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What Is Resentment?

Mar 9

Resentment is a prevalent emotion that is described as rage and indignation expressed as a result of unfair treatment.

Those who are resentful may experience feelings of irritation and embarrassment, as well as a desire for vengeance. A person may become angry as a result of a minor or major injustice, and they may feel the same bitterness and wrath over a minor thing as they would over a major one.


What Is Resentment and How Does It Affect You?

Resentment is not caused by any particular mental illness, but rather by an insufficient expression of emotions following a traumatic incident. They might be the result of a real, imagined, or misinterpreted injustice. A casual remark from a friend, as well as criticism from a supervisor, might exacerbate outrage and resentful sentiments. Resentment may also be wide and extended to vast groups of people, with disastrous results; for example, deep-seated resentment often leads to racism and religious persecution.

A person who is suffering resentment may feel personally harmed yet is too furious or humiliated to talk about their feelings, enabling the grudge to grow and be manifested as fury.


Resentment Symptoms

Resentment can manifest itself in a variety of ways. The following are some symptoms that you may be holding resentment:

  • When thinking on a certain event or experience, you get persistent or repeated thoughts of a strong emotion, such as rage
  • Inability to stop thinking about the incident that elicited such powerful feelings
  • Regretful feelings
  • Fear of confrontation or a desire to avoid it
  • Relationships in turmoil
  • Feeling invisible, inept, or inferior

Though resentment can be transient, dissolving when a person recognizes an incident was misconstrued or receives an apology from the offender, it can also be a long-lasting emotion. An individual may cling to unpleasant emotions, repeating the traumatic incident again and unwilling to let go of anger or a desire for vengeance. In this case, resentment may have a negative impact on a person's mental health.


Mental Health And Resentment

Because resentment is such a prevalent emotion, most individuals will feel irritated or angry at some time in their lives as a result of unfair treatment. However, when a person is unwilling to forgive, difficulties might arise—persistent animosity could be the result of a significant issue. After years of maltreatment, a child may reasonably dislike a parent and grow unable to see past any injustice. When a person learns to perceive themselves as the victim in every unfavorable scenario, however, they may acquire a distorted perspective of reality and find it difficult to recognize any positive consequences.

Acknowledging the sentiments underneath the anger and addressing them one at a time is considered a significant component of overcoming resentment, as is developing the ability to move on or forgive. Resentment can intoxicate a person because sentiments of fury and rage provide the illusion of power and do not necessarily encourage healthy expression. But, like with any intoxication, when sentiments of resentment go unrestrained and evolve into hatred, this intoxication may become hazardous.


In Relationships, Resentment

Intimate relationships, especially those that last a long time, are prone to resentment. The following are some of the most typical sources of resentment in relationships:

  • Keeping track of the results. If one spouse feels like they're always doing the heavy lifting in the relationship—housework, childcare, being the major breadwinner, or starting emotional connection and intimacy, to mention a few examples—they may develop resentment toward their other.
  • Power dynamics that are unbalanced. One partner in a relationship may develop resentment if they feel consistently overwhelmed, steamrolled over, or unheard.
  • Medical or health-related difficulties When one spouse in a relationship is diagnosed with a long-term mental or physical illness, their partner may be forced to take on the role of carer. Being a partner's caretaker can make some people bitter over time, especially if their own needs aren't fulfilled.
  • Words that are hurtful. The longer a couple spends together, the more probable it is that one of them will say something upsetting to the other. Couples who do not talk honestly when their spouse hurts them are more likely to feel resentful.
  • Resentment, if allowed to fester under the surface, has the potential to destroy relationships. Those who are resentful of their spouse may discover that talking about what's troubling them, no matter how trivial or insignificant the issue appears to be, can help them feel less resentful and even strengthen their bond.

Couples who are unwilling to let go of resentment may benefit from couples counseling to learn how to convey their sentiments.


What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Resentment?

For most people, letting go of resentment entails forgiveness. Some people believe that making peace with a past event and moving on is more beneficial to them. Regardless matter how one decides to get rid of resentment, it will almost certainly require changing one's mindset or emotional responses.

It could help you let go of resentment if you:

  • Consider why it's so tough to let go. What emotions arise as you ponder letting go of the resentment? Letting go of bitterness can cause anxiety about losing one's identity, especially if the resentment has been harbored for a long period.
  • Self-compassion is a good thing to have. The feelings connected with resentment, such as rage or regret, may sometimes give a sense of stability or familiarity to individuals who hang on to it for a long time. Self-compassion may help these people see that, while this coping method may make them feel better in the short term, it will wear them out in the long run.
  • Investigate empathy. Trying to see things from their point of view might assist diminish resentment when the person or action that produced the resentment was based on a misunderstanding, or when the person who did something cruel does not comprehend what they've done.
  • Gratitude should be cultivated. When feelings of anger arise, make a list of things for which you are thankful. Focusing on how you are privileged or lucky might make it more difficult for sentiments of bitterness to take root, since resentment thrives on self-victimization.

Resentment may become overwhelming and even poisonous to the person who holds it if it is not addressed. Talking to a therapist in these situations may help people address the issue that generated the resentment, what makes it tough to let go of, and coping skills that can help them minimize their resentment.


Resentment Treatment

Those who have trouble forgiving others for any wrongdoing, no matter how minor, may benefit from counselling. Those who want to understand why they are resentful of a certain person or scenario may choose to revisit the experience, either alone or with the aid of a therapist. Because the origins of a person's resentment might vary, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for dealing with these emotions.

Personal actualization approaches have been demonstrated to be useful in the treatment of resentment. Self-actualized people are more likely to view reality honestly, to feel empathy and compassion for others, and to accept themselves and others readily. As a result, these people may be less prone to carry grudges against others or harbor resentment.