to Let Go of the Resentments
You Hold in Your Relationships
by Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
that resentments will develop in any of your relationships. When resentments do develop,
its likely that you become more and more focused on your partners
short-comings and less and less focused on the qualities that you like about your partner.
Unfortunately, focusing on your partners faults only serves to intensify the
feelings of resentments and hostility that exist between you and your partner.
Once your resentments
take control of you and your relationship, theres little that your partner can do,
say, or change to make the situation better. For, instead of focusing on your
partners efforts at changing their behavior or improving the relationship, you
become focused on what your partner is doing wrong without acknowledging what your partner
is doing right. This serves only as an invitation for your partner to return the favor in
kind, all the while perpetuating the cycle of resentment until the cycle spirals downward,
out of control until neither you nor your partner feels accepted, appreciated, or even
liked by the other.
In order for the hostility to go away, you need to do more than just count on your partner
to make things better for you. You need to let go of your resentments. In order to
let go of your resentments, you need to: 1.) Create an atmosphere of emotional safety,
2.) Take personal responsibility for your actions, and 3.) Express to your partner a
spirit of acceptance and appreciation. Below are some suggestions to follow in order for
you let go of your resentments.
1.) In order to create
an emotional climate in which you and your partner feel safe to discuss the concerns that
the two of you have about each other, try the following steps:
a.) Dont blame each other.
b.) Dont shame each other.
c.) Dont threaten each other emotionally or physically.
d.) Dont issue ultimatums.
e.) Dont judge each other.
f.) Dont criticize each others personality.
2.) In order to create an emotional climate that is strongly influenced by each of you
taking personal responsibility for ones own actions, use the following questions as
a helpful guideline:
a.) What are you specifically doing to improve your relationship?
b.) What are the specific actions that youre taking to address the concerns of your
c.) What are you holding back that you need to discuss with your partner?
d.) What actions do you need to take that you are resistant to taking?
3.) To create an
atmosphere in which your partner feels accepted and appreciated try the following steps:
a.) Become aware of what your partner is doing to address your concerns.
b.) Acknowledge to your partner your awareness of the steps that your partner has taken to
address your expressed concerns.
c.) Express your appreciation of the concrete action your partner has taken to address
your expressed concerns.
For more information about how to let go of your resentments in your relationships,
read Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. free online books, Making
Molehills Out of Mountains and Building
Better Bridges: Creating Great Relationships With the People Who Matter Most.