Table of contents:
- We seem to be a little confused with this "childish" emotion of resentment. Some authors in their articles (and even whole books) give advice on how to get rid of this “terrible” emotion once and for all and finally become positive and happy (“they are taking water for the offended”). Others believe that we should love and accept all our emotions. How is it, why are we offended? We'll figure out
- Revision of the senses
- Deceived expectations
- The right decision
- Load manipulation
Video: On Whom They Carry Water. Why Are We Offended - Society
We seem to be a little confused with this "childish" emotion of resentment. Some authors in their articles (and even whole books) give advice on how to get rid of this “terrible” emotion once and for all and finally become positive and happy (“they are taking water for the offended”). Others believe that we should love and accept all our emotions. How is it, why are we offended? We'll figure out
More and more clients come to me, whose problems only worsened after they "got rid" of the habit of being offended (in fact, they have learned to push the insult deeper into themselves and are not aware of this). Although there are also those who just "get stuck" in grievances and can spoil their lives for years, ruminating ("chewing") their old grievances almost around the clock.
To begin with, I will repeat the well-known, but very important: we have the right to experience the emotions that we have! Everything! With no exceptions! Another question, what do we do with them later? And it is absolutely necessary to do it, otherwise it is just that you get stuck in resentment.
Our nervous system is a product of evolution. And everything that we have (including emotions) was fixed evolutionarily because we needed something for some reason.
Revision of the senses
Resentment acts as such a signal bell: "your boundaries have been violated, you have been deprived of something, you need to do something." We are offended when someone else does not treat us the way we expected: he didn’t share the tasty, didn’t take care, didn’t protect, betrayed, caused damage… but he simply forgot about our existence.
The key word here is "expected." We had certain expectations in relation to this person.
Expectations can be realistic and unrealistic. May be justified or not. For example, it is unrealistic to expect, even from a very close person, without a musical ear, that he will note and admire that today you took the top A especially cleanly. And it is completely unjustified to expect this from a person who has nothing to do with you at all and just "passed by." Even if he has perfect pitch.
So, the realism / unrealism of our expectations is determined by the actual possibility, the reality itself.
Justification / unjustification is determined by the presence or absence of some kind of "agreement" between us and the one from whom we expect something (of course, we are talking most often about informal mutual obligations, and not about a contract with signatures and seals)
The contract can be straightforward: we agreed with a friend to always have lunch together or in the morning to warn each other about changes in plans. In this case, the expectation of compliance with the agreements and the experience of unpleasant emotions in the event of their violation is quite justified.
Or there may be an unspoken agreement that simply permeates our culture. We "learn" about such agreements simply by living in society and internalizing its norms and rules through everyday practices and social interactions. These include our silent agreements on the rules of conduct in public places, "codes of honor", on the procedures for communicating with us, for example, sellers (we are sure that they should be polite and attentive), on loyalty in a relationship, on how friends, colleagues, neighbors behave.
If our expectations are unjustified or unrealistic, then, of course, it is unconstructive to be offended. Therefore, always, having felt an insult, it is worth revising your expectations: can a person, in principle, give us this? Do we have the right to want this from him? Or have we invented these obligations ourselves?
For example, we are in love and the person seems to us perfect. And he is the most ordinary at best. And even if he truly loves us, he is still not a telepathic and cannot predict our desires. And we are offended that I did not realize to invite my favorite band to the concert. And then one should not be offended, but study with sincere interest both the partner and oneself: opportunities, features, limitations. And their expectations to "be friends" with reality.
Or maybe your friend also has some kind of personality disorder, such as narcissistic. And in principle, it cannot be true. Or he has BPD and regularly disrupts appointments, breaks agreements, and gets drunk before important events. And these people just can't meet our expectations. And then we have to deal with ourselves again. Just to be honest. Do I need this person so much that I am ready to take him to psychotherapists, put up with his narcissistic / borderline states? Or am I not ready for such sacrifices and I have to part?
An example of unjustified expectations:
You and your colleague sometimes communicate well during coffee breaks, sometimes you help each other in their work. And then she took and did not invite you to her anniversary. True, from the whole team, she invited only her best friend and former classmate. But all the same, oh-oh-very insulting. You covered her in front of the boss, and shared sweets, and told about your children. And she is … ungrateful!
In fact, in such a situation, there was an "unspoken agreement" between you kind colleagues. And he does not imply any closer communication at all. Even though you really wanted it. But she didn't. And she doesn't have to perceive you more than as a colleague. And she doesn't have to call for the holiday. So here, too, you have to make friends with reality: people are not obliged to always reciprocate you.
But even in these cases, your emotion of resentment is very important, do not kick it: it is she who will inform you that you need to double-check the requirements that you make to this world. That is, in this case, we, having felt an offense and realizing that it is unjustified, make an audit of ourselves or turn to a psychologist.
The right decision
And if the offense is fair? What if we were really treated dishonestly, unfairly, in bad faith? Then we take offense with all our might and think what to do with our resentment further. What can we do? And here everything is as in the old parable: either we change the situation or the attitude.
Remember the daily lunch with a friend example from the beginning of the article? Once you came to a cafe, waited for her all lunch, but she never came and did not answer calls. The first time you will naturally think that something unexpected has happened. And then she will tell you with a laugh that she chatted with a new colleague and forgot to warn you. And perhaps the first time you will forgive her. But if this repeats itself regularly, then you will already feel resentment: she violates your agreements and breaks your boundaries - every time you sit and honestly wait for her.
And here you have two options: either you terminate the contract and now dine without a friend (change the situation), or you decide not to pay attention to the fickle and irresponsible friend and happily dine alone on days when the friend does not come. And you understand that in other matters you should not rely on her (change your attitude towards your friend).
Let me remind you: if you don't do anything based on your emotion, you get stuck in it for a long time. Emotions are the engines of our actions, fuel. And it needs to be worked out.
Some people will defiantly take offense in an attempt to provoke a person's feelings of guilt and use it for their own purposes. Therefore, it is important for us to delve into the content of another person's resentment and try to understand: he does nothing with his emotion simply because he does not know what can be done (then let him read this article to him) or because he wants to make you feel guilty and to receive something (not necessarily material)?
Another type of manipulation is to actually do / say something offensive to you and then accuse you of being too touchy. There are a lot of distorted ideas about this emotion in society, so it is easy to destabilize us, make us feel that something is wrong with us, simply by saying “I found something to be offended about”, “you are too touchy, go to a psychologist”, "There is nothing to be offended at, pull yourself together", "be able to take a punch" … By the way, Internet trolls are very fond of using this technique. Only a well-trained skill "turn on the brain" and analyze the situation according to the above scheme can help.
- If you feel hurt, admit it to yourself. This is in any case a useful signal that communicates something either about you or about another person.
- Find out whether the reason for the resentment is your unrealistic and unjustified expectations, or the other person has violated their obligations and your boundaries.
- If the reason is you, adjust your expectations and the image of the other.
- If the reason is different - express your resentment in a socially acceptable way and agree to change his behavior. If it does not help or for some reason you do not want to do this, change your attitude towards the person and the forms of interaction with him.