Last week, I had a minor meltdown.
It started with me aggressively spreading honey on a piece of whole grain toast while muttering under my breath that I had to make three separate breakfasts, and ended with me waving a wooden spoon in the air, splattering cream of wheat, yelling at my husband in front of our kids….it wasn’t pretty.
It was surprising how quickly my anger escalated.
I’m just a little bunny learning my lessons.
Luckily, the shame spiral was short and sweet. I recovered faster than I would’ve in the past.
Mining for gold.
After calming down and apologizing, I went mining for gold. Looking for the lesson or insight I can glean from this uncomfortable experience.
I started by asking; “Hmmm, how am I contributing to this situation?”
Stop resentment in its tracks.
In this instance, I saw how I’d been trying to do too much with our kids, family and work. I ended up exhausted, overwhelmed and resentful.
I wasn’t asking for the support I needed, in part because I didn’t realize how badly I needed it. It kind of snuck up on me.
Good news about resentment. It’s consistent.
Anytime you feel resentful towards someone else, it’s always because you aren’t getting your needs met.
There’s a magic question you can ask to stop feeling resentful:
“Hmmm….How am I NOT getting my needs met?”
Whether you feel resentful at work, or with your partner, I guarantee it’s because you’re not getting your needs met.
Then ask; “What do I need in this situation?”
Get curious about whether you’re (maybe unconsciously) angry with other people for not meeting your needs. You may even feel jealous they’re getting their needs met. It’s not fair! What about me?!
News flash: Waiting for other people to meet your needs is like waiting for Godot…it ain’t gonna happen.
It’s a simple solution.
The key to stop feeling resentful is to get clear on what you need.
Make it happen.
Take action. Seek support. Outsource, delegate, call in reinforcements, call in sick and lie on the couch watching reality TV and eating a popsicle.
Other people are not in charge of meeting your needs. You are.
So, the next time you’re stewing in a pot of resentment soup…turn it around by asking;
“Hmm, how am I not getting my needs met in this situation?”
Then ask; “What do I need, that’s in my control and can be initiated by me?”
This can include making a clear request for support from others.
A few years ago, a girlfriend of mine complained that her husband had all these guys trips. After talking some more, it became clear that she was jealous. She wanted to have more girls trips, but her friends kept flaking out.
She wasn’t taking time for herself and she became resentful of her husband. The solution wasn’t necessarily for him to stop going on guys trips, but for her to figure out what would fill her cup and make it happen.
Sometimes, you have to be flexible or creative to get your needs met.
Maybe you go out of town with just one girlfriend because the group can’t get their sh*t together. If you can’t get a moment alone, maybe you leave work early or take a sick day so you can have the house all to yourself and lie on the couch undisturbed.
A popsicle and some alone time works wonders!
Now we’d love to hear from you! Are you feeling resentful about anything in your life right now? If so, how are you not getting your needs met and what do you need to feel better?
As always, the best conversations happen below. Talk to me. I’d love to hear from you and will read every single comment!
May you create work and a life you love,
P.S. Exciting news…we’ll be opening Scholarship Applications for our upcoming Create Work You Love Program later this week!
This post came exactly when I needed it–thank you, Vanessa. I am struggling with two related issues: 1. trying to figure out what to do about my current job (a job I enjoy and offers some great benefits such as flexibility, but is very much in a “start up” phase and is months behind in paying me) and 2. handling this situation at my own pace and in a way I feel comfortable with while also dealing with pressure I feel from my husband to “just find something else.” I’ve been feeling resentful about both of these issues but hadn’t thought about it in that way.
I took one positive step yesterday: a conversation with my boss about how tight my finances have become and my inability to carry on this way for much longer. It won’t result in money suddenly pouring in, but I made my financial and emotional struggles clear and prepped her for what may need to happen…ie., finding another job. Somehow it lifted a big part of the resentment I had been feeling towards her.
My husband is a different story. I haven’t figured out how to tackle that one 🙂
Thanks again, Vanessa. I really love your insights. Everything hits home <3
Amazing!!! Way to go on taking that very important first step! I honor you for this. Thank you for sharing. Keep going!
Thank you so much for your candid honest “tell on yourself” . I agree with everything you wrote and as always am inspired by you. I am an older mother of 2 boys and am challenged daily to keep all the balls in the air. Can’t they just eat what I cook????
Thanks for your note. Ha – I agree! Why can’t they just eat what we cook?!! Talk about forcing us to deal with control issues. Kids really are some of the best teachers.
Speaking of getting more support in the morning, my friend Erika just shared this great blog post with tips for parents https://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/family-life/kids-morning-routine
Two thoughts came to my mind with this wonderful post. One was in my relationship. My boyfriend and I joke that we don’t travel well. Turns out when we start our trips, I’m excited and want him to show the same excitement. He is already planning our next step and is in logistics mode. You can predict my disappointment when I see him after a week or being away, and I’m smiling wanting to see the fun on his face, and he’s looking serious and stern thinking about how we’re going to avoid traffic. I totally misread him and feel disappointed he’s no at my level. I’m still looking for solutions but I’m thinking of telling him how much it means when he looks me in the eye, smiles, and says I’m excited to travel with you. It fills me up with so much love when he does that and telling him is a good way to have him step up to filling me up.
Another is a feeling I’ve had recently wanting to stay home from work. I’ve had to move to a new city and didn’t miss a beat. I moved in a weekend and have been able to keep unpacking most things but I still need time to make things right and it’s been tough working so much. I took a sick day when I was sick and it was the best thing for me. How do I carve out the time I need to do the things, when I’m working full time and starting a job so don’t feel comfortable asking for personal days.
Thanks for sharing these wonderful examples Whitney! Sometimes, taking a sick day when you’re NOT sick is a great way to catch up on these types of things. Or carving out a day or several hours on the weekend, maybe giving up on social plans that feel like something you “should” do but you don’t really want to do, in order to get some things in order that will bring you more joy and a sense of calm. You can also just get curious about the question and say; “Hmmm, I wonder how I can carve out the time I need to do these things that are important to me?” Just float that question several times throughout the day, or for a few days, without putting pressure on yourself to find the answer immediately. You might be surprised at some of the creative solutions that just pop into your brain as a result of gently asking that question with curiosity. Let me know what you discover, I’m sure there are others who want to know how to do that too!!