From Paying Attention to Letting Go of Resentment

article top

“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Daydreaming – How Can I be More Focused?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am a conscientious student, but sometimes when I sit in the lecture, although I try to concentrate on what the teacher says, my mind wanders and before I know it, the lecture is over and can’t remember much that was said. How can I stay on track?

Off Track

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Off Track:

It is important to reserve fantasies and day dreaming for appropriate times during the day. I love daydreams and fantasies. Without them, life could be somewhat boring. However, I have learned to prioritize my thoughts and apply self-discipline to become involved in what is important for the moment, such as computer work and chores that need to be done. Good luck with your change.

”Helping Each Other – Is That a Thing of the Past?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

Someone I used to look up to promised me a favor and let me down, but I try to follow the principles of my church, which says to forgive and forget. The other day I saw this person at a meeting and I still felt resentful toward them. How can I forgive and forget?


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Resentful:

Sometimes people develop what I call “claims” about other people’s behavior. This can be understood as having expectations about how others should behave — such as the expectation that “other people ought to bail us out when the going gets tough.” Probably most of us have been taught that when someone makes a promise, they should keep it. There is nothing wrong with this value system, but it can be problematic if we expect people to behave a certain way, because free choice is a factor.

As for being let down, it is important to grieve the loss and then move on. This can include striving toward becoming independent and developing resources so that if one person doesn’t come through, there is a back up. The concept of helping each other, especially nowadays, is hard to come by. I like the idea of striving for independence and self-reliance, and when others do come through for me, I consider it frosting on the cake.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

”’Email your questions to More information on Dr. Gelb’s services and related resources available at”’