Resentful People Never Forgive or Forget

October 10, 2018
The problem with resentful people is that they rarely realize that they are that way. But once they do, they can correct this behavior and change their attitude towards life.

Resentment is a negative feeling that can truly damage your mental health. This happens because resentful people are unable to forgive and forget about the injuries other people have caused them.

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Whether it was something someone said or did that hurt them, resentful people never really manage to find happiness because they go through life with a chip on their shoulders. They don’t have the resources to forgive, and that leads to a deep bitterness inside.

Resentment is different than retaliation

Some people might think that resentment and retaliation go hand in hand, but they’re two very different things. Resentment is a feeling of being wounded that makes you want the other person to pay for what they’ve done.

resentful people symbolized by man with fire on his shirt

Retaliation, on the other hand, is when you act in a hostile way towards the other person and do everything possible to make their life a living hell for what they’ve done to you.

Although resentment and retaliation do sometimes go together, resentful people are normally passive and would never act on their desires. This is completely different from people who are truly out for revenge.

Resentful people bottle up their hatred and anger. They may wish the other person ill, but they rarely act on that thought. They devote themselves to criticizing, judging, looking down upon others, and spreading their poisonous attitude.

Characteristics of resentful people

Now that we know a little more about resentment, you’re probably asking yourself how to spot a resentful person, or what traits to look for.

Let’s take a look at a few of them:

thunder cloud chopsticks

Resentful people never forgive or forget

Some people forgive, but they never forget. Resentful people lie to themselves and say they’ve forgiven someone. But inside, they still harbor negative feelings towards the other person.

They don’t learn from the past

They’re always stuck in the past. They never seem to be able to learn from their negative experiences.

They can never be wrong

People who hold onto feelings of resentment think that they’re perfect and never make mistakes. This makes them really rigid with people that don’t act the way they want them to.

They’re easily offended

It can be difficult to deal with a resentful person because anything you say or do could offend them in some way.

They think they’re better than others

The hurt that someone has caused them leads them to take on the role of the victim which prevents them from seeing the error of their thinking. Their perception of reality is often wrong.

Life is a soap opera

The life of a spiteful or resentful person revolves around their insecurities and inability to get over the past. It’s like a soap opera where they’re always the victim.

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Does this sound like someone you know? Do you see any of these traits in yourself? Don’t worry, resentment, like any emotion, can be overcome. But first, you have to be aware of it.

Everybody can change

If you identify with the traits mentioned above, it’s important to check in with the other people in your life. Try to keep an open mind about everything they might tell you.

woman with paper airplanes

Talking with others and sharing viewpoints will help you recognize times you might be wrong. This will help you understand why you harbor this resentment inside and what you can do to get rid of it

This can be difficult. Resentful people often deny that they’re that way. They think they’re forgiving people when they’re actually not.

So, you need to know how to accept honest criticism and realize that you’re not always going to like everything that comes out your loved ones’ mouths.

If you know someone or are the kind of person who tends to harbor resentment, keep in mind that everyone can change.

Don’t give up on them, a resentful person doesn’t have to be that way forever. If they become aware of it, they can learn to stop.

  • Maganto, Carmen ; Garaigordobil, M. (2010). Evolucion del Perdon:diferencias generacionales y diferencias de sexo. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología.
  • Ramírez Patiño, M. (2016). Sobre el resentimiento y el perdón: una réplica a Ricardo Gibu. Open Insight.
  • Kancyper, L. (2000). La memoria del rencor y la memoria del dolor. Revista Asociación Escuela Argentina de Psicoterapia Para Graduados.