WOW Word-Of-the-Week #398: Resentment

March 22, 2012 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #398: Resentment 

Resentment – anger, bitterness, or ill will.

Have you had an emotionally disturbing experience that you seem to keep reliving in your mind? Do you have a habit of accepting negative treatment without voicing any protest? Do you feel that your achievements go unrecognized, while others succeed without working as hard?

Once again I received one of S T E V E ‘ S….3 – M I N U T E…. C O A C H I N G emails and thought it was very profound. He writes, “What an experience resentment is. A roller coaster ride of emotions. A depletion of energy. An internal journey to….where?

We’re all familiar with anger. It’s loud, clear, and easily felt. Getting on top of, and handling, anger is a well-known life improver. Resentment is subtler than anger and its presence is frequently overlooked.

The essence of resentment is that it is totally an ‘inside job.’ No matter what happens on the outside — what ‘they’ do — when you are experiencing resentment it is by your own hand.  This may seem a harsh assessment to you, but think about it for a moment.

Feeling resentment means you are sitting in judgment, tapping into your deepest internal programming about what you think is right and wrong, and are choosing (sure, it’s unconscious, but it’s a choice nonetheless) to experience a physical and emotional reaction. The cost of the feeling of resentment is thus totally borne by you. The outer world changes not at all.

The good news is that when you become conscious of experiencing resentment you become at choice as to whether you want to continue to pay the price. Simple awareness can lead to you letting go of resentment. It serves no useful purpose to keep it.

Coaching Point: Do you resent hearing this?

Copyright 2012 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.

Interestingly I found this on Wikipedia, “Robert C. Solomon, a professor of continental philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, places resentment on the same line-continuum with contempt and anger. According to him, the differences between the three emotions are as follows: resentment is directed towards higher-status individuals, anger is directed towards equal-status individuals and contempt is directed towards lower-status individuals.”

This week’s focus is on resentment. Do you ever feel used or taken advantage of by others? Are you harboring any ill will for someone? Did you know that resentment does not have any direct negative effects on the person resented? If it serves no useful purpose to keep it, wouldn’t it be easy for you to let go of your resentment?

Reader Responses

“Forgive to be free. Forget you have forgiven to be freer.” – Bob