overcoming resentment, how to overcome resentment, be a better lawyer podcast, Dina Cataldo, best legal podcasts, best law podcast

#272: Overcoming Resentment

When was the last time you felt resentful?

All of us have felt resentment before, but most of us don't know what to do about it.

Staying stuck in resentment prevents us from creating open lines of communication and asking for what we want.

In this episode of Be a Better Lawyer Podcast, you'll learn how to:

notice when you're stuck in resentment (before it causes problems)

get unstuck and find out what you want

figure out what you want and ask for it

You don't have to stay stuck in resentment and frustration.

Listen to this episode to clear your head and take action to overcome resentment.



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Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.

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Overcoming Resentment

Hello. How are you doing today?

I am on a quiet walk this morning, and a lot of you ask me, where do I get my ideas for the podcasts?

And honestly, they come from the coaching I do on myself and the coaching I do with my clients.

And a lot of times they overlap and they did this week.

So I thought it would be appropriate for me to do a podcast episode about this topic.

I noticed this morning that I was a little on edge, that I was a little annoyed, and I wanted to check in with myself.

This is what I do in my morning practice, is I just check in with myself and I ask myself, Hey, how are you feeling? And I noticed that I was a little resentful. I wanted things to be a certain way, and when they weren't the way that I wanted them exactly, I was throwing a little tantrum in my head.

And these little tantrums feel horrible.

If you're familiar with resentment or feeling like you just want what you want when you want it, and if you don't get it, you get angry. I'm sure that you've experienced this because we all do,

You know, it just feels horrible in your body. For me, I feel it in my shoulders. and in my chest. And then I have really shallow breath and I notice my behavior and my urge to lash out at pretty much everything even if I’m holding it inside.

This is one of the biggest problems with resentment when we don't address it, is how we show up in the world. I notice when I’m resentful I’m less patient, I’m more easily annoyed and it’s easier for me to feel anger. And so when I start noticing these things happening, I investigate.

Not with judgement or telling myself I’m wrong for feeling this way.

Instead I get curious.

It's very easy for us to judge our feelings as wrong or bad. I was talking to a client earlier in the week and she was noticing she was angry. When we investigated, she discovered she had a belief that her partner wasn't picking up the slack in their relationship. She believed she had to do everything.

She also felt guilty for being angry about this because she loves her partner partner's amazing. Logically she knew she didn’t do everything, but her brain was also telling her otherwise.

So she had this fight going on in her head. She was telling herself she shouldn't feel resentful, that she shouldn't feel angry, and that wasn’t the right way to feel about things.

My client was also telling herself that he wasn’t doing enough and things should be different.

This conflict keeps us frozen in inaction.

We can’t access our problem-solving abilities and we usually tell ourselves to just get over it and deal with it.

Unless, you have the skills I’m about to share with you in this episode.

The very first thing that we have to recognize is that feeling angry, feeling resentful is normal. If we don't allow ourselves to accept, acknowledge, allow those feelings of resentment and anger, then we can't get to the next step with which I'm gonna share with you in a minute.

So the very first step here is letting it be okay that you're angry. And that's what I did this morning is I just said, “okay, well, clearly I totally understand why I feel this way. I'm not getting what I want, and I want things to be different.”

Once you've allowed yourself to sit with and acknowledge that you feel resentful or angry, just breathe with it.

Nothing has gone wrong. You are a human being who feels feelings. Congratulations.

You’re not a bad person. You’re just human.

Step two, ask yourself what you want. And get specific.

When I was thinking about recording this episode, I was thinking about a couple instances with friends <laugh>.

And one of my friends, this was years ago, my dear, dear friend was angry that I was not giving him my full attention, but I didn't realize it.

I was in my own little world, right? I was just thinking about something fun I was doing. And I noticed my friend was behaving strangely. He was quieter than usual. He didn’t acknowledge a request I made.

He was being…passive aggressive.

I was oblivious about what his problem was, and in that moment I wanted to know what was going on. So I asked him. He said, “Nothing.” But I didn't let it go, and he told me.

Because I didn’t pretend like “Nothing” was an answer or pretend that nothing was off, and I followed what I wanted, we could solve the problem.

Now, he could have told me what he wanted — my undivided attention — but he didn’t know how to do that. It only takes one to help a relationship my friend.

But it takes asking for what you want.

Of course, asking for what we want isn’t always so simple.

First we need to know what we want.

Before we go there, I want to highlight something here:

Each of us are in our own little worlds. Other people may be feeling resentment, and we aren't even paying attention to the behaviors. We want to believe that they will ask for what they want. But they can’t always do that because they’re not doing personal development work like you are.

