The Psychology Of Resentful People: What Are They Hiding?

The psychology of resentful people: what are they hiding?

Resentful people almost always cling to things that hurt them. These events are like burning coals that they just can’t let go.

They do this so that they can later throw these so-called coals back at the “perpetrators” whenever they want. The irony of this is that in the end they only have themselves with this. There is nothing positive about clinging to this smoldering hatred and anger for a long time.

Most people know some resentful people. However, there is one thing we should always keep in mind: more often than not, we think that those who experience such deep, self-destructive feelings are people who have never learned to forgive others. However, this is a very complicated subject that has several sides.

It doesn’t really matter what people have to say about this feeling. The truth is, it’s a pretty universal and recurring thing, and no one is inherently immune to the experience of it. Someone who has experienced hurtful events, such as a loss or betrayal, is more likely to hold a grudge.

Where is it from?

Many resentful people have been victims of complicated and hurtful situations. They saw no way out of this. They could only bottle everything up and turn it into anger.

If we can see the reason behind this feeling, we may also be able to understand it. Nevertheless, from a psychological standpoint, it is not a healthy feeling to cherish for too long.

The first reason for this is that it is characterized by a very harmful property: it is chronic. This is a painful condition that often drags on for a long time, to the point where it can thwart other parts of one’s daily life. It sometimes happens that someone’s mood changes because of this.

Nor is it uncommon that these resentful people can no longer trust others, their attitudes change and they thus begin to mistreat others. Resentment is in a way like rust:  it spreads and can eventually destabilize an entire structure (one’s identity).

Flower in dry sand

Traits and psychological profile of resentful people

Resentful people have a kind of vault inside themselves. In that vault they hide the pain they felt after such a betrayal, the pain that a lie has caused and the sadness that abandonment causes.

This vault is kept  because they don’t want to miss a single detail of these experiences. They turn this pain into anger. This anger then causes hatred.

At the same time, this dangerous formula often contains another component: revenge. Even though this sounds aggressive in the physical sense of the word, it is usually not expressed in a direct or violent way. They just want the other to have a taste of their own medicine and feel bad about what they did.

Following are some of the most common traits of resentful people.

Inability to Forgive

We all know that  forgiveness is not easy. However, we must keep in mind that it is important if we want to close a certain chapter and move on with our lives.

However, resentful people do not want to forgive anyone. Instead, they feed their pain by replaying the hurtful event over and over in their heads.

This intensifies their despair and other suffering. The University of Pisa even conducted a study on this topic. It was published in the journal  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience  (“Forerunners in Human Neuroscience”).

Through this research, it became clear that while feeding resentment deepens the emotional wound, forgiveness regulates a myriad of neuronal structures. It reduces stress and activates areas in the prefrontal cortex related to problem-solving skills.

What do resentful people hide

Dichotomous mindset

This is another term for black and white thinking. “You are for or against me. You help me or you betray me.” This way of thinking often automatically causes splitting. 

The worst part about this is that resentful people don’t even realize they’re thinking that way because it happens naturally. Seeking extremes is their preferred tactic. However, they also quickly create distance between themselves and others.

big pride

Pride is a warhorse that waltzes in and knocks everything over on the way. Resentful people are usually very defensive. Often it doesn’t matter what you say, they will get mad at you anyway. Even the slightest bit of comment can offend them.

So it is often difficult to live with such a person, start a conversation or reach an agreement. You know that a proud person will eventually take all the comments personally.

Inability to address emotional and psychological needs

We all get hurt sometimes. Having negative feelings towards the person who has hurt us is therefore not so special. In fact, the opposite is actually true. We have a right to feel bad about a person after such an event. However, psychologically it is not okay to be permanently angry with this person.

The same goes for an inability to disconnect from the event and the pain it caused. Feeling this way every day only makes you more bitter.

We have to digest the things that are happening around us and move on with our lives. Moving on doesn’t mean you have to forgive everything right away.

Rather, it means discovering psychological strategies that will help you heal your wounds and open yourself up to new opportunities. A person who does not give himself a chance to escape his frustrations will live a life full of resentment and poison.

Man with his head in a thundercloud

How do we prevent resentment from controlling us

An article on behavioral psychology highlighted an interesting study on this topic. This study was conducted in Ontario, Canada.

In it, the researchers discussed the importance of appropriate psychological resources for resentful people. These drugs would teach these people to allow emotional forgiveness into their lives.

The simple reason this is so important is that it allows us to let go of our negative emotions. This gives you the opportunity to create a new psychological reality for yourself.

Of course, it’s also important for resentful people to learn some mental flexibility. Using the tools described in the article, they can learn to see things from a new perspective.

It is also useful that they learn to control their anger through this  Their distorted thoughts often cause an unhealthy pattern of brain activity.

Finally, resentful people will have to learn  to focus on the present rather than the past. Just thinking about the past keeps her from living a free life. In order to realize this, they can therefore turn to new projects and new relationships.

In conclusion, we can say that resentment is a bottomless pit that no one deserves to live in. We should take advantage of the escape routes that life offers us. There are plenty of paths that can lead us to freedom, happiness, tranquility and dignity. 

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