’s ok in terms of dealing with whatever bullcrap that happened.

    Second, I don’t think it’s realistic. Maybe that’s just me – as I’ve never been able to let the bullcrap go right off the bat. I need time to stew and be pissed and bitch to my GFs and be downright angry. I need to rent out that space for ME – not for them. Sooner or later, of course, ya gotta kick it the F out, or you’re never moving on – but, in my experience, that takes some time.

    If you ask me (since you did, right???) I say you do whatcha gotta do for yourself, and resentment is a part of getting through some shit. It’s not for them or to change them or to make them sorry, it’s for you to be angry at what they did (or even how you reacted) and it’s part of moving on. Which you had better do eventually – so you can rent the room, but don’t put out an annual lease.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Reading this (the several times I read it) made me smile. Yes YES! Some anger just needs to be worked through. My issue is when it simmers….

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree. I read an article in Yoga Journal (I think) once and it discussed embracing your emotions. When you feel sad, everyone tells you to watch a funny movie, when, in reality, you should do just the opposite, you should embrace the sadness, listen to depressing music, watch a love story that will make you bawl and get it all out… because otherwise it’s going to live rent-free a lot longer than it has to.

  2. jPb says:

    The saying I know is “Treat a person as they are, and they remain so. Treat a person as they can be, and they will become so.” I know too many people who think that love and meditation and self awareness and enlightenment are the path to a happier you, and while serene composure is a healthy practice, there is more to it. Resentment happens. We live and make anger, sadness, we surround ourselves with people and still feel alone. It isn’t our misery that makes us miserable, it is the bologna we throw at our misery, the hyena in the corner that we sometimes patronize in order to keep it quiet. The happiest people I know learn to live with what they are, knots and hiccups and all.

  3. luna says:

    How interesting you bring this up, I was just writing about it :). I had a crap load of resentment inside me for many years, and this is what I discovered…

    Resentment is brought about when we think we have given something and received nothing in return for our giving…no show of gratitude, not even a kiss my ass, nothing.

    The best way I have found to cure my resentment is to let go of the gift I gave. When I finally take my hands off of it, I am free.

  4. I too get angry about the time I “wasted.” That was time I could have spent pouring into a healthy realationship instead of exhausting myself on something that never seemed to work. I tried to leave all my resentment back in 2010 so the negative vibes won’t follow me into this year.

  5. Jobo says:

    At first I completely agreed that you should let resentment go, but then I read Nikki’s comment and I can really see her point. You almost do need to feel the resentment before letting it go. A short ‘lease’ is okay, as it usually does help you let go better, right? But I also have a feeling that might’ve been what you meant, feel it but also LET IT GO.

  6. Colleen says:

    I think a lot of it, to me anyway, is all part of the steps of letting something go. I don’t think it’s a matter of let it go, or don’t let it go.

    For me, first I was DEVASTATED at the betrayal in my relationship, then I was FOCUSED (on getting a new apartment, keeping my dignity, basically focusing on MY needs). The Focus stage was totally intermixed with CONFUSION, SADNESS, and total DISBELIEF. Then once I settled into my new apartment, and much of the dust had settled, I was so ANGRY that even I didn’t know how to handle that. After a good pity session, I snapped myself out of it, and am now just moving on. My next step is total INDIFFERENCE, in that I no longer give a shit about anything, or who, he’s doing. It’s now no longer my problem, which is totally FREEING me so that I can really see how much better off I am, and how happy I am to be able to trust in myself.

    • Simone Grant says:

      It’s smart that you’re letting yourself actually experience all of those stages. I think I’ve tried to speed past confusion, sadness and disbelief in the past.

  7. SFSingleGuy says:

    Sometimes they take over the whole house in your head 😉

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