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How to get rid of resentment in relationships: 9 rules from psychologist

How to get rid of resentment in relationships: 9 rules from psychologist How to get rid of resentment (photo: Freepik)

It is important to understand that all couples face difficulties, but it is essential to navigate through them with dignity. One of the most destructive factors in relationships is grudges, which tend to accumulate over time. Ukrainian psychologist Olha Holentovska tells how to get rid of grudges in relationships.

How to get rid of resentment in relationships

"Reflect on your own communication habits and analyze your recent conflict. Adhering to basic recommendations effectively dispels disrespectful communication from relationships and promotes their harmonization," says the psychologist.

She advises answering the following questions:

  1. What communication rules do I repeatedly violate?
  2. Was this tendency present in my family of origin?
  3. When I resort to disrespectful communication, what are the consequences?
  4. Am I able to achieve my goals through this behavior?
  5. What conclusions can I draw about myself?

Holentovska recommends following certain rules in relationships that can help eliminate resentment.

Avoid using judgmental and emotionally charged words

Refrain from phrases such as:

  1. You're not trying at all.
  2. Pretending to be right.
  3. Behaving like a child.

Avoid global judgments

Accusations in arguments should be directed not at the partner's behavior but at their personality. The argument may pass, but the "collection of grievances" remains.

Avoid "you-messages" with reproaches and accusations

For example, a "you-message" is, "You always find a reason to avoid work." Instead, use "I-messages," such as "I get tired and frustrated when I have to clean up by myself."

"Note that in 'I-messages,' there are no accusations," explains the psychologist.

Leave old grievances in the past

Revisiting past grievances usually leads to creating a "dossier," which is not indicative of healthy relationships. Make it a rule never to bring up old grievances during arguments. This should be a taboo.

Avoid making negative comparisons

Such comparisons truly hurt rather than help. Their function is to blame and attack. Transparent communication is one that does not make your partner feel ashamed of themselves.

Do not resort to threats

The hidden implication behind threats is that you're bad, and I'm going to punish you. Such statements do not contribute to the development of relationships.

Describe your feelings instead of attacking with them

Using your feelings as weapons (yelling, sarcasm, raised tone, biting remarks) is counterproductive. It's better to say that you feel hurt or saddened.

Show with body language that you are open to dialogue

Tight lips, clenched jaws, furrowed brows, a superior or hostile gaze all indicate unreadiness for constructive conversation. Therefore, maintaining eye contact, nodding, trying to sit closer, and relaxing your facial expressions are beneficial.

Use integrated messages

Integrated messages include your observations, thoughts, feelings, needs, and desires. Use clear messages to make them as understandable as possible for your partner.

Earlier, we discussed how to eliminate anxiety and "catastrophic thinking" that can disrupt your life.