How To Forgive Others When Resentment Only Makes Things Worse

How to forgive others

It was a typical night. My husband was working with his computer while I was walking back and forth preparing to go to bed.

I looked for my phone, it was nearly dead. I wanted to put some gentle music so that I could sleep better. I hesitated to borrow my husband’s phone because he didn’t like lending his phone.

“Should I do it?” - I thought to myself.

Then I shrugged and came to him to ask for his phone.

That’s when things turned nasty.

He started asking why I needed his phone, and why I couldn’t use mine. I started losing my temper, a thought instantly appeared in my head. “It’s just a damn phone. Why does he need to be bitchy about it?”. So when he shook his head with an apology smile on his face, I immediately turned around, walked toward the bed without saying anything else.

That’s not how I usually do. I always kiss him goodnight if I go to bed before him. And of course, he knew immediately that I was mad.

“Well, he deserves to feel like crap, after being too stingy on the stupid phone.” - another nasty thought came up in my head. Then, out of nowhere, one thought pulled out the next one, and I spent around 15 minutes to come up with other reasons why my husband was a jerk. The flow was so natural, I wasn’t aware of it.

A couple of minutes later, my husband came to bed and touched my cheek. I knew he came to make it up to me. But I turned around and snapped, “What?”. I regretted as soon as the word came out of my mouth.

Disregard of the darkness of the room, the weak light from the living room was enough for me to see his face changed, and he walked away.

I knew that was on me. In my head, I blamed myself for being stupid, for acting like an angry kid.

But then it hit me.

I wasn’t angry with him. I already threw my tantrum at him by showing my attitude earlier. This time, I was being resentful.

When resentment only makes things worse

Thinking back, being resentful is what I normally do every time something bugs me. When others do me wrong, I didn’t let them know how I felt. Instead, I held on to the feelings and allowed the inner voice to give me more reasons why I should never be with them again. Every time I think of them, those reasons and negative emotions come back to me before I could remember the good in them.

I believe we all do the same thing. Even though sometimes we’ve told people that we’ve forgiven them.

It is understandable. It’s our natural instinct to stay away from people or things who have hurt us. It’s survival instinct.

But in life, this instinct hurts us. It makes us see the worst in people. It keeps love at bay and prevents us from enjoying life again.

To our loved ones, it only makes things worse.

We cannot fully let go, we hold on to grudges and we keep the sting feelings in the back of our heads. Whenever we get angry with others, we not only get mad for the things they do but also for the other things they’ve done in the past.

5 signs you are being resentful

If you are like me, when you get angry with someone, there is someone or something in your head keeps whispering and giving you more and more reasons to be angry.

When that voice is done, you no longer remember why you get mad in the first place. All you could hear and could remember is that other people are jerks.

What’s worse, you are not aware of it.

Here are 5 warning signs you are being resentful. Let’s hope you don’t have any of them.

How to forgive others

You might not want to forgive others, because you have all the good reasons in the world, because they’ve wronged you, because they acted horribly. But if you don’t forgive, the negative feeling will always be in you, and the only person it hurts is you.

Forgiving others doesn’t mean you condone their behaviors or you agree with what they’ve done. Forgiving is your internal mental work, to release all the negativity inside your head.

Here are a few ideas on how to forgive others that work for me.

1. Be aware of your emotions

Most of us don’t realize when we get angry. But if we let negative energy flows freely, we don’t have any room left for love and positive feeling.

The result?

We drown in our negative self-talk and emotions.

Frequently ask yourself, “Am I aware?” and withdraw from negative feelings.

2. Angry breathing

When you are angry or having negative thoughts, you will also notice your breath changes. You take a shallow breath and your heart rate increases. Your common sense disappears. You start acting in the way you never thought you would.

Don’t panic. This is normal. This is just our natural instinct to keep us alive.

An effective way to put a stop to your anger and negative thinking is the technique I call as “angry breathing”.

Take a deep breath as you clench your stomach as tight as you can. And blow the air out when you cannot hold it anymore. Your mind will change the focus from your anger to the tension in your body and release the anger soon.

3. Mirror work

I learned this technique from the one and only Louise Hay. She wrote the book “Mirror Work: 21 Days To Heal Yourself”

That I definitely recommend you to read to release anger and forgive others.

4. Affirmations

Affirmation is a great way to change the way you think about life. You can start changing your life right away just by changing the way you think.

Believe it or not, I’ve healed my own back pain with this method.

I strongly recommend you to read “I can do it: How to use affirmations to change your life” by Louise Hay.

Forgiving others is not easy. 

Sometimes we feel the need to punish them for the bad things they’ve done and we are not ready to let go.

But in the end, if we hold onto resentment, we will end up hurting ourselves one way or another. What’s worse, we will leave stains in our relationship with others. Our relationships, our feelings will never be the same.

If you think your loved ones and your life are worth giving a try, stay in present and stay away from resentment.

“All is well in my world” ~ Louise Hay

Spread the word!
Mai Pham
 

Mai Pham is the founder of Live a Worthy Life. She believes we can recreate our lives. Her mission is to help you to ditch your stress, anxiety, and worries to enjoy life again.

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