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What Is Resentment and How You Can Create A Resentment-Free Life

What Is Resentment

Part II of this post will focus on a resentment-free life.

Part one of this post outlined the effects of living with a chain of resentment. This post urges readers to break the chain.

To begin, say out loud:

  1. My emotional well-being is important to me.
  2. My emotional well-being is more important than everything I resent.
  3. My emotional well-being is more important than other people’s bad behavior.

Chances are, your conviction level went down on the third statement because that sounds like letting someone off the hook. And therein lies the self-defeating nature of resentment; it devalues our own emotional well-being and makes us a living monument to someone else’s unfairness. So this time, say aloud:

My emotional well-being is important to me, period!

Don’t worry if this appears selfish. Your emotional well-being is intertwined with that of the people you love, so if you focus on your long-term well-being, you will enhance theirs automatically.

Related: 15 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Wayne Dyer

The only real choice in regard to well-being is increasing the value of experience or decreasing it, that is, valuing or devaluing. In close relationships, the only real choice is between compassion and kindness or resentment and contempt. We raise the value of experience by improving, appreciating, connecting, and protecting. We lower it by blaming and denying.

Ultimately, the choice between valuing and devaluing is a choice between empowerment and powerlessness.

Empowerment: Making your experience better in the real world.

Powerlessness: Making yourself miserable because the real world isn’t the way it “should” be.

Powerlessness: Focus on what you cannot do.

Empowerment: Focus on what you can do.


“Improve” doesn’t mean “fix.” It means making things a little better. Improvement is incremental. Once you make things 5 percent better, it’s easier to make them 10 percent better. Then it’s easier to make things 20 percent better, and so on. The motivation to improve is more empowering than the results, even when the results feel better.

Write down one thing you can do to improve (not necessarily “fix”) your experience of something you resent.


In close relationships, appreciation reduces resentment; failure to appreciate increases it.

Write down one quality or behavior of someone you resent that you can appreciate more.

Stop living a resentful life, and focus on positivity
Stop living a resentful life, and focus on positivity

Valuing the Tasks You Need to Do

Chances are, you did it automatically when you started a new job: You created value in the things you needed to do and found a way to be interested and focused, even if those tasks were not inherently interesting. You only forgot how to do it when resentment took over.

Be clear on why performing necessary tasks honor your deeper value. For example, sweeping the floor for your family’s well-being makes more sense than doing it for your boss’ personal power trip. The boss’s power trip is the boss’ affliction. Your family’s well-being is your deeper value.

Identify a deeper value that will give you greater energy and focus to do a task that you need to do. (Example: basic humanity, family, growth/development, appreciation, religion, compassion, kindness, and so on.)

Most of the things we resent are not very important in the wider context of our lives. Identify something you resent, and then list three things that are more important to you that you would prefer to think about.

Write down what you can do to increase self-value by 5%. (Examples: experience your basic humanity through compassion, kindness, love, affection, and your desire to heal, correct, improve, create, repair, renew, grow, build.)

Related: 10 Pieces Of Timeless Spiritual Wisdom To Help You Get Through Hard Times

Valuing other people is so important to your emotional well-being that you don’t want to leave it up to them. Value others for your benefit, regardless of whether they deserve it. Whether they behave well or not, recognize the capacity of nearly everyone to:

  • Form emotional bonds.
  • Feel compassion.
  • Rescue a child in danger.
  • Heal, correct, improve, create, repair, renew, grow, and build..

Despite the cliché, we cannot “let go” of resentment. (It just keeps coming back.) Rather, we need to crowd it out by creating more value. When core value is high, resentment as an ego defense is unnecessary.

Visit Dr. Steven Stosny’s website Compassion Power for many more interesting articles.

Written By Steven Stosny
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today (Article Link 1 and Article Link 2)

Feeling demotivated, and negative at times is okay because at the end of the day you are human; it’s not possible to be perfect and feel positive all the time. But, if you continue to live a resentful life, and refuse to let any kind of optimism in, you will be the one who will end up feeling worse. Resentment is only a part of life, don’t make it your life.

If you want to know more about how you can stop living a resentful life, check this video out below:

Getting rid of a resentful life
Shift From Resentful Life To Resentment Free Pin
What Is Resentment and How You Can Create A Resentment-Free Life
What Is Resentment pin
What Is Resentment and How You Can Create A Resentment-Free Life
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Steven Stosny

 Steven Stosny, Ph.D., is the founder of CompassionPower. His current book is Empowered Love, and his previous books include Soar Above: How to Use the Most Profound Part of Your Brain Under Any Kind of Stress, Living and Loving after Betrayal, How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It: Finding Love Beyond Words, Love without Hurt, The Powerful Self, and Treating Attachment Abuse. Dr. Stosny has treated over 6,000 clients for various forms of anger, abuse, and violence, and is also an advisor of the Prince Georges County Circuit and District courts on domestic violence. He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” many CNN shows, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, WSJ, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, O, Psychology Today, USA Today. He has taught at the University of Maryland and at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. His blog on has over 18 million views.View Author posts