A few weeks ago, lots of things were bugging me.
I mean, isn’t being resentful part and parcel of being human?
Let’s see: Whether it’s anger at the person who pushed ahead of you in line at the grocery, or frustration with your rebellious teenager’s attitude, or exasperation at the inexperienced and clueless teacher of your second grader, (not sure why I’m bringing up situations from my life fifteen years ago — this is interesting), we all feel (or felt)the big R of Resentment in our lives. Don’t we? (Please don’t be quiet here, I need validation.)
It could be our mother-in-law (now I’m being honest!), or our daughter-in-law (never happens to me because mine are wonderful – truly), or brother, sister, best friend, sister-in-law, cousin, colleague, neighbor….anyone annoying us.
Maybe all of the above at one time, or just one at a time. You know, one day the guy at the post office rubs me the wrong way (it happens) and the next day my boss says something and I’m venting to to my husband for an hour.
Next, the grandchildren come over and they leave stuff lying around on the den floor and I go berserk, because I hate clutter. You get it?
By the time we’re grown up (that’s middle aged when we finally feel grown up) we’ve figured out this relationship stuff already. Or should I say, I’ve figured it out and am here to list you 13 things that I remind myself when I begin to feel that itch of resentment at anyone, everyone or no one.
So, if all else fails and you just cannot please some people no matter what you do, stop turning yourself into a pretzel and remember the following things.
These things don’t automatically stop me from feeling resentment, but they take the edge off the anger or whatever is bothering me.
- TRIGGER BUTTONS: Identify what trigger that person has pushed. Some people seem to push our buttons and it’s not they are trying to be mean or rude, but it’s more like we have certain sensitivity buttons that are being pushed. The title of the button is usually a character trait that we don’t like and we fear that we have it – such as inadequacy, selfishness, foolishness.
- CHILDHOOD REMINDER: Ask the question to self: Self, what about my childhood does this remind me of? Is there something similar (kind of like deja vu) in my past that was upsetting and this reminds me of?
- CONSIDER IT A STYLE: People have idiosyncrasies or in other words, styles, cultures, ways of doing things. For us it’s weird, while for them it’s just their way of doing things. Knowing that can help ease the annoyance.
- KEEP DISTANCE BUT KEEP PERSPECTIVE. Sometimes if a person or situation is so toxic, you may have to keep distance from it so that you gain your equilibrium and feel better. Still, keep perspective that you may find a time to revisit that person or situation. But for now, distance is best.
- IS THAT A BEHAVIOR I HAVE ALSO? Sometimes it’s the annoying things in ourselves that we notice the most in others. Hard to admit but true.
- KNOW NOT TO DO IT TO OTHERS. It’s always good to know the stuff that we don’t want to do to others. Seeing something upsetting can remind us never to do such a thing because we then know what it feels like to be on the receiving end.
- BECOME AN OBSERVER. I’ve recently gotten better at people watching. When I just calmly observe and take myself out of the picture, “stuff” stops bothering me.
- IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. This is an old cliché but it’s really true. Most of the time (like 99% of the time), things that others do is not about us. It’s about them. Knowing that can really help deal with it, because we are reminded that there’s nothing we can or should do.
- HAVE COMPASSION. It’s always a good thing to feel compassion for someone who is consistently annoying
- DO NOT GOSSIP. Enough said.
- KEEP BUSY, MOVE ON. No use obsessing and fretting over what can’t be changed. Move on.
- LET GO/PRAY. I’m constantly surprised how this always helps and it does
- Listen to some favorite music.
Have a peaceful day! Oh – and don’t forget the Serenity Prayer. And here’s a picture that will induce serenity!