“Resentment is like drinking a poison,
and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
— Nelson Mandella
Our fatigue is often caused not by work,
but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
— Dale Carnegie
Have you ever been around someone who is angry a lot and is often resentful of others actions? It is as if they have strict rules of every kind of behavior and almost no one reaches the bar, and consequently, there is much about the other person’s behavior to spout about. And spout they do. It is as if this angry person is the only person in the world who knows how things should be done (rules). They don’t use words like righteousness, but that is exactly what it is. They are right and everyone else is wrong.
With this attitude, you might watch them become upset over the smallest item because it is virtually impossible for everyone else to meet all these many rules to this person’s satisfaction. They talk about other people being selfish, but there is nothing more selfish than righteous indignation. Indeed, much of the time there is a full scale pity party going on because all these other people (who also cause all the nasty circumstances), are constantly doing things that hold this person back from where they would like to be.
I say baloney to that. They are where they like to be and that is precisely why they are there being angry and resentful. You see, there is a payoff for them. There is no need to accept responsibility for anything when you have everyone and every thing external to blame. How nice, convenient, and self-righteous. It’s like an endless circle. I see it more as being a pinball in pinball machine, getting bounced around from one event, person, circumstance to another.
I have never seen a quote that more matches this kind of behavior than the one attributed to Nelson Mandella: “Resentment is like drinking a poison, and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” For sure. Another that is closely related that I love is this from Mark Twain: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Though it may be unpleasant at times to be around this kind of person, remembering this quote may help comfort.
I now know and have known a few people who fit this description. One of them to a reasonable degree was me. I have found a way out and there are just a couple things that helped me do this. One, I began developing and growing an attitude of gratitude for what I had, ever expanding it to being truly grateful for everything–positive and negative. Two, I developed and grew a philosophy that there is no right or wrong way. In fact, there is no way. There is your way, my way and their way. They are all a way.
The thing that helped me with this aspect a great deal was learning to respond instead of react. My mother used to have a saying that I should count to ten before I speak when something is not the way I want it. I used to be an angry driver with all the stupid people on the road, so I started saying aloud, “that’s an interesting way to do that. . I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it is interesting!” along with other such responses. It was hard at first, but became fun quickly and really helped move that philosophy forward in me.
The good news is that people can change when they want to. I rejoice in this.
I Know How To Let Go Of Anger. Stop Being Right.
Spread Some Joy Today–Practice responding instead of reacting. Count to ten if you need to. Leave right and wrong to either side and take the middle road.