Let me just say this, I am a woman that can hold onto resentment!

When I feel I have been wronged, I will form a “frosty” attitude that not even a polar bear could stand it!

In recent times, however, first-hand experience has taught me that holding onto anger or wrapping myself in a blanket of resentment is not cool.

From an experience with a friend four years ago, I developed a technique I consistently practice called “Squash and Release.”

“Squash and Release” is a technique that allows me to discover the REAL issue at hand; analyze my actions that may have caused the issue to arise; and confront the issue through discussion, apology or whatever steps necessary for me to squash my anger and release my resentment. Let me share a true story of how this technique helped me to resolve an issue and release resentment.

My friend and I had attended an event in Elgin, IL. When the event was over, he led me to the highway since I was unfamiliar with the area. As we were driving along in our separate cars, I was pulled over by the police.

Everything turned out okay. The police stopped me to make sure I knew one of my headlights didn’t work. Although my friend stopped and waited for me until the ordeal was over, he didn’t call me to find out what happened once we pulled back onto the highway. Instead of calling me, he called my passenger and asked her what happened. I didn’t get this!

Why didn’t he call and talk directly to me? How did he know if I was okay? Didn’t he remember that I used an earpiece on my phone for hands-free conversations while driving?

These were questions that raced through my mind as I drove down the highway. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I became so angry that when I did see him face-to-face about two days after the ordeal, I greeted him with such coldness that our communications were frozen shut for over a month!

As the days turned into weeks, the situation really began to disturb me. I knew I had to get a handle on myself because the anger and resentment was causing me major anxiety and putting enormous tension on our friendship.

Eventually, I sat myself down and took some time to think – long, hard, and honestly about what had occurred.

First, I discovered the REAL issue at hand. I realized that my anger stemmed from the feeling that I did not feel safe and protected with him. By him not calling me directly to find out why the police had pulled me over, I felt that he was not concerned with my well-being and safety.

Next, I analyzed my actions that contributed to my feelings of anger and resentment. I asked myself such questions as, “Had I done anything to cause the issue?” “Did my attitude make the situation worse?” “Was he really being insensitive?” “Was it possible that he didn’t remember that I wore an earpiece?” “Was I overreacting?” By the time I was done honestly answering those questions, I realized that I had overreacted and needed to resolve the tension filled situation – “quick, fast and in a hurry.”

Finally, I confronted the conflict in a private, one-on-one, conversation where I explained the reasons for my anger and apologized for my actions. Although he was shocked to hear my voice on the other end of the phone calling to discuss the situation, he was relieved that we were both able to state what caused us to behave as we did – clearing up all confusion, assumptions and anger.

Needless to say, we had a good time learning from an uncomfortable situation. Apologizes were given and accepted by both parties and our friendship resumed. We never had any such instances again because he went out of his way to make me feel secure, and I went the extra mile to communicate without assumptions.

I encourage you to try “Squash and Release” if you are feeling angry about something or frustrated by someone. All you have to do is:

• Identify the issue: figure out the REAL issue behind your emotions; determine actions or situations that have caused you discomfort; be certain not to allow your emotions to rule you;
• Assess the problem: analyze your actions; make sure you have not done anything to contribute to the problem; be prepared to apologize and change your behavior, if necessary; and
• Confront the conflict: take the necessary actions to assertively and positively handle the person or situation; schedule a private moment to address the person that is frustrating you or the right time to handle the conflict head on.

Although I have found I prefer face-to-face “Squash and Release” resolutions, you can use other methods such as phone calls, letters and personal cards. No matter which technique you use, the end result will be the same – you will address the situation head-on, get all issues resolved and move beyond the anger and resentment.

As I had to learn, “Squash and Release” is an excellent way to guard your mental space from conflict. Instead of being overwhelmed by negative energy, exercise your mental space with positive and constructive thoughts. Whenever you are having conflict with someone or over something, make sure that you take time to “Squash and Release.”

You will be glad you did.

Author's Bio: 

A champion for the education and empowerment of audiences worldwide, inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, author, and life coach, Cassandra “D.I.V.A. of Dialog™” Lee uses “Divine Inspiration Vocally Applied™” to provide strategies and solutions for strategic thinking, effective communications and influential leadership via her live seminars, workshops, keynote speeches, training sessions, and one-on-one coaching sessions. To invite her to speak at your next event or to order her FREE special report “Don’t Push Them Down a Flight of Stairs! Three Ways to Strengthen Your Work Relationships,” visit http://www.divaofdialog.com.