Ridding yourself of resentment of being in the lead means taking responsibility for your role in the ongoing dynamic,  then taking action to make positive change.  Try these 7 tips and let me know how it goes!

Are you in a relationship where you secretly wish or overtly want another person to take the lead sometimes?  Do you find yourself thinking “I always have to…” or “He never does…” or “She never brings up…”?

Whether at work or at home, some people have a tendency to let resentment about taking the lead build up.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can take that step to rid yourself of resenting being in the lead by encouraging others to participate and by asking for what you want…..after all, your colleagues, boss, employee, or partner can’t read your mind!  Here are some tips on taking the lead on banishing resentment and sharing the load:

Specify What You Want

Evaluate where you want the other person to take the lead?  On the job maybe you find yourself heading up every meeting when there are others who share responsibility?  Or perhaps at home you continually wish that your partner would decide where to go on “date night” and not always leave it up to you?  Make your list so you clarify what it is you want.  Be concrete in your request. You are asking for specific behavioral change.

Clarify Territory

Take a look at your list and make certain that you haven’t noted areas outside your own territory.  For instance, if you have listed that you want your work colleague to keep his desk more organized, you are outside your territory.  But if you listed that you want that same colleague to take the lead on organizing a joint work project, you are on target.  You have the right to discuss what impacts both of you

Identify Your Part in the Dynamic

It’s important to recognize your part in the interaction. Is it assumed by your mate that you will take the lead because you always do take the lead? Maybe you have a habit of doing so, but secretly resenting your partner?  Are you taking the lead in areas where your mate actually has more strength and can do a great job?  Is this a long standing work around or a new situation?  Whatever the dynamic, to change it will require you to understand it.  And to understand how you may have created or continue to feed into the on-going pattern. Whenever you find yourself feeling resentful, stand still and ask yourself:  “What is happening right now between us that is triggering these feelings in me right now?” Think about how you’d like it to be different. Reflect on what is causing you not to request a change.

Set Aside Your Resentment

To create change, you need to change your mind set about your colleague, employee, or partner. Set the resentment aside so that you can communicate effectively–and give them a chance to respond differently.  Instead of thinking “I always have to” and “She never does…”, pause and think “I can ask him to…” or “She might be willing to…”  Remember, you are not giving up your own personal power to hand over the lead to your colleague; instead you are leading your peer to use his or her own strength to help get the job done.

Give Time and Space

Once you decide to ask for what you want, and especially if your dynamic has been long standing, give your mate or colleague time to think over about your request.  “I’d like us to talk about this project we have been assigned together…. when is good for you?”  You’ll find your mate has a different style from your work colleague:  Some one might say “no” almost reflexively but come back later having thought it over; one might put you off.    Use a soft start and practice saying what you’d like or need, and be prepared to give your partner time to think about it.  “I have a few scheduling needs (or vacation ideas, work or house projects) I am thinking about, I’d like to discuss them with you by Friday” or “We need to respond to this invite next week.”

Be Realistic and Patient

Your mate or colleague may not know what to do with your new approach and it may take some time to see change.  Don’t expect change overnight, be patient stand still.  Do your part in creating the change and keep working at it.  Follow up your initial request with “Have you thought about a time we can discuss the project?”

Acknowledge the Signs

Changing your mindset about your partner or colleague means also changing your mindset about what to expect.  Instead of looking for failure, resistance, or rejection, be open to signs that your colleague or partner or boss heard you, is willing to learn, or is open to change even a small part of the dynamic.

Ridding yourself of resentment of being in the lead means taking responsibility for your role in the dynamic and then making positive changes.  Try these tips and let me know how it goes!




When You Feel Stuck—or Choose to Remain—In a Difficult Relationship With Someone Who Will Not or May Not Change

When Men Don’t Fully Engage, It Deprives the Women in Your Life of Growth

When You Are Ready—Reach Out for a Complimentary Call to Explore Your Needs here



Dr. Jan Hoistad