Resentment is the signature of dysfunctional relationship dynamics. It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic, professional or familial relationship, or a friendship.
Because in order for a dysfunctional relationship to continue, the people involved have to both tell themselves a story — that something is unfairly being done to them. But unlike a stranger who cuts you off in traffic, who you won’t ever see again (and don’t want to), in your relationships you’re choosing to stick around.
If you think someone is treating you unfairly in some way — by devaluing your feelings, or betraying your trust, or taking advantage of you — you’re bound to feel resentful if you continue to choose that relationship.
The empowering truth and lesson in any relationship dynamic is that you are powerfully co-creating that dynamic.
For example, if your default belief is that in order to be loved you have to put other people’s feelings first, over time people will start to feel entitled to that dynamic. And once you’re ready for them to consider your feelings first for once — guess what? They’re not here for it. They might even become angry towards you or tell themselves a story that casts you as the wrongdoer.
I’ve found myself in this situation in the past. Looking back, I can see how I was unconsciously creating a dynamic of “I am not as important as you”. And guess what? They agreed.
I find it so empowering to understand this superpower of co-creation that we have. Because then, you get to choose. Do I keep co-creating this same dynamic over and over, or do I start to choose differently?
If you’re ready to choose differently, the first step is to understand that you are always choosing, and to recognize that training yourself to break an old pattern is part of your journey.
Don’t judge your journey. Don’t judge yourself for having a challenge with loving yourself fully — welcome to being a perfectly imperfect human!
As long as you have breath in your lungs you have the power to choose again. To choose love. To choose vulnerability. To choose different actions. And that’s a beautiful thing.