5 Reasons You Can’t Let Go of Resentment And How To Let Go

Reasons You Can't Let Go of Resentment And How To Let GoDiscover the 5 main reasons why you can’t let go of resentment and uncover actionable tips on how to move past lingering anger.

Resentment is like a bad tattoo you got on a drunken night in college. It sticks with you, reminding you of a moment of weakness or pain.

But let’s be real for a moment. You could repurpose that time spent being angry ….on much better things!

What if, instead of wasting your energy on resentment, you directed it towards… I don’t know… conquering the world? Or at least conquering your own world?

With this in mind, I’m going to do a dive deep into the nitty-gritty of resentment.  I will help you to better understand why you hold on so tight to anger and bitterness. Plus  I will share some tips to help you to break free from resentment’s chains.

5 Reasons Why We Hold Onto Resentment

I’m writing this article because I am a bestselling Behavioral Change Expert. Meaning? I’m sort of like a brain software reprogrammer – helping you to update your thinking in more positive ways.

I’ve written a lot about resentment in my Oprah recommended Prince Harming Syndrome Book.

Plus I also explore this topic in my two online programs Broken Heart Recovery Course and The Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas Course.

Below are some excerpts of the many reasons I’ve shared about why we cling so strongly to resentment.

resentment quote1. Ego:

Often, our ego whispers in our ear, convincing us that holding onto resentment protects us.

It makes us feel that by staying angry, we guard ourselves from getting hurt again.

Being mad feels like a shield, keeping potential pain at bay.

Yet in reality, this anger becomes our ego’s way of not admitting we are feeling hurt.

And so our ego keeps us angrily stuck in the past, stopping us from moving on and healing.

2. Fear of Letting Go:

What happens when we finally let go? It’s a void, an uncertain path that we’re unfamiliar with.

Holding onto resentment is sometimes our comfort zone… because it’s predictable.

3. Becoming Our Identity:

Over time, if we nurture anger, it grows roots. It becomes a part of our story, our identity.

And letting go can seem like we’re losing a chapter of ourselves.

4. The Investment Paradigm

Imagine resentment as a jar where you deposit all your emotional coins.

Over time, it feels like you’ve invested too much to just walk away.

What if all that time spent brooding amounted to nothing?

5. A Quest for Justice:

Deep down, we might be waiting for the universe to balance the scales.

An acknowledgment, even cosmic, that we were wronged.

But sometimes, the universe doesn’t work on our timeline.

5 Dangers of Not Letting Go of Resentment

whoever angers you controls you karen salmansohn resentment1. Physical Health:

Resentment isn’t just bad for the soul. It’s bad for the body.

Continuous anger and resentment can trigger heart diseases and diabetes.

Our bodies are a temple, and grudges are the termites that weaken its foundation.

2. Mental Health:

Imagine resentment as that unwanted house guest named anxiety, with its pal depression tagging along. They overstay their welcome, create a mess, and drain you.

3. Relationships:

Resentment interferes with the signals in our relationships, leading to misunderstanding and emotional disconnect. It’s like trying to have a heartfelt conversation over a bad phone line.

4. Opportunities Missed:

Life’s short. And while we’re wallowing in resentment, chances, opportunities, and beautiful moments pass us by.

5. Life Quality:

The background noise of resentment makes it hard to enjoy life’s melodies. It’s the popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth during a movie marathon.

5 Tips to Let Go of Resentment

let go of resentment quote karen salmansohnLetting go of resentment is akin to spring cleaning. It feels daunting initially, but once done, everything feels fresher, lighter, and brighter.

So here are tips to help you let go and move on from resentment.

1. Acceptance is the First Step:

Here’s the hard truth: We’re all messed up in some way. The world is chaotic, and everyone’s trying their best.

Accepting the situation or person causing resentment doesn’t mean you approve of their actions. It means you are giving yourself the freedom to move on.

You’re simply recognizing that everyone, including you, is human and capable of mistakes can lighten the emotional load.

Example In Action: Imagine a colleague takes credit for a project you predominantly worked on. Instead of dwelling on the betrayal, accept that they acted out of their own insecurities. This doesn’t justify their actions, but it allows you to free yourself from the bind of constant negativity.

2. Understand the Root:

It’s not just about what happened but why it affected you so much. Reflecting on the root cause can often reveal deeper emotions at play.

Meaning? Sometimes the immediate situation isn’t the real cause of your resentment. Perhaps it’s triggering an old wound or insecurity. Understanding this can help you address the actual issue and find closure.

Example In Action: Your friend forgets to wish you on your birthday. Instead of festering in anger, you realize this hurts because, as a child, your birthdays often went unnoticed. Recognizing this pattern can help you communicate your feelings and heal old wounds.

3. Communicate:

Got a beef with someone? Talk it out. A simple conversation can sometimes unburden years of pent-up feelings.

Open communication can lead to understanding, closure, and sometimes, even reconciliation. By voicing your feelings, you not only make the other party aware, but also lighten your emotional burden.

Example In Action: You felt sidelined in a group project at college. Instead of harboring resentment towards team members, you arrange a meet and express your feelings. The group wasn’t aware of how you felt, and they ensure you’re more involved in the next phase.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

It’s not just a hipster trend. Meditation has genuine benefits, and research backs it up. It allows us to focus, to breathe, and to let go.

And … engaging in mindfulness helps in staying present and not letting past grudges dominate your current state.

Example In Action: After a falling out with a close friend, every time you meditate, you focus on sending them positive energy and love. Over time, this practice diminishes the intensity of your negative feelings.

>> Grab some helpful meditation and grounding tools here!

5. Practice Gratitude:

Instead of dwelling on past hurts, how about counting our blessings? From the little joys like a warm cup of coffee to significant moments like family gatherings – there’s a lot to be thankful for.

By concentrating on positive aspects and expressing gratitude, you shift your focus from what’s lacking or hurtful to what’s abundant and beautiful in your life. Over time, this reshapes your perspective and reduces resentment.

Example In Action: Every night before bed, you jot down three things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as a kind gesture from a stranger or as significant as your family’s support. This habit gradually makes you realize the vastness of positivity around you, overshadowing any resentful feelings.

Conclusion: How To Let Go of Resentment

Holding onto resentment is like carrying a backpack filled with bricks – it’s heavy, painful, and totally unnecessary. Imagine the liberation in setting down that weight, stretching out, and moving forward with a lighter step. The path to letting go might not be easy, but the journey is worth every step.

If your negative mindset is blocking you from your joy, maybe it’s time to chat.  I encourage you to explore my 1 on 1 Zoom Mindset Mastery Sessions. I will help you to unstick what’s got you stuck.

Or if you’d like more of a private path to improving your life… check out my bestselling and therapist recommended program The Tweak a Week Online Course –  which helps people to make small, positive changes in their habits that lead to big results.

Think happier. Think calmer.

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