Resentment

Resentment.  The dictionary definition basically sums up the experience of resentment as  a perceived mistreatment or unfair situation that results in bitter indignation.  I think of it more as a slow burn of ill-will towards another - often without much conscious thought about why I have this feeling.


The capacity to resent people and circumstances does NOT show up on any resiliency skill list.  Mutual Aid societies like AA have been clear about the toxicity of resentment for decades.  According to their literature, someone who has a substance use disorder cannot bear up under the weight of resentment without falling prey to relapse.


Other recovery writings have talked at length about resentment and its ties to expectations.  Expectations, particularly ones we have for others, provide fertile soil for growing resentments.  It’s an over-statement to say that we should have NO expectations for others but it is important to pay attention to times when we have unrealistic expectations of others that cause us and them harm.  


Think about this:  our resentment can be more harmful than the unfairness of the situation we obsess over.  How has your resentment hurt you? Others?


Overall, resentment is not particularly healthy if we do not treat it appropriately and swiftly.  What exactly does that mean?  Tomorrow we will talk about that!  In the meantime, consider your own experience with resentment.


Are you struggling with feeling like you have been treated unfairly?
Can you identify your bitter indignation over this belief?
Does it feel an awful lot like resentment?


Tomorrow we will chat about it