A ‘friend of a friend’ was once going out with this guy. He was awesome in so many ways. He was funny, thoughtful, fantastic with kids and super generous. He sounds great right?! Yep, there were so many fabulous traits but over time I started to see another side. We all have them. The yin and the yang, the good and the bad, the dark and the light. I get that and can appreciate it. Perfection is not something I aim for personally nor in others. But his other side was just… so unsexy.
This guy had people he deeply disliked. I mean you could see his body language change when he spoke about them, his eyes got smaller, his jaw clenched, he brewed on the examples of why they peed him off. It’s not that the people he spoke about were outstanding citizens. They had done some pretty average and sometimes nasty things. It’s just that he was ruminating all over himself about them. Over and over again. It was a vicious cycle.
Resentment can be sparked at any time. It can stem from not getting a promotion or being overlooked for a project; being spoken to poorly or not included in a communication; being contacted outside work hours or micro-managed; leaders showing favouritism or even hypocrisy.
And once resentment moves in, as a fixture in your world, it brings along its cousins. Disdain, bitterness, blame, cynicism and my all time fav… righteousness (not). Slowly but surely, they come and visit and many of them stay for the long term. We aren’t not even aware that we allowed them in in the first place.
Feeding these emotions doesn’t get us anywhere. Holding on to resentment is like drinking a bottle of poison in the hope it will kill your enemies. We just remain in this negative emotional holding pattern and we can’t move forward.
When we hold on to these toxic emotions, at home or at work, there are serious costs. If we look at the workplace it causes burnout, psychological and physical workplace injuries, increases conflict and staff turnover (unfortunately the good ones leave as well). All which cost time and money to resolve. Ultimately the stress and anxiety affects us deeply and those around us. In one study alone by Beyond Blue they found that untreated mental health issues at work costs $10.9 BILLION per year. Broken down it comprises of $4.7 billion in absenteeism, $6.1 billion in presenteeism and $146 million in compensation claims. And that’s just mental health.
So let me ask this…
What if we got curious about the people that trigger us, that is, we look at ourselves first, how we react to them and why? I would suggest that’s where we will learn. That’s where we will grow. When we start to understand what triggers us. After all, the only person we can control in a relationship is ourselves. So it makes sense to start there. Right?!
Then there’s the whole concept around the ‘F’ word. Yep. Forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for them… it’s for you. It’s your gift for you. So you can move forward and connect with people without holding on to all this emotional baggage. It doesn’t mean you give them permission to keep treating you a certain way. It just means you recognise that’s their stuff. And how you respond is your stuff. I’m not saying it’s easy. But I am saying it’s freeing.
Be defined by your ability to rise above that stuff. Not fall into the trap of it. Take charge of your emotions. Now that’s sexy!
Now, I can’t promise I can improve your love life, but if you attend my Public Workshop I will help you learn about yourself, your triggers, how you affect others and what you can do about it.
Book now for the only workshop on Thursday 10th May in Melbourne.