There is an ancient quote that I’ve always loved:
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Let me ask you a question: have you ever been deeply hurt by another person? Maybe it was someone who broke your heart, or a business partner who stabbed you in the back. When you think about this person, do you feel a tightness in your chest? Do you stand up straighter? Does your breathing become quicker? That’s the flight or fight response, once again kicking in when it isn’t useful!
As human beings, we are hardwired to remember when another party wrongs us. It’s a simple survival mechanism. Back when we were living in caves, it was important to remember if someone in your community stole your berries or “borrowed” your animal skin. Those things could be the difference between life or death. Today, the stakes are a little lower, but it’s still incredibly easy for us to form resentments over perceived or actual slights.
The problem is that it becomes incredibly easy to dwell on these slights, letting them poison our lives.