What is resentment? Discover what it feels like to be resentful and learn how to get over being resentful. Resentment is a poisonous thing. Often, it happens gradually, slowly eating away at your heart until it swallows you emotionally, physiologically, and even spiritually in extremely destructive ways. It’s a formidable foe that’s exceptionally hard to overcome. Resentment, when left to fester within you, can be devastating. As such, it’s essential to know how to let go of such emotion before it ends up becoming a part of your identity. Today, I’ll be discussing one of the strongest emotions a person can feel and how to get through it in a healthy manner.
What Is Resentment?
Oxford Languages defines resentment as “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.” While that definition, in and of itself, isn’t incorrect, resentment isn’t only “bitter indignation.” Similar to human nature, resentment is complex and multilayered. Many of those who feel resentment describe it as a mixture of anger, disgust, disappointment, and even fear. But psychologists consider resentment a tertiary emotion because it is thought to contain three secondary-level emotions: contempt (anger & disgust), shock (surprise & disgust), and outrage (surprise & anger).
When we feel resentment, we re-experience and relive the events that led up to how we feel. And although it can be provoked by recent, specific events, like being rejected in a job interview, for example, it commonly originates from insult and/or injury that occurred a long time ago. The term itself originated from the French word ressentir, which means to feel. Today, resentment is synonymous with spite and holding a grudge.
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