How to deal effectively with resentment?

Each of us, at least once in our life, wondered how to get rid of resentment and never experience it again? Resentment is a very obsessive emotion that sometimes overshadows the mind and makes you commit rash acts.

Even when an offended person realizes that emotions have taken over the mind, he does not always manage to pull himself together. Let’s figure out where this destructive feeling comes from and what methods are there to overcome it?

What is resentment?

On, there have been questions in the comments about offense for a long time. To answer this question, it is worth mentioning that our brain consists of 3 parts:

  • Reptilian (ancient brain) – is responsible for instincts and the unconscious, controls all internal life support systems. “Turns on” in stressful and dangerous situations, contributing to survival.
  • Limbic (midbrain) – recognizes feelings, identifies emotions in other people. Responsible for attachments and desires in the present. This is a kind of “inner child” of a person who reacts when the desired (or expected) does not coincide with reality.
  • The neocortex (new brain) – it is this area that is responsible for thought processes, structuring and speech recognition, logic, analysis, explanation.
How to deal effectively with resentment?
How to deal effectively with resentment?

So, we learned that the limbic system of the brain is also responsible for emotions and feelings of resentment. And since this emotion arises against the background of a discrepancy between the desired and the actual, we can deduce three key concepts on which it is built :

  1. Perception of oneself as a separately formed personality.
  2. Understanding how people around them should behave normally.
  3. Awareness of the negative consequences of violation of behavioral norms by others.

Resentment is a negative emotion, a signal that “something is wrong”, “the relationship is under threat”, “something needs to be changed.”

Resentment undermines mental and physical health. The feeling of resentment is familiar to everyone – it gnaws from the inside, changes the picture of the world and does not allow us to perceive reality soundly.

If you are offended, you need to understand the situation and react correctly.

Do not forget that the limbic brain is responsible for the offense, it is also the “inner child” who, like a child, is often inclined to exaggerate and see danger where there is none. It turns all the body’s resources into an emergency response mode, speeding up the pulse and forcing you to breathe more often, thereby exhausting and exhausting the nervous system.

First of all, you should understand that it is normal to be offended. It is important to find the source of the resentment in a timely manner and eliminate it.

Resentment in psychology

Resentment is a negatively colored reaction to what is happening or has already happened, closely intertwined with a sense of justice.

Researchers do not classify resentment as an innate emotion, unlike anger, which is inherent even in infants. The age of the first grievances falls on the period from 2 to 5 years when the child learns to imitate.

Resentment arises from the following thought processes:

  1. Building expectations / forming desires / assumptions.
  2. Seeing an unsatisfactory present.
  3. Comparison with the expected.
  4. Reaction: conscious with taking responsibility for oneself or unconscious with shifting responsibility onto others.

How to forgive an offense in 5 steps?

Having an understanding of the nature of resentment, you can start working on your own emotions. If you understand that you need help, but do not find the moral strength to go to a specialist, try to fix the situation yourself. In order to gradually get rid of the resentment, you will need an hour of free time, writing materials, and a few sheets of paper. Despite the seeming frivolity of this action, take it with full responsibility. Provide yourself with a quiet and private place where you can be alone with your thoughts and give yourself completely to the process.

How to deal effectively with resentment?
How to deal effectively with resentment?

Step One: Reveal Your Grievances

This exercise will help you find the root of your resentment, understand its nature and look at the situation soberly.

Write on a piece of paper the name of your abuser and under it, write in detail everything with what and when he offended you. Take your time, try to remain calm and sound analysis. It is quite possible that in the process of writing you will recall those annoying situations that did not come up in your memory before.

Unconscious (secondary) resentment is an emotion that is fixed on a subconscious level at the moment when reality diverges from ideas, but because of stronger emotions (falling in love, admiration), the mind does not focus on it.

Most often, secondary grievances surface after the breakup of an unsuccessful romantic relationship with a man/woman. Falling in love makes a person idealize the image of a partner and attribute non-existent qualities to him.

The more conflicts a couple of experiences, the more the pattern breaks. As a result, there are mutual insults and accusations that the promises were broken, and in general, the chosen one has changed a lot since the first meeting. In most cases, it is not the person that changes, but the attitude towards him and the understanding of why you were uncomfortable and anxious around him all this time.

How to deal effectively with resentment?
How to deal effectively with resentment?

Stage two: give up “profitable” grievances

Demonstration offense is not cute pouting lips and hands folded into a lock on the chest. This is a problem that goes back to childhood.

What if the abuser is a parent?