Also, when you feel resentful, other people can’t read your mind. Thank goodness it doesn’t work that way because I wouldn’t want someone to see inside my head all the time.

We just have to be honest with ourself, and we have to be honest with the people around us.

Even if we do personal development work, we have blind spots. I'm sure there's lots of behaviors my friends see in me that I don't notice it, right? We’re too close to see the problem.

The moral of the story is be patient and kind with yourself and be patient and kind with those around you.

Now we can get to asking yourself what you want.

This seems like it would be simple, but it isn’t.

I’d say 80% of the lawyers I work with don’t know how to allow themselves to ask for what they want until they go through this exercise with me. I walk myself through this exercise too.

Think back to the situation you feel resentful about.

What do you wish was different about that situation?

Here’s how that might look:

“Why am I feeling angry at my husband? Oh, because I think he should be doing the laundry instead of watching TV.”

“Why am I angry about going to work this morning? Oh, because I think my work schedule should be different or I don't like the way my clients talk to me.”

“Why am I angry about my calendar? Oh, because I want more time built in for me instead of just work and running errands.”

Once you know what you wish was different, get specific about what you want to happen.

Instead of thinking, “I wish my partner would pick up the slack,” ask yourself specifically what you wish they would do. Do you want them to pick up laundry, drive the kids to school, give the kids a bath at night?

Instead of thinking, “I wish I didn’t have to work so much,” ask yourself specifically what you wish your day would look like. Business owners — if you’ve gotten distracted, come back to me. This is especially important for you. You may tell yourself your day “should” look like 10 hour days because that’s what you were taught in a firm, but it doesn’t have to look that way. Ask yourself if you want to schedule time to work on your business, do you want to schedule time to think about building a business that will allow you to leave the law, do you want to schedule naps? Be specific because this will lead us to the next step.

Then it’s time to ask yourself what needs to happen for you to make what you want reality.

Again, seems simple, but so many of us don’t do this.

Why? Because it feels uncomfortable to ask for what you want because you’re not used to doing it. The more you practice asking for what you want, the easier it becomes.

What do you think YOU can do to make things different?

Remember, people can’t read our minds. You have to be the one who initiates this.

You also may be told, “No.” Let that be okay. At least you have information that will tell you what you need to do next.

When it comes to other people, get specific about what action you would like them to take. Talk to them specifically about what you would like them to do.

For the parent example, you can tell them, “Hey hon’, I’d really love it if you’d take out the garbage on Thursday nights before we go to bed, so it’s out on the curb early enough to be picked up Friday.”

Notice how specific that is.

Now they may not do it. Watch your brain when this happens. Any resentment or anger you feel doesn’t have to be acted on.

Your brain may come up with all kinds of wild stories about why they’re not doing it and what they think about you. That doesn’t mean any of those stories are true. Equally true could be that they forgot because they’re not used to taking it out the night before.

Allow yourself to feel the anger, let it be okay, then ask yourself what you want. That can be enough to help us be calm in that moment versus snap at our partner.

For the example about what you want your practice or your life to look like, ask yourself what you can do to start making the changes you want.

It may be that you wished you had 4 hours a week to sit and think about your business instead of working IN your business. How can you make that happen? What needs to shift in your week?

It may be that you wished you had a successful business. How can you make that happen? What do you need to shift?

For me, I needed to teach myself the habit of waking up earlier, so I could think about my business. It’s going to be different for everyone.

When we feel resentful, it's easy for us to freeze. Our brain does not go into problem solving mode, trying to get us out of resentment. It just creates more things to be annoyed at. You suddenly start seeing all the reasons why you’re angry.

“Oh, I hate it when they do that. I hate it when I have to do this. I don't like this. I don't like that.”

You suddenly become this person who is angry about everything and you have no idea why you’re so grumpy. So instead of doing that, what you can do is ask yourself, okay, well what do I want? And how do I make it happen?

If you want help getting clarity thinking through your practice and how you can make it better, make it into something that you truly desire, that you jump out of bed four in the morning, let's work together.

I help lawyers go from really resenting their work and feeling overwhelmed to enjoying their practice and life.

One of my clients was telling me that just after a few sessions of us working together, he was noticing he was so much more calm at home. He noticed he was much more patient with his children, and wasn’t thinking about work constantly.

And that was really what he wanted when he signed up for a Strategy Session, was to find a way to create that for himself. Everything else we're doing together is gravy. We’re working on making his practice streamlined and raising his revenue and all of that good stuff, and getting his calendar in order.

This is amazing work, my friend. I recommend it for everyone.

You can book a Strategy Session with me at dinacataldo.com/strategysession.

All right, I will talk to you next episode, my friend. Hope you have a great day. Bye.