The Meaning Of Resentment

The meaning of resentment has very negative connotations but even for the best of us it can sometimes arise.

It can be triggered usually from a sense of injustice or regret based on a recent event or it can linger in the background from something that may have happened a long time ago

Resentment can arise from some unspoken hurt or pain from a false accusation or from some incident that is lodged in the mind.

The feeling may be narrowly based – against a particular person – or more broadly based - against a particular group of people.

The particular person could be someone you see most days and it can even seem like a good relationship exists with that person.

It could be your boss – he or she may, for example, be younger than you and you also feel the next promotion will not come your way.

It could be against a vague “them” – you didn’t get a good start, you were never understood, you didn’t get the breaks – “they” are to blame.

Resentment is a very destructive force that clouds good judgment, restricts freedom of thought, encourages prejudice undermines empowerment and can make your world a darker place.

It can usually be felt very strongly and the feeling is one of defense - against that person, that vague group, who has offended you and  then in comes the need to protect yourself. It is you versus the world now.

Dealing with Resentment
"You Verses The World"

In a particular “once off” incident – perhaps you had an angry put down from somebody – the instinct is usually to react immediately to the offence, give as good as you got and hurt them back.

But they are now offended and will protect themselves – the destructive negative energy grows and grows.

The angry put down could have been from someone in authority and you feel in that circumstance you can’t react but the seed will have been sown and it can grow and wait for a chance to hurt back.

A more subtle form of resentment could be against a group – politicians, bureaucrats, authority figures, successful people - this can smolder in the background and can come out in the form of complaining.  

Living with all of this is a restriction on the joy of life.

The complaining is not usually based on facts but on the feeling of being offended and the need to attack.

It directs your precious energies to a dark and moody place where you can sometimes feel alone with the world against you. 

Resentment is an instinctive reaction to protect who you think you are - the sensitive offended you.

How can resentment be seen for what it is?

Dealing With Resentment
Observe It

The sensitive offended you may be who you think you are; but there is something in all of us that knows there is more to us than that.

That gut feeling, that fleeting flash of insight, that joyful moment when you just know there is more to you than the role you give yourself in life.

This is the key to it – who are you protecting?

Why must you always attack or complain to defend yourself?

If you ask yourself this question and observe the resentment you can lessen its hold on you.  

Think of the power that non reaction gives.  

It means that you know you don’t have a need to automatically protect the “me” the ego has created in your mind.

If you don’t automatically react to the feelings you will have time and space to let it go or act in a positive way.

Letting it go - quickly

When the feeling arises quickly to something hurtful that has just been directed at you it can be extremely difficult to be calm; but it is possible.

To get an idea of the power of non reaction switch things around – look at it topsy turvy style.

Imagine that you “loose it” and hurdle abuse at someone. You are lost in the conviction that you are right and you want to hurt the other person to even things up.

But they don’t react.  

They surrender to the situation, stay calm, look at you in a quiet peaceful way, acknowledge the facts of the situation in a composed manner, genuinely offer an apology if they are wrong or a positive solution if it’s not clear who’s to blame.

How would you feel - chances are that this response would calm you down.   

Now imagine that you are this calm composed person; that you have the power to see the facts of the situation and the other person’s pain.  

Then imagine having the strength to calm the situation – how would this make you feel?

Letting It Go - Slowly

When the feeling of resentment is more subtle and broods slowly inside you against some group or collection of people - politicians, bureaucrats, authority figures, successful people  whom you have labeled as “them”, again turn the problem around.

Turning The Problem Around

  • Imagine one of “them” who for instance has a family and children they love – this may be difficult because you may feel that someone with their perceived beliefs could not possibly have real feelings as you know them  - they are not real people
  • Imagine now that  you are capable of a really balanced response if you were asked  about “them”.
  • Imagine you are capable of a calm and peaceful recognition of difference that makes clear you are centered and not fearful that “who you are” will be damaged by this response.
  • Imagine you have the strength to be comfortable with difference – how would this make you feel?

Letting Go Of Resentment

When you realize that you can control and even drop resentment you have become aware of your feelings.

Despite lingering feelings of resentment this awareness is the platform on which you will build to become a centered calm person.  

A useful way to approach "letting it go" is to try this –

In your life you spend a lot of time with other people but are usually also alone for some time each day.

Take this alone time to develop the ability to relax and meditate.

Don’t feel you must try hard at this and take hours each day to perfect the techniques.

Take fifteen minutes – five to relax and ten to meditate.

The secret is to keep it up - if you miss a day – no problem - start next day - if you miss a week- no problem - start next day, if you miss a month, no problem – start next day!

Your mind (Ego) will stop you and convince you that you are wasting your time again and again on this self development   - start next day!

Eventually the “start next days” will join up and the time comes when you will begin to see subtle changes in how you feel about your life.

You will begin to see that by building a meditation practice you will begin to know that you really can drop resentment and see how small and clever the ego really is. 

You will begin to watch for opportunities not to react.

Everyday life itself is an ongoing boot camp for practice because opportunities to build and strengthen resentment present themselves almost every day.

But you will be ready for this; you will be building the resources to deal with resentment and to become that calm, centered person.

Find the meaning of resentment in your life and let it go - no resentment no chains!

> > Meaning Of Resentment

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