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Relationships: Being Grateful when we Feel Resentful

You may have just read that title and are thinking, "That makes no sense.". You wouldn't be alone. The very basic definition of resentful certainly does not include the word "grateful" in it.

But, if we dig a little deeper, I think we can feel something we've never felt for all the crappy things that have happened to us - for the relationships gone wrong - the people who have hurt us - all the negative. . . can actually be a positive if we consider something new.

Take, for instance, my friend that has a son struggling with alcohol and drug use. There are no words to explain how difficult it has been over the years. He has called her names, been clean and sober, then not, and then sober again. She has supported him by helping him move, paying for rehabs, gas, and groceries. When does it end? He sure doesn't seem grateful for her rearranging her life to help him.

Do you see what's happening in that paragraph? My friend has started to feel resentment because she has been enabling her son, not helping him.

What is the difference? Ask yourself this question when someone asks you to help or you feel like offering your assistance: "Is the person I am trying to help capable of doing XYZ without me?". If the answer is YES, let them do whatever it is. If they aren't even aware they should be doing something, let it go. If, for example, my friend's son doesn't have a driver's license but is wanting to go to treatment, and excellent way to help without enabling is allowing the son to call the treatment center, arrange care, etc. She can offer him a ride to the treatment center or doctor appointments if that feels positive for her. In this scenario, my friend hopefully feels minimal resentment, but still feels like she is helping him. Win-Win!


If you are feeling resentful towards someone, I ask you to consider why that might be. What role did you play in allowing yourself to feel that way?

I may have lost some of you with that last question (please don't be mad for long) but the answer to that question holds the power to changing our feelings about this person.

  • Are you feeling resentful because you've been doing all the things?

  • Are you feeling resentful because you can't say No?

  • Are you feeling resentful because someone isn't doing something you think they should be?

Be honest with yourself here. It took me a LONG time to get honest with myself. I was arrogant and had no idea I had a large part in my resentful feelings. But, I did. And my ego held me back from feeling better for YEARS. YEARS, not weeks, not even months - YEARS.

It doesn't have to take you that long to find peace. If you are willing to do some work, look at how you are contributing to your current situation, and be brutally honest, I'd love to chat with you. Book a 30 minute call here: It's FREE!

Focus this holiday on what this relationship has given you. In my hard relationships, I've been provided with a new view on something I didn't understand, an empathy and compassion that I've not experienced before. Every single difficult person in my life has taught me something about life and about myself. That leaves me feeling grateful. I hope you find your blessings this Thanksgiving, too.

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