Most often, those people who lacked unconditional parental love in childhood are trying to extract a conditional “benefit” from an offense. Growing up, they admit that they tried to get the attention of their mother in different ways, but only one worked – illness or injury.

A compassionate and caring guardian is fixed in the subconscious mind as a true form of love, which can only be experienced through moral or physical pain. This destructive attitude leads to the fact that the person develops victim syndrome. He encourages him to look for conflicts and reasons for grievances where they do not exist, in order to get the desired response.

If you have realized your inclination to sacrificial behavior, then analyze and answer the question, what do you get offended by? What’s your benefit? Let’s say you like to feel that a person neglects his plans for your sake in order to come and calm down, debunk your doubts. You like a sense of exclusivity, a sense of care and attention. Your goal is to get attention.

Remember and write down each case when you were offended in order to get an imaginary benefit for yourself, and most importantly – indicate the purpose for which you did it. Think about what you can replace resentment in order to reach your goal?

Your post should look like a schematic of three points, for example:

  1. Why am I offended? – I am offended to spend time with me because I am bored and lonely.
  2. What do I get from this? – Feeling of need, importance, feeling of love.
  3. How can I replace resentment? – Make contact on your own, expand your social circle, find new hobbies.

Stage three. Learn to pause to make the right choices

Often, the necessary words in order to bitingly answer the offensive phrases of the opponent are found only when the conflict has long been settled. Caustic annoyance makes you replay the situation in your head over and over again, with different scenarios, in each of which you turn out to be a winner. The feeling of unfinished action leaves you in a “suspended” state and does not allow you to forget the insult, wanting revenge.

You need to understand and fully accept that in that situation you made an independent decision to be offended. The responsibility for how you feel right now lies with you. Between the stimulus (insults) and the response (resentment), you have time to decide what to do. Learn to take short mental pauses in conflict situations. Put your mind above your emotions while maintaining composure – making the right choice will be much easier.

Feeling unfinished due to a conflict that doesn’t end in your favor can lead to obsessive thoughts and insomnia.

To get rid of the burden of the past, remember and describe all such cases. Do not be shy! Imagine how the story would end if you had the composure to react correctly. In the end, write: “I cannot change my decision, so I forgive my grievances and let go of this situation.”

Stage four. Forgive and let go

Only close people can strongly hurt feelings and offend the depths of their souls. Those with whom you shared your innermost and experienced bright and joyful moments of life before the conflict occurred. This exercise will help you return neutrality to the abuser and forgive his or her wrongdoing.

Sit in silence and focus on those fond memories that connect you to this person. You can look at joint photos, or hold his gifts in your hands so that the image of a good friend that was so close to you appears in your head. Imagine that he is sitting opposite you and start writing a letter, reading each sentence out loud: (Name) I forgive you for …

It can move you to tears, make you sad, and make you relive the hurt you once did. This is totally normal. Unleash your feelings and feel these emotions for the last time. If you are morally unpleasant to look at this letter, then burn it by letting the ashes go in the wind.

Step five. Give yourself what you deserve

What if the obsessive thoughts of resentment persist despite your best efforts? As soon as you cross with the offender on the street, find yourself in the circle of mutual acquaintances, see things that remind you of him – that annoying scene immediately rises before your eyes, and a lump rolls up to your throat. You start to play it in your head and it hurts you again from the injustice and the fact that you have not been asked for forgiveness. The latter needs to be worked on to close the gestalt.

To close the gestalt is to reach the logical end in the awareness of an unfinished life situation. Find peace of mind through the harmonization of the inner and outer world. The psychological term for gestalt therapy.

Sit down, relax, and start thinking about the person who hurt you. Play that traumatic incident from start to finish, but continue the memories with your fantasy. Imagine that a person comes up to you, looks into your eyes, and gently holding your hands says: “Please forgive me for all the hurtful words and actions. I’m sorry I hurt you. You deserve a happy life. “

Every time you feel that you are overwhelmed by a wave of resentment and dark memories, imagine this episode. Over time, you will feel relieved and calmed.

Resentment against mother and father – how to prevent childhood traumas from ruining your life?

Children’s grievances are the most bitter and grave. It is doubly harder when the source of complexes and self-doubt are the actions of mom or dad.

An offended little child from the past, deprived of parental love and mutual understanding, will forever remain a part of you if you do not understand how to work through the offense.

