Learn to Give Without Resentment

http://kimfredrickson.com/2017/04/19/learn-to-give-without-resentment/

Do you struggle with resentment?

Do you sometimes feel like you are the one doing all the giving and sacrificing, while others around you aren’t doing their fair share? If the answer is “yes”, then you are not alone.

It is hard to give to others, without feeling resentful in the process. Click To Tweet

I learned this concept many years ago when I developed a tool to help myself with this dilemma. I call it the “Fredrickson Line of Resentment.”  I came up with a way to give the right amount, without becoming resentful later about what I gave.

Imagine a line like the one below:

http://kimfredrickson.com/2017/04/19/learn-to-give-without-resentment/

With each situation, there is a place on this line where I feel fine about giving to others, but if I give too much, I end up being resentful.

It is really important to check in with yourself about where you are on this line, and to only give what you can give freely.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you like to help people who are going through a hard time. Imagine your church asks you to help provide food to a mom who just had a new baby. Specifically, you are asked to provide two meals to a family of four.

You know you want to help, but have a lot going on in your own life right now. You decide you would be happy to provide one meal for this family.  You know that if you go against your intuition and say yes to two meals, you will then become resentful.

If you cave into pressure, you will tell yourself things like “They are making me, I had to, they want too much of me, I couldn’t say no.” The truth is that if you agree to bring two meals and then feel resentful, it is because you went against your instincts and made your gift of love turn into a burden. No one made you do it, you did it to yourself by not setting healthy boundaries.

I know that is a harsh way to say this, but it is true.

http://kimfredrickson.com/2017/04/19/learn-to-give-without-resentment/

This simple concept is part of having a compassionate relationship with yourself. It means including yourself in the equation, and giving freely without resentment. Realize that your line of “giving without resentment” may change by situation, as well as by the stage of life you are in. This is normal.

Start by noticing times you feel resentful

This is not about being hard on yourself. It is meant to help you learn to give to others in a balanced way. Give yourself permission to notice times you feel resentful so that you can learn, without pressure to make any changes.

Gently ask yourself:

  • What could I have given without feeling resentful?
  • Did I have a choice to say “no”, or not give as much (be honest with yourself here)?
  • What were the reasons I said “yes”?
  • Did any of them have to do with me being afraid someone would be mad at me or not approve of me?
  • What could I do or say next time to only give what I can give freely?
  • Is there a deeper issue I need to look at and work through (maybe lack of boundaries, wanting to please, or codependency)?

It is hard to find a healthy balance between giving, without feeling resentful in the process. Click To Tweet

Here’s a compassionate way you can talk to yourself

“I honestly did not know I had a choice to pay attention to my own intuition and desires regarding how much to give to another person. I thought being a good person meant saying yes to anyone in need. I tend to either not give at all because I am running on empty, or give way too much and end up feeling resentful. I want to develop a balanced way of checking in with myself when opportunities to give come up. I know I often give too much to my boss, kids, church and friends and then end up neglecting myself and other people in my life, whom I love.  I am going to start paying attention to my own line of resentment and try to stay on the healthy left side of that line.”

I’d love to hear from you. What made sense or stood out to you? Do you struggle with giving too much and ending up resentful? When is it the hardest to be balanced in the way you give to others? After reading this, are there adjustments you want to make in how you live your life?

Please share this post with anyone you feel could benefit, or on social media. We’re in this together…

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9 thoughts on “Learn to Give Without Resentment

  1. Kim, I feel accepted and understood when I read your blog; thank you for your compassionate words and wisdom. In the past, I’ve given too much then felt like a “victim” as a result of my choices. I’m a “recovering give-aholic”(?) and am encouraged by your article today. 🙂

  2. I aprreciate your simple but, oh-so-useful, tool! Thanks for sharing your great idea! The questions you included that I can ask myself are super practical. I loved your encouragement to ask myself “gently!”

      1. Hi Kim,
        Thanks again for helping me “develop a balanced way of checking in with myself when opportunities to give come up.” I’ve used your tool many times since you first posted, including yesterday. It’s been super helpful. I appreciate you. Many blessings…

  3. “. . .What made sense or stood out to you? Do you struggle with giving too much and ending up resentful? When is it the hardest to be balanced in the way you give to others? After reading this, are there adjustments you want to make in how you live your life?”

    I think that resentment is often a woman’s inner signal that she has been ignoring an important God-given responsibility —that of making tough choices. I guess we want others to think we are perfect or something so we give too much and then are resentful. I also think at the heart of all resentment you’ll always find a fear that hopes to stay anonymous. That fear for me is the way others view me (re: bringing the one meal vs. agreeing to bring two meals and then feeling resentful), “. . . it is because you went against your instincts and made your gift of love turn into a burden.” In the name of being social and “good girls,” we learn to ignore our natural instincts. Society keeps dictating do’s and do not’s which we keep obeying day in and day out. It’s hard to learn to listen to your instincts. It’s easier for some who have a natural ability to follow that still small voice inside, but for me, it takes practice to trust the Holy Spirit. . . .I know that there is something magical and transformational about saying “yes” to God. I love saying “yes” to God, the issue for me is: —Lord, is it me —or is it You —or is it something else? The adjustment I will try to make is to err on the side of wishing I had done more. —Oh, that is going to be hard.

    . . . Thank you so, so much, Kim. I was listening to “How To Walk Through Pain and Suffering” again for the I don’t how many time-eth again this morning in the car and so praying for you. “The Hard Questions” —indeed!!!

    1. Aleea, I love what you shared about the vulnerability we have as women to want to give too much, and the lack of practice we have listening to and following our instincts. We are all learning and growing together! So glad my talk on Pain and Suffering is helpful to you…and thanks for the continued prayers!

      1. Thank you so, so much for listening Kim. I’m praying for you every day, my prayer group prays for you when we meet too —and lots of doctors in that group and they know how bad pulmonary fibrosis is. I can’t even pronounce it correctly, —they always correct my pronunciation of it. —Obviously, you are drawing from the well that will never run dry (John 4:13-14). . . .But honestly, I am bitter at God that you have to carry this. It may be just a reflection of my bitter anger at God for my childhood abuse and trauma. . . .but life is just so, so hard even when we are reasonably healthy. I’ll tell you Kim, I get so worn down putting a happy face on all of it because it just seems like nothing correlates. It just looks so, so random. What if there was a law in the universe where the more righteous you were the less susceptible you were to injury and illness? That would prove that the universe is governed morally? . . . And yet, at the same time, I am so, so grateful for all I have and so thankful to God, even for little things. Like that I can even post on this blog. I know how blessed I am. It’s like I am a schizophrenic. You know what? I don’t even really know what that word really means. I just mean I feel both ways, all at once. . . .And I just listened to my compassion scripts this morning!

        Christ’s love to you Kim,
        Aleea

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