How To Work Through Resentment
By Jessica Bullock | Jan 10, 2023
By Jessica Bullock, LCMHC-QS Photo By Canva
Resentment is an intense emotion that can stagnate your growth, develop bitterness within you and compromise your freedom. According to the Cambridge dictionary, resentment is defined as, “a feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you do not like.” For many individuals, this can be a very tough pill to swallow, especially if the situation, person, or thing is completely out of your control.
Resentment can devastate relationships, emotional wellness, and physical health. In order to address the resentment to improve your quality of life, first you have to identify the symptoms.
You are experiencing resentment if:
You are feeling angry
Act in a passive-aggressive manner towards the subject
Find yourself feeling jealous of others
Use Absolute statements like “never” and “always”
Inability to stop thinking about it
Fear or avoidance of the situation
So how do you work through those feelings? You start by acknowledging them. Ignoring what you feel can lead to an exacerbated state of being. Acknowledging how you are feeling about the situation is the first step to releasing it. You cannot control what you are not aware of. Northpoint Seattle, an addictions center in Washington outlined a few major steps that need to be taken in order to address the resentment in your life, including the following:
Examine how you play a part in the situation. Have you been honest with others about how you are feeling? Did you set expectations that weren’t communicated to other parties?
Forgive yourself and/or the other person. Sometimes people think that forgiveness is a feeling and you are automatically released from all of the emotions. However, it is only a decision. Once your mind decides to let go, it may take some time for your heart to play ‘catch up’… and that’s ok. Choosing to forgive is only a first step.
Speak to the person involved if you can. If there is someone else involved, try to communicate your feelings honestly. Remain calm and direct.
Don’t give life to the situation by venting to others about it. Venting to others will not improve the situation. It may actually worsen. Choose to minimize the drama and go directly to the source.
Try to practice gratitude. This will truly be on a case-by-case basis. However, if you are willing, you can find something to be grateful about so that you will not hold the bitterness for too long.
Hopefully, some of these steps can get you started in the right direction. If you need to speak to a professional in order to assist you with working through your own resentment, feel free to search our directory at www.cliniciansofcolor.org.
About The Author
Jessica Bullock is the owner of Life Options Counseling, a virtual-based counseling program in North Carolina and New Jersey. She is currently working on her doctoral degree to impact change in Higher Education. She and her team are now accepting new clients. Feel free to visit her website at www.lifeoptionscounseling.com or her clinicians of color profile at https://www.cliniciansofcolor.org/clinicians/life-options-counseling-services/.