Secret to Avoiding Resentment
Resentment is something that happens to us and makes us angry because an event doesn’t live up to our expectations or our values.
There are events out of our control which can cause resentment; an example may be that someone you know steals something from you. This goes against your value system of being honest, respecting other people’s property.
Most common resentments come from people or events not meeting your expectations. So what’s the number one secret to avoid resentments?
The answer is not to set expectations on the outcome.
In the midst of the season of graduations, weddings and family reunions; it also is the season of resentments. I’ve seen people get resentments in that they lost some weight prior to the event and were looking forward to compliments about their achievement; only to find that no one noticed or didn’t say anything.
Among those who are in the early stages of recovering from an addiction, they want to go to that big family event and have everyone give them pats on the back for a job well done. They may find that doesn’t happen for a variety of reasons ranging from the pain they’ve inflicted over the past to others who haven’t healed; family members don’t care or family members are caught up in their own addictions and see your sobriety as a threat.
Regardless of the reason, if you go into an event with an expectation that everyone will see the change in you and give you kudos for a job well done. You could very well be setting yourself up for a resentment.
Someone I was talking to recently was all excited about going to a relative’s wedding so she could show off her new sobriety and soon to be newly divorced status. She was going to bring her children as proof of rebuilding her life to estranged relatives.
When we discussed; I told her the reason why most people go to weddings is to wish the bride and groom a happy life; not to use their celebration as a stage for their self-serving motives. As we walked through the event from her self-serving point of view; she saw how her motives would backfire which would result in further hurt and resentments. Not only for her; but potentially for others in attendance.
Enter events such as this as a blessing. Feel gratitude that an invitation was extended to be part of a celebration. People want you around. If the focus of the celebration is on a life event of another; take a back seat and don’t put yourself in the limelight. Go to support THEM; not to look for kudos for you.
What you will find, is that when you are not expecting people to behave a certain way that is self-serving; you will have an enjoyable time. And if someone compliments you on the loss of 20 pounds; it will feel wonderful because you weren’t expecting it. That will bring you joy