Self-help techniques: how to overcome resentment
Every year of a child’s life affects his life. However, the most important for personal development are the first six years. At this age, events occur that can cause resentment for many years.
In some cases, we may resent parents who did not care for us at times when we were most vulnerable and dependent on them. In other cases-to conceal resentment at parents who left us or not well enough performed parental duties. Resentments that appear later in life have deeper causes, but are strikingly similar to those that occur during the first six years of life.
The problem is that resentment of others harms the person who feels it. Consciously or not, a person repeats the offending event over and over in his mind. He is trying to deal with this event and it is damaging to his well-being.
Working with a psychologist can help:
understand the true cause of resentment;
be aware of your own defense mechanisms and feelings that arise in response to resentment;
to understand how an event from the past that caused offense can be “outplayed” in the present;
find a way to get rid of resentment and feel peace.
1. Source of resentment
More than one book can be written on this subject: children’s experiences are as diverse as life itself. However, there are a few typical scenarios typical of people belonging to different cultures and generations. These scenarios can be characterized as withdrawal, abuse and neglect. They occur in childhood and form attachments, resentments, human attitude to the outside world and ways of protection from it. Such scenarios sometimes manifest themselves in the most terrible form: a newborn child can be left on the street, a child can live in poverty or a family with dependent parents, he can survive a natural disaster or war, witness the death of a loved one, the object of violence, etc.in lighter cases (which, however, have consequences for his psyche), the child can be a witness to conflicts between parents. Its basic needs may not be met. For example, parents do not feed him for a long time or do not change his diaper. In older age, the child may suffer from the fact that parents do not embrace him and do not care about him, leave him for a long time alone, older brothers or peers bully him, etc.in adult life, such a person is afraid that he will be fired, ignored or humiliated. He often has problems with personal boundaries. Finally, in General, such a person is often emotionally immature.
In the childhood of each person, regardless of the financial situation or social status of his family, there were cases that could cause emotional trauma. To discover the source of your resentment, write down every memory of such incidents, even if they now seem insignificant to you. Allow yourself to experience any emotions that arise in connection with these memories. Respect your feelings. Try to imagine the hurt child you were as a child. Mentally take care of him as you would like to be taken care of as a child. For example, you can imagine holding a child in your arms and comforting him, feeding him or protecting him from screaming parents. Whatever the memories, try to change the script and provide the child with the care that he lacked as a child. Replay the script gradually.
Sometimes memories from the past can cause us strong emotional reactions, putting us in danger. In such cases, we need strong support. To do this, it is best to seek help from a psychologist.
2. Protective mechanism
When we cut the finger, the skin around the cut is inflamed. Similarly, in response to emotional pain and resentment, emotions and defensive reactions arise.
Protective mechanisms protect us from pain. Quite often they are layered on top of each other. For example, the original defense mechanism may be denial. It acts as a painkiller: a person convinces himself that everything is in order and there is no problem. Denial can be accompanied by a positive effect, but it also leads to the fact that the person does not live the situation and the associated deep feelings to the end.
When we do not ignore the traumatic factors, different layers of feelings gradually manifest themselves. It becomes easier for us to understand how we protect ourselves to hide deeper feelings. Some people use humor to avoid making jokes about themselves. Others resort to irritability and anger as defensive mechanisms. When someone forces you into contact with their feelings, irritability and anger can escalate and escalate into accusations. However, these protective mechanisms often hide pain or fear.
There is a technique of Gestalt therapy that allows you to access the deep feelings. To do this, you need to listen to what your body is telling you. You may find it hard to sit still, shaking your head or rubbing your hand. If you can track your bodily reactions in everyday life, ask yourself what your body is talking about. The first thing that comes to mind may explain your hidden feelings.
This technique will help you understand that any pain or fear may be a reaction to events occurring at a particular moment, but often they are indicative of memories from childhood.
Many of the habits we develop in relationships or at work, as well as many addictions, arise from the actualization of our old emotional traumas. Sometimes this is due to unfinished events from the past.
3. Unfinished events
Experiencing traumatic events from the past allows a person to realize that the emotions provoked by them are repeated in the present. Thus, a person should take steps to get rid of this scenario.
In psychotherapy there is a theory of “Gestalt completion”. It is that patterns of behavior will be repeated until we are cured of the initial trauma and learn to react differently to similar situations (in other words-until we complete the Gestalt).
For example, if a person’s relationship with his parents was difficult in childhood, he was subjected to ridicule and did not receive praise and appreciation, even though good grades in school and other achievements, this person will not feel good enough in adult life. He will repeat the scenario from my childhood in the relationship between work and family. Working with a psychologist can help him gain confidence and get rid of fear. After that, he will stop responding to criticism, will be less dependent on the opinions of others and will be able to build relationships with other people in a different way.
4. How to get rid of unhealthy behaviors
Start by learning to be here and now. Notice the feelings you have and pay attention to the defense mechanisms that you use to prevent unpleasant emotions. Be patient: changing emotional responses takes time.
All of our imperfect traits, emotional traumas, and defense mechanisms are part of us. And our task is to be fully present in life, to build healthy personal boundaries, to take care of ourselves. This is the only way we can show compassion and other positive emotions towards other people.
For example, when a person constantly seeks to please others and makes efforts to please people in every way, it starts a vicious circle of emotions. If someone looks unhappy around this person, it can cause him anxiety. If the other person refuses the offered help, it can cause offense. The reasons for this behavior are likely to be related to events from childhood.
If this person works out his emotional mechanisms and finds a healthier way to interact with others, it does not mean that he will stop helping people. This means that he will deal with his own anxiety in a different way.
Very often we don’t hear what unmet needs our emotions tell us. And this is indispensable counseling psychologist. The psychologist will provide a safe space in which our inner voice can speak. Under the guidance of a psychologist, we can learn to distinguish between our defenses and our true needs. Diaries, meditations, dream-writing, and other similar practices may also help us to do this.
5. Emotional development leads to forgiveness
When we become aware of our emotions and inner voice, our resentments and ineffective behaviors disappear. When we have completed situations from the past, they are no longer repeated in the present. Instead of feeling compassion for ourselves, we begin to feel compassion for others because we understand that everyone learns to understand themselves differently. People don’t want to hurt us, they just show their defense mechanisms. We cease to perceive the behavior of others on their own account and less likely to enter into conflicts. Moreover, we may even feel grateful for situations that have exposed our old emotional traumas, because through this we have been able to get rid of them. We feel gratitude instead of resentment and irritation. In the end, we become more free because we no longer silence our inner voice, nor do we blame others.