The Psychology of Resentment

Episode 120


The Meaning of Resentment

Resentment is a natural reaction to unfair or difficult events and to the actions of others. It consists of various experiences, most often of pain and anger, and feelings of guilt, shame, or fear can be mixed with them.

If someone declares that he does not know how to be offended, this means one of two things: either it is not true, or the person does not have a close relationship with anyone. People are not offended by strangers; resentment appears in meaningful relationships.


  • The words people use for emotions influence the ways they think about emotions.
  • The word “resentment” has negative connotations that can make legitimate anger seem unreasonable.
  • Calling anger resentment turns potential social failings to individual ones.

Merriam-Webster defines this complex emotion as “a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.”

Etymologically, “resent” has come to English from French and, originally, from Latin, composed of the prefix “re-” plus “sentire” (“to feel”). Some etymological dictionaries interpret the “re-” as an intensifying prefix, but “re-” literally means “again.” People who feel resentment experience an insult again. And again. And again—for years, sometimes for decades. Few English words for emotions carry such negative connotations.

The Anatomy of Resentment

Resentment is a strange, complex emotion. It can sneak up on you and then linger and gnaw — for some constantly, forever, becoming the stuff of the unforgivable, unforgettable grudge. Other times it comes in waves—triggered by stress, perhaps, or someone’s similar misdeed; it flares up, then dies down. It is driven by imbalance: If you do what you want to do because you want to do it, you don’t feel resentful. Resentment comes when this equation falls apart.

Why Resentment is Dangerous

The feeling of resentment is one of the most difficult to understand and painful to experience, and there is no person who would not experience it at least once. Kids and adults, friends and lovers, children and parents are offended … Let’s find out what kind of feeling it is, how it arises and how it affects health, and, most importantly, how to cope with your resentment and what to do if you offended another.

Can resentment cause stress?

  • Like any difficult emotion, research shows that holding onto resentment can cause stress in the body. A 2018 study that appeared in “Health Psychology” found that adults who held onto anger and hostility over the course of a decade experienced greater cognitive decline than those who were more apt to forgive.

What Do Resentful People Hide?

Resentful people are always holding on to the things that hurt them like burning pieces of wood they can’t seem to let go of.

They do this to be able to throw those things back at the people who hurt them anytime they please. The funny thing is that, by doing this, they only end up hurting themselves. There’s nothing positive about holding on to that burning hatred and anger for so long.

Most of us know a resentful person. However, there’s one thing we must always keep in mind. More often than not, we think that those who experience this deep and self-destructive feeling are people who didn’t learn to forgive others. