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Bitterness and Resentment
Edited by Don Jibaro

Bitterness is the response of anger or hatred toward the perception of unfairness of wrong done to or FROM people; triggered by anger, spite, and contempt directed toward a perceived higher-status; or a perceived equal-status that differs from one's opinion. Contempt plays the part of anger directed toward a perceived lower-status individual who's OK but not as good as one's status.

People who tend to be bitter do so without realizing the damage that it does to self. Imagine having your brain tied in a knot or kicking your foot against a big thorn or an anvil.

Bitterness is a dangerously emotional disturbing experience that is re-lived over and over in the mind; directing the emotion at himself or herself as remorse that can result from a variety of situations, involving a perceived wrongdoing from an individual, and often are sparked by expressions of injustice or humiliating incidents.

Some of the causes include accepting negative treatment without voicing any protest, an object of regular discrimination or prejudice, envy-jealousy, feeling used or taken adva
ntage of by others, and having achievements go unrecognized, while others succeed without working as hard. Bitterness can also be generated by interactions, such as emotional rejection or denial by another person, deliberate embarrassment or belittling by another person, or ignorance, putting down, or scorn by another person.

What's critical about a bitter situation is that
you can't notice it by facial expressions so we have to look for signs such as emotional regulation, faking happiness while with a person to cover true feelings toward him or speaking in a sarcastic or demeaning way to or about the person. It can also be diagnosed through the appearance of agitation- or dejection-related emotions, such as feeling inexplicably depressed or despondent, becoming angry for no apparent reason, or having nightmares or disturbing daydreams about a person.

Generally, bitterness is strongest when it is felt toward someone whom the individual is close to or intimate with. To have an injury resulting in resentful feelings inflicted by a friend or loved one leaves the individual feeling betrayed as well as resentful, and these feelings can have deep effects.

Such resentment is an emotionally debilitating condition that, when unresolved, can have a variety of negative results on the person experiencing it, including touchiness or edginess when thinking of the person resented, denial of anger or hatred against this person, and provocation or anger arousal when this person is recognized positively.

It can also have more long-term effects, such as the development of a hostile, cynical, sarcastic attitude that may become a barrier against other healthy relationships, lack of personal and emotional growth, difficulty in self-disclosure, trouble trusting others, loss of self-confidence, and overcompensation and even INSANITY

To further compound these negative effects, a bitterness/resentment issue often functions in a downward spiral. Resentful feelings cut off communication between the resentful person and the person he or she feels committed the wrong, and can result in future miscommunications and the development of further resentful feelings.

Because of the consequences they carry, resentful feelings are dangerous to live with and need to be dealt with. Bitterness is an obstacle to the restoration of equal moral relations among persons, and must be handled and expunged via introspection and forgiveness.

There are five steps to facing and resolving bitter and resentful feelings.
(1) Identify the source of the resentful feelings and what it is the person did to evoke these feelings,
(2) Develop a new way of looking at past, present and future life, including how bitterness has affected life and how letting go of bitterness can improve the future,
(3) Write a letter to the source of the bitterness, listing offenses and explaining the circumstances, then forgive and let go of the offenses (but do not send the letter),
(4) Visualize a future without the negative impact of bitterness, and
(5) If resentful feelings still linger, return to Step 1 and begin again.


"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and
slander, along with every form of malice."Ephesians 4:31

“Live in such a way that no one blames the rest of us 
nor finds fault with our work.” —(2 Corinthians 6:3)

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