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Transformational Talk

Surviving Another’s Bitterness
and Resentment

Do you know how to survive when someone you love (and don’t want to leave) is stuck in bitterness? This is especially frustrating when your help and even your love are often rejected — and even harder if they resist professional support.

Here’s the tip. First, assess if they’re a danger to self or others. If so, insist on professional and/or legal help. If not, it’s essential to find an outlet for your frustration. Pound pillows and scream off steam in private. Take a walk and stomp. Vent to a trusted friend or counselor. Keep asking inside what you need for self care.

Next (and this is really hard), avoid commenting on how negative or bitter your loved one seems. Ask often if there is anything you can do to help them feel better. If the answer is no, ask if they feel your love. If still no, check whether they’d be willing to look into your eyes as you put your hand on their heart and send beams of love. (Do this after discharging your own frustration and/or whenever your heart is open.)

Finally, ask if they’d allow you to express some anger about the unfair/unjust situation they’re stuck in. If yes – have at it! The mirror neurons in their brain can engender relief with this likely long overdue release. When calm, ask if they feel you now? Honor even the smallest shifts and softenings. In any case keep being there for yourself and them as long as it takes for love to heal.

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW Call: 858-481-5752 fax: 858-484-8374 email: