Have you ever felt mad at the world and had no clue why? Rigidity can do that to a person! In many ways resentment is bred and multiplies as we continue to have unrealistic expectations of ourselves, others and the world around us.
It is taking this thought to far to say that we should have NO expectations. But when we struggle with rigid attitudes and resentment, chances are our expectations are out of control.
When we drive we expect people to stop for red lights and go through green ones, right? But we all know certain intersections where for whatever reason people do not live up to our expectations. (Richmonders will know that the intersection of Robious Road and Huguenot Road fits that category.) Experience teaches us to pause, verify and then proceed with caution through that particular intersection. We may have an expectation that people should know better but experience teaches us that this is unrealistic. In this situation, a resilient person knows to manage their expectations. They are extra cautious; they plan for reality.
For years I would experience frustration as I go through that intersection and daily watch people run red lights trying to beat the clock. Today, after practicing my skills, I proceed with caution and manage my expectations by being honest about the way Richmonders handle that stretch of road. No more resentment.
Denial - an often unconscious commitment to fight a losing battle with reality also creates resentment. It may be extremely scary to face the truth about our families of origin, our marriages and especially our children with mental health issues or a substance use disorder. But as we fight off acknowledgement, as facts present themselves that challenge our fantasy living, one symptom is resentment!
Any signs in your life that there are some realities in need of addressing? Resilient people face these troubles head on. Be that!