Offense is a feeling that arises when our expectations for another person (or for the world) are not met. Offense is suppressed anger and is a rather childish emotion. However, it is quite natural, and if you get offended sometimes, that’s okay.
Resentment is the desire to get offended, a constant return to this feeling. A person unconsciously waits for something to get offended with, because they take practically everything personally. This is a mechanism that arises since childhood.
Whether you are a touchy person or not, in any case, the feeling of resentment is familiar to you. For all its naturalness, there is nothing useful or pleasant in it. Feelings of resentment prevent us from communicating with people, prevent us from seeing the world as it is, and generally reduce the quality of life. Therefore, we offer you a technique that will help overcome the feeling of resentment.
Realize and acknowledge the feeling of resentment
The first and most important way to deal with resentment is to admit this feeling. Surely you have faced a situation, when a person is offended but does not admit it. “Are you offended?” “Of course not. I couldn’t care less. It’s just unpleasant.” That is, a person ignores this feeling. And because of this they miss the opportunity to deal with it.
Oddly enough, the most touchy people often say that “Getting offended is absolutely unnatural for me. I am not a touchy person at all.”
It is easy to notice that people ignore their own feelings, for example, resentment. It is much more difficult to realize the same thing, when it comes to you. But still, try to look really hard inside yourself, learn to notice the feeling of resentment and acknowledge it.
When somebody asks if you are offended, do not be too quick to object. Ask yourself: „Is it true?“ And if you are not ready to confess to others, confess at least to yourself. “Yes, I am offended. Yes, I’m touchy.” This will be a big step towards more constructive behavior.
Keep a “log of feelings of resentment”
Once you’ve recognized that you have a feeling of resentment, the next step is to analyze the reasons for it and adjust the expectations that led to it. To do this, use the “log of feelings of resentiment” technique.
Keeping a diary is generally a very good practice, and if you keep a “log of feelings of resentment” in it, it will be especially useful. If you start documenting it regularly, resentment will soon reduce greatly. Besides, it also helps with situational resentment.
A log of the feeling of resentment consists of four bullet points or columns.
In the first column, you describe the situation. Let me give an example that I analyzed in the last article: when I helped a person and then asked them for the same, they refused me and I got offended.
The second column is for your unfulfilled expectations. In this situation, you expected the person to help you.
The third column is for a mistake in the analysis. It is a very important point. Try to understand where this expectation came from. In my case, I understand that it was the mistake of projection, that is I projected ideas about myself onto another person. If I were him, I would have helped, and I believed that all people would behave the same way. And that is where the mistake is.
The fourth column is for adjusting your expectations. There I can write that all people are different, everyone has different life values, an acquaintance of mine is not the same as me, he does not have a strong sense of gratitude. He doesn’t think that it obligates him if he was helped.
Such a gradual analysis of your feelings of resentment and situations in which these feelings are developed allows you to see the world in a more realistic and objective way. It also helps to adjust your expectations and subsequently reduces the number of situations, in which the feeling of resentment is developed.
Give the abuser feedback… or don‘t
If a person analyzed a situation of resentment against a person from a distant social circle, feedback is not needed. In this case, the problem is not connected with the offender, but with the offended one, and it is pointless to talk to him, to call for a sense of justice, or to evaluate his actions. It was I who had had expectations, he did not promise me anything, so this is my own problem. It’s easier to stop communicating, and it may be the most intelligent thing to do.
But if to speak about family and close friends, it is better to give feedback after all. It is highly desirable to take the time to sit down and talk to the person about your expectations. Tell them directly and openly what you expected, and when it did not happen, you got offended.
And it is important to learn to talk about it and listen to the answer calmly. Try to consider the situation from another person‘s perspective, and find common ground. After you have documented a situation in your “log of the feeling of resentment”, most likely, you will already calm down and it will be easier for you to talk about it.
It is very important that there is no situation in the family, when everyone is offended, reserved, when they don’t want to talk about it and stick to their own opinion. This is how relationships break down.
Deal with your feelings of resentment regularly
Strength is in being consistent. If you really want to deal with your feelings of resentment, it is not enough to record it in your “log of the feeling of resentment” a couple of times and express your grievances to your partner only once.
It is important to deal with the problem regularly: be aware of your emotions, write out difficult situations and talk with people closest to you about your expectations. This will improve not only your relationship but also will make you a happier person overall!