Resentment: “Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly”
Oh the complexity of human emotions. Feeling the full rage of instinctive and intuitive feelings that we’re born with – but told not to feel – is in fact the very reason that we are here…to feel. Emotions that can be anything from sheer blissful joy, to deep bitter grief that transcends through all of that we do, is part of our purpose. We can run from the “bad ones”; we can deny them, we can “buck up” and refuse to feel them, but only for so long. On the other side of things, we can get stuck in emotions.
There was a point in my life where seemingly no matter how much good stuff I had going on, there was just as much conflict and negative to go along with it. I was constantly looking over my shoulder because whenever something really great would happen, I would brace myself for something really bad to occur soon after. After a lot of deep contemplation, I was able to trace this pattern back to resentment.
Resentment is what sometimes happens when you only think you’ve gotten over the anger. Sometimes you think you’ve healed because you can think of the event/person without feeling rage, but if you aren’t feeling complete peace as if you hold zero malice, you may still be in the resentment phase. For awhile I thought that holding on to this bitter indignation punished the other party, but really I found that it only deprived me of my best life.
First and foremost;
1. Resentment takes your relationships from you.
Just what is on the other side of that resentment? If you chose to work through the discord with the other party, what kind of relationship are you missing out on? What kind of relationships with other people are you missing out on? Resentment costs relationships across the board. It’s a fact.
2. Resentment takes your health away.
#1 and #2 should actually be a tie, because without health you’ve got nothing. Resentment, which is actually unresolved anger gone wild, can cause headaches, anxiety and depression. It weakens your immune system and as a fun added bonus, it ups your risk of a stroke. These things are only the tip of the iceberg; anger unchecked is scientifically proven to shorten the span of your life. I don’t feel that any further explanation is necessary here. If you want to know more, I urge you to take out your pocket computer and look into it.
3. Resentment keeps you locked in a cycle.
Like a rat on a wheel, a person unwilling to examine resentment and let it go, suffers in an endless cycle of drama and toxicity. What is worse is that they become addicted to the cycle. At some point feeling miserable, depressed, bitter and angry becomes more comfortable than taking the steps necessary to move out of it into happiness.
4. Resentment consumes your productivity.
Often when a person tells me that they have no time to engage in joyful activities, a more in depth conversation reveals that they spend all their time being resentful and feeling resentful, and acting resentful, and engaging in resent filled activities. Being stuck in the cycle of resentment means that even if you get going on the business of living a beautiful life – while leaving resentment unexamined – you will be vulnerable to “triggers”. Then you have to take time out to feel badly, then better, and then the cycle begins again.
5. You look horrible to the outside world.
I don’t mean to smack you across the face with reality (yes I do), but it’s only fair that I tell you the truth. You can pull yourself together all you want by concentrating only on your outsides. You can fancy yourself up with all of the designer handbags that they make, you can spend all of your money at swanky dinners with a ton of faux friends, but everyone still knows that you’re an angry bitter ball of bitterness. It comes out in your facial expressions. It comes out in the tone of distain in your voice and definitely in your snarky comments. You’re fooling no one. Even if they can’t quite put their finger on it, all they know is that you do not come off are not a genuinely happy and authentic person. The more you cover yourself up, the more inauthentic you look.
6. It costs you YOU.
If you can see from #1 all the way to #5 none of these things are happening to the other person, they are happening to you. The entire time that you hate someone, or are upset about an event that you felt was unfair to the point that it disrupts your life, you’re not living.
I don’t like to see people squandering their time with resentment. It is a real shame to me to see someone so unhappy or upset and carry it around with them for the rest of their lives no matter how hard they try to pretend that they are happy. There is a better way…get out from under that energy in any healthy way that you can. In this day in age with so many resources at the ready, there is no reason that all of us are not living vibrant carefree lives. Seek to do better, and you will become better. It’s that simple.