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Self-help techniques: how to overcome resentment

Every year of his life affects the life of a child. However, the first six years are the most important for personality development. At this age, events occur that can cause a feeling of resentment for many years.

In some cases, we may be offended by parents who did not care about us when we were most vulnerable and dependent on them. In other cases – to hold a grudge against parents who abandoned us or did not perform parental duties well enough. Resentments that appear at a later age have deeper reasons, but are strikingly similar to those that arose during the first six years of life.

The problem is that resentment against others harms the person who is experiencing it. Consciously or not, the person repeats the thoughts that offended him again and again in his thoughts. He is trying to cope with this event, and it is detrimental to his well-being.

Working with a psychologist can help:

understand the true cause of resentment;
recognize your own defense mechanisms and feelings that appear in response to resentment;
to understand how an event from the past that caused resentment can be “replayed” in the present;
find a way to get rid of resentment and feel pacified.
1. Source of resentment

You can write more than one book on this topic: childhood experiences are as varied as life itself. However, there are several typical scenarios that are characteristic of people belonging to different cultures and generations. These scenarios can be described as care, abuse and neglect. They occur in childhood and form affection, resentment, a person’s attitude to the world and ways to protect him. 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, an object of violence, etc. In more mild cases (which, however, have consequences for his psyche), the child may be a witness to conflicts between parents. His basic needs may not be met. For example, parents do not feed him for a long time or change his diaper. At an older age, a child may suffer from the fact that his parents do not hug him and do not care about him, leave him alone for a long time, older brothers or peers mock him, etc. In adulthood, such a person is afraid that he will be fired, will be ignored or humiliated. He often has problems with personal boundaries. Finally, on the whole, such a person is often emotionally immature.

In childhood, 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 each memory of such cases, 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 offended child that you were in your childhood. Mentally take care of him the way 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, how to feed him or protect him from screaming parents. Whatever the memories, try to change the scenario and provide the child with care that he lacked in childhood. Replay the script gradually.

Sometimes memories from the past can cause us strong emotional reactions, endangering us. In such cases, we need strong support. To do this, it is best to seek help from a psychologist.

2. Protective mechanisms

When we cut the finger, the skin around the cut is inflamed. In the same way, in response to emotional pain and resentment, emotions and protective reactions arise.

Protective mechanisms protect us from pain. Quite often they overlap each other. For example, denial may initially be a defense mechanism. It acts as an anesthetic: a person convinces himself that everything is in order and that there is no problem. Denial can be accompanied by a positive effect, but it also leads to the fact that a person does not live the situation and the deep feelings associated with it to the end.

When we do not ignore the traumatic factors, various layers of feelings gradually manifest themselves. It is becoming easier for us to understand how we protect ourselves in order to hide deeper feelings. Some people use humor to avoid jokes about themselves. Others resort to irritability and anger as protective mechanisms. When someone makes you touch your feelings, irritability and anger can escalate and turn into accusations. However, these protective mechanisms often hide pain or fear.

There is a technique of gestalt therapy that allows you to access the deepest feelings. To do this, listen to what your body tells you. It may be hard for you to sit still, you shake your head or your third hand.

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