How can I teach you to transfer emotions in under five minutes?

It’s easy. We’ll just choose my favorite emotion and then play a little game. My favorite emotion to transform is resentment. I bet you were expecting anger or jealousy, but resentment wins every time because resentment is our biggest indicator of where our boundaries are being crossed. Learn to recognize and transform resentment and you’ll be creating boundaries like a champion, saving yourself energy for days, weeks and months to come.

Here’s how you do it:

Notice an area of resentment in your life. Resentment is often found in areas where you are being overly generous. For instance, you are really annoyed that you keep helping this one person in your life and it feels like there’s a lack of reciprocity or there is an annoyance on your part because you’ve told them that they should do something and they’re just not doing it, even though, you know, it would solve their problem.

We’ve all been there, right? Next, your job is to figure out if the situation needs,

  1. To be dropped,
  2. To be delegated,
  3. To be upgraded, or
  4. To have a new boundary drawn.

In order to figure this out, we’ll use the following questions.

Number one, will anything dire happen if I stop engaging?
  • If the answer is yes, continue on to the next question.
  • If the answer is no, the solution is to drop the responsibility that you’re holding on to in this situation that just probably really doesn’t belong to you.
Can this situation be shifted to someone or something else is the next question.
  • If the answer is no, you can move on.
  • But if the answer is yes, start the task of shifting the situation over to another person or even a piece of software. I’ll never forget how much an online scheduler and calendar saved my sanity.
The next question is, would this situation be easier with better tools?
  • The answer will be yes. If you’re frustrated that the eggs stick to the pan every morning at breakfast time and you’re always annoyed about it, get a new pan.
  • The answer is also yes, if you need some outside human support to get a new look on a situation. This includes coaching, therapy, different practitioners.
  • If the answer is yes, invest in the upgrade that you need according to your current financial ability.
  • If the answer is no, move on to the last question.

If you’ve gotten this far, that means that you’re involved in a task that must be done for survival, that must be done by you and cannot be assisted or made easier by anything else.

If this seems extreme, you might want to go over those questions one more time and make sure you got them right. If it’s the truth, then the solution is to draw a new boundary.

In order to figure out where the boundary needs to be drawn, look directly at the source of the resentment and ask yourself how much of this belongs to me. Before ever drawing a boundary for someone else to protect yourself, you need to know how many steps back you need to take.

Often, we’re in other people’s gardens, uninvited. And we haven’t taken responsibility for climbing over the fence to get there. Once you know how much is yours, make an internal boundary, an internal agreement with yourself that states that you will no longer dig holes under the fence to have access to their backyard.

Practice this for a week or two and then you’ll be able to see where the other person is cutting through your fence? Then you can create a conversation around fixing your fence and then keeping it protected.

If you really want to be able to bounce back, you’ve always got to start with yourself. Take ownership of your part before looking at the external factors.

This is true for two reasons:

  • One, it’s easier and therefore costs less energy.
  • Two, when you regain the energy that you’re losing by not admitting your own ownership, it’s easier to have an influence over the external stuff.