Most of us and our loved ones see life differently. What we think of as right and appropriate does not seem the same to our loved ones. I experience this conflict a lot in my personal life. Be it my son, my mother, or the partner. Most often if there is a gap between what I feel is right but my family thinks of otherwise, I build resentment. And I fight with them, argue with them. At the end of it, I feel dissatisfied, detached from the ones who form the inner circle of my life.
It’s a big burden and eats up my peace and productivity. But fights and differences are bound to happen. If I take a stock, I’m surprised at the sheer variety of reasons that I invent for fights and arguments between me and my loved ones. Each day, there is one new reason to argue, to fight. I have lost count of if they are repetitive or just out.
To give you an insider glimpse, I often fight with ma because she has restricted mobility. So most of the times, the house is in disarray. And I keep complaining to her to help me clean the house but she doesn’t. Or with my partner, who is a little laidback when it comes to cooking. With ma away, its me and my partner living in the house. And I insist on him to share all housekeeping duties, which are not done by my maid. In both these instances, I’m turned a deaf ear by both mother and partner for reasons best known to them. To me, it felt like I don’t matter to them and it caused me a deep anguish.
But in the course of my studies, I came to know about a way to handle feelings of resentment, that grow from these conflicts. And it works superb. I tried using this to resolve my own resentments and I won’t say that all my resentments were resolved but they certainly lessened. So here’s the approach and I will give you a practical insight on how I used it to address my specific resentments. It consist of speaking three statements:
- I resent you – Recall that resentment you had against someone and begin your statement with a phrase ‘I resent you’.
- And I demand you – Behind every resentment we feel for someone else, there is an implicit demand we really want to make. There’s something we want to be changed and we want that change to happen quick. So phrase ‘I resent you’ will be followed by an ‘I demand you’.
- But I appreciate – Trying to see things from his point of view and appreciate why he behaves the way he does.
Giving a context to these statements in my real life relationship resentments, it will be
- I resent you – ‘I resent you partner because you don’t help me in cooking.’
- And I demand you – ‘I resent you partner because you don’t help me in cooking and I demand you to share the kitchen workload.’
- But I appreciate – ‘I resent you partner because you don’t help me in cooking and I demand you to share the kitchen workload. But I appreciate that in this lonely, self-serving world, you are the one who is there for me always.’
I also did this RDA exercise with my mother and here is what my heart said:
- I resent you – ‘I resent you ma because you don’t help me in cleaning the house.’
- And I demand you – ‘I resent you ma because you don’t help me in cleaning the house and I demand you to keep things in order.’
- But I appreciate – ‘I resent you ma because you don’t help me in cleaning the house and I demand you to keep things in order. But I appreciate that despite your arthritis problem, you are helping me raise a small kid.’
And I swear, my resentments became less severe. There was a sparse light of positivism about the other person, I felt as I muttered these 3 statements. Of course, it was not an end to it and I did develop resentments for them in the following days. But once a while, I do this RDA exercise, as a game perhaps. I like its beats, RDAaaa, like the notes of a vintage R.D. Burman song. It is more like a tapping sound game. RDA, RDA, I’m rhyming, miming.
Why don’t you rhyme this too and find out what happens to your resentments? Do share your experience in the article comments.