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Moving Beyond Resentment: Tips for Letting Go

Graphic with words describing resentfulness: resentful, stressful, sorrowful, worried, tormented

Resentment can be a heavy burden to bear. Whether it's due to being treated unfairly or just a perception of injustice, this negative emotion can consume your thoughts and take over your life. But it doesn't have to be that way. By taking proactive steps, you can move beyond feelings of resentment and find peace of mind through letting those feelings go.

Now, I took an entire semester course on forgiveness in grad school. In fact, I there were multiple lectures on The Phantom of the Opera as a model. I've still never seen The Phantom of the Opera.... Since we don't have time and space for quite an entire semester, I've boiled it down to some salient points.

Forgiveness is really all about you. Find space for forgiveness. It can be a powerful tool for healing you. It doesn't mean you have to reconcile with the person who wronged you or even tell them you're forgiving them. It's just for you, to help you feel better. "Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies." Put down the bottle for yourself.

Step into the other person's shoes. This doesn't mean you have to wear their actual shoes, of course, just figuratively. By seeing things from their perspective, you may be able to understand their actions better, even if you don't like what they did. We recognize that there are some things that simply cannot be understood. For those situations, we do recommend therapy.

Talk it out. Talking about your feelings of resentment can help you unload them and gain a fresh perspective. If it's safe and appropriate, you can talk to the person who wronged you. If not, consider reaching out to a trusted friend or a HOLD Listener. HOLD Listeners are trained in empathetic listening and can help you work through your feelings in a safe, non-judgmental space.

With these tips, you can start to move beyond feelings of resentment and find peace of mind.

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