Our tips will help you with this:

  • Try to understand them. Think calmly without judgment. Why did they treat you like that? Perhaps they were too young and inexperienced. Perhaps they did not have enough money to provide you with everything you need because of the difficult situation in the country. Or did they have no time due to their tireless work to provide for the family? Perhaps they themselves had an unhappy childhood and simply did not have life guidelines? Try to assess the situation from the outside, as if you were an outside adult observer.
  • If you can tell, don’t be silent. Talk to your parents frankly. Tell us about what has been eating you since childhood. It is possible that over the years, having become more judicious and calmer, they themselves admit their guilt and ask you for forgiveness. Or, you will discover those sides of the story that you did not know or could not understand because of your age. Give them a chance to explain everything!
  • Allow them not to change their minds. In addition to the words of forgiveness, you can hear new accusations, in the spirit of “we did everything we could for you, and you grew up / la so ungrateful / oh!” Well, let them think so. Most of the older people are very conservative, and it is almost impossible to change their opinions. Accept that they will not change and forgive, even if they did not apologize to you.
  • Learn to speak the same language with them. It so happens that a criticizing and hysterical mother, from whose lips unflattering comments and insults fly off about your appearance, work, and lifestyle, actually loves for and wishes for the best. She is trying to bring your life into a frame that she understands. Do not be offended by this. Listen to her point of view and try to convey yours without breaking personal boundaries.
  • Allow yourself to be hurt. Childhood grievances cause a cognitive resonance – they are very painful and at the same time perceived as something that should not matter. Allow yourself to be offended and feel sorry for yourself as a minor. Imagine a dialogue with yourself from the past. Ask this kid to be strong and resilient despite all the upcoming adversity and tell him about what dreams you managed to realize and how many interesting events he has to go through.
  • Don’t let your childish resentment take over. Remember your right to choose – you can learn from the past and try to live on, or you can endure a huge burden from psychological clamps, complexes, and insecurity. Realize yourself today and understand that you are a very strong and mature person since you were able to overcome all this. Now he is an adult who controls his own life.
How to deal effectively with resentment? Childhood Injuries Hinder Living in the Future
How to deal effectively with resentment? Childhood Injuries Hinder Living in the Future

Psychosomatics of resentment – when not only the soul hurts

Are you wondering why should I ever forgive someone who hurt me? Isn’t that what he wanted? To offend a person and not be punished for it? I’ll follow his lead! Quite the opposite – if you allow destructive feelings to take over you, you will be defeated both mentally and physically.

The offended person is a vulnerable person who condemns himself to very real psychosomatic diseases.

Psychosomatics is a direction in psychology that studies the influence of psychological factors on the appearance of bodily (somatic) diseases. A psychosomatic illness is an illness resulting from mental conditions.

Sinelnikov’s table will help to understand how resentment affects physical ailments:

  • Headache. Unspoken grievances, constant concealment of true emotions, communication with people who exert moral pressure causes nervous tension and, as a result, headache.
  • Chronic rhinitis. An ailment of people who are forced to constantly push themselves over and hold back tears of resentment.
  • Violent cough, as an unconscious bodily attempt to draw attention to oneself. Reaction to an unspoken opinion, the opposite of others.
  • Angina. A sore throat, as after a loud scream, is the body’s reaction to a person’s inability to express their needs due to stiffness or tightness.
  • Nausea and vomiting. Rejection of the existing picture of the world, frightening or depressing circumstances.
  • Scabies/rash. It often occurs in people who lose control over too strong negative emotions of resentment, rage, and anger.
  • Kidney disease indicates a person who sees their own guilt in everything. Perhaps he was constantly criticized, and he is used to seeing himself as the source of all troubles and problems.
  • Cystitis is a disease of women who do not express their dissatisfaction with their sexual partners.
  • Diseases of the gallbladder are frequent companions of people who cannot forgive. By cultivating anger and thinking through plans for revenge, you can provoke stagnation of bile in the body.
  • Inflammatory diseases of the genital organs are a sure sign that a person is not sure of his own attractiveness in the eyes of a sexual partner.
  • Constipation – occurs due to psychological constraints and uncertainty in their own future. A person suffering from regular constipation holds on to what he no longer needs, fearing not to get used to the unknown future. This ailment is common to conservatives.
  • Diarrhea. A strong feeling of fear and self-doubt in front of an imminently approaching important event makes the intestines get rid of the contents at an accelerated pace. It is a natural defense reflex. Since ancient times, a person felt safe in two cases – when he relieved himself and when he ate.
  • Hemorrhoids and anal fissures often cause a lot of inconvenience to people who have not been able to resolve the conflict between “fathers and children”. They are shackled by children’s unforgiven grievances and misunderstandings on the part of their parents.
  • A cold sore on the lips is an unfulfilled desire to offend and verbally humiliate an opponent.

This is not a complete list of diseases of psychosomatic origin – there are innumerable numbers of them. Understand that forgiveness is not a sign of weakness and spinelessness. This is getting rid of destructive relationships, moral burdens, and many physical problems.

What to do when you are very touchy and vulnerable? TOP 5 ways to deal with resentment

Awareness of the problem is the first step towards healing. This is a sure sign of your willingness to work on yourself. If you understand that you quarrel with people even in those situations when they were not going to offend you, then the time has come to change.

The following tips can help you deal with difficult feelings like resentment.

  1. Keep a diary to record your emotions. Write down how your mood changes throughout the day and note what affects the changes. When someone or something offends you, record this fact on the same day, describing in detail why you were annoyed. Over time, you will be able to identify the main sources of irritation and separate the far-fetched grievances from the real ones.
  2. Realize that it affects your health. Scientists from Stanford University in the USA conducted a social study and found that people who healed long-term injuries and resentments (on their own or with the help of a psychotherapist) also got rid of migraines, back pain, and insomnia.
  3. Plan your day ahead. If you are constantly busy with your favorite work, hobbies, and communication with pleasant people, then there is simply no time left for resentment. Remove from your schedule all “windows” during which you can remember old grievances and become sad. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to rest. If you want to watch an interesting TV series over a cup of coffee in the evening, put it in your schedule.
  4. In a healthy body healthy mind. Get involved in physical activity! It is proven that sports are excellent at relieving stress and releasing accumulated negative energy. This could be yoga, fitness, or a morning run. Try it and you will see – being in a cheerful frame of mind and you will not experience such strong emotional stress.
  5. Reconsider your social circle. List on one sheet of all those people with whom it is pleasant and comfortable for you to communicate, who listens to you and supports you. On the other, those who cause irritation, embarrassment, and constantly try to hurt you. Reduce communication with people from the second list to an acceptable minimum. If you think that this leaves you with too few social contacts, then think about where you can find friends with the same interests.

How to let go of the painful past and start living in the present?

Getting rid of chronic psychological trauma is often very difficult. They hang like a load on the soul, make you replay a traumatic experience in your head from time to time.

How to deal effectively with resentment?
How to deal effectively with resentment?

Letting go of the past and starting to move on will help you in the first 5 small steps:

  1. Realize yourself here and now. Don’t make plans for the past. Don’t try to rewrite old history – it’s impossible. Take stock of what happened to you and start a new page in your life.
  2. Understand that everyone has the right to be wrong. If you understand that you have greatly offended someone and this feeling of guilt has been eating away at you for a long time from the inside – ask for forgiveness and admit your guilt, even if a lot of time has passed since the moment of the offense. Find a way to connect with the person and talk. If all contacts are lost, then switch to caring for others – give your warmth and love to someone who needs it. If you have offended you, then understand that today’s suffering will not change the situation in the past.
  3. Stop regretting. You can blame yourself indefinitely for wasting time with the wrong person, working in the wrong place, or hanging out with the wrong company. Resentment towards yourself for the mistakes of youth is an extremely destructive feeling that does not allow you to look at the situation in a healthy way. Accept what happened as an experience that will help you protect yourself from future misconduct.
  4. Let your feelings out. If the pain of resentment is still fresh and strong – do not let negative emotions burn you from the inside – let them come out. Shout, cry, beat your pillow, or go for a run. Choose any method that will give you a sense of relief and cleansing.
  5. Learn to enjoy yourself. Instead of regretting a difficult past, make sure that your present is comfortable, and the future evokes a sense of anxious expectation, not anxiety. If you wanted to try something for a long time but did not dare in any way – now is the time. Change your hairstyle, find your style of dress, sign up for a language course or devote yourself to extreme sports. Changing the environment in the house, replacing boring furniture, and decluttering the closet help a lot. When the present is full of bright events and new impressions, there is no time for the anxieties of the past.


The ability to forgive, even when a person has been very guilty in front of you and it is easy to let go – this is the real strength of the spirit! It is not easy to develop it, but living with a load of resentment is quite painful. To stop being offended and anxious means to free your life from unnecessary worries, stresses, and diseases.

If you feel that you need help and support in your situation, I will be happy to help you with my programs and courses, as well as individual consultations. Your state, thoughts, and sensations will radically change and transform. Anxiety and old agendas will be replaced by feelings of deep trust, love, and happiness.

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