Day 1978: Resentment

I hope there’s no resentment about today’s topic, which is discussed by Robert Enright, Ph.D. in a Psychology Today online article “Why Resentment Lasts — and How to Defeat it.”

I hope there’s no resentment about my choosing these particular quotes over others from that article:

To psychologists, resentment over a long period of time can be an unhealthy response to injustice.

This kind of resentment can lead to unhappiness, continual irritability, and psychological compromise including excessive anxiety and depression.

I know of one person who, upon having his morning cup of coffee, would replay the injustice and feel the inner strength as a way of getting ready for the day. He did this until he realized that over the long-term, such a routine was leaving him drained before he even left for work

How do I turn off the resentment?  What path do I take to have some inner quiet?  Taking up jogging might do it……but once you have recovered your energy from the run, the anger returns.  How about relaxation training?  Same issue: once the muscle relaxation is over, there is the resentment with its perverse smile looking back at you.  “I just don’t know how to rid myself of the resentment!” is a cry I hear too often.

Try to see the inner world of the one causing the disturbance.

Commit to doing no harm to the one who is harming you.

Stand in the pain so that you do not pass that pain to innocent others.

To forgive is a way of offering goodness to the one who gave you the unwanted present of resentment.

Which is the better identity: a life lived with an unwanted inner guest or a life free to be a conduit of good toward others and yourself?

Is there any resentment about these photos?

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What is your personal experience of resentment?  What makes resentment more difficult for you? What helps you deal with resentment?

There will be no resentment about any comments you send my way.

Here‘s “Resentment” by Beyonce.

Another great antidote for resentment is gratitude.  Thanks to all who helped me create this “resentment” post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Day 1978: Resentment

  1. No resentment towards this post- if anything I learned something. I’m pretty adept at holding onto resentment but have gotten better at letting it go as I get older.. talking myself down off that resentment cliff 🙂 Thanks Ann

  2. About 30 years ago, a couple of young men jumped me and tried to mug me. I persuaded them to run away, but was unable to catch them as they disappeared into a Council estate. Normally I took different routes to the Underground station. For a whole month thereafter, I followed that same route, in the hope that I might spot them again and catch at least one. Eventually I decided this was pointless, and let it all go.

  3. It’s interesting to me that Dr. Enright suggests exercise then says it might not be effective. Combined with the right mindset, though, it could be just the thing. A friend of mine does a daily workout that she says is her way of “cleansing my brain”. That perspective gives her the strength to go on, and, as the tea bag tells us, our strength is our own knowledge.

  4. A clear mind works best, yes, Ann.

  5. I love John Welwood’s approach. He talks about wounding of the heart. Being kind to ourselves and loving ourselves opens the door to forgiving the other person. We realize that we are all imperfect human beings. 💕

  6. I totally get this.

  7. I had resentment for many years and I have learned to let it go because being mad at someone or something is not hurting them or it. It’s just hurting yourself.

  8. I love what you excerpted here, by Robert Enright. I will check to see if he has a book.
    Here is a song about a long-held resentment and its cure:

  9. I don’t know where I know Enright’s work from. Perhaps I should resent that I can’t remember, but that would take some energy. My resentments tend to be short-lived, as in “I resent that.” But sometimes something that angers you needs a bit of time to process, and I have found that it’s best to give it time. That doesn’t mean nursing it, though! I like Derrick’s story of going back to look for his attackers until he came to his senses and realized it was futile.

  10. I don’t seem to hold onto resentment, and I’m not sure how I disperse with it, I think I’m very forgiving, and the pent up thoughts fade quickly, And I’ll shake your hand again tomorrow.

  11. Hi Ann, great topic. Great seeing you yesterday.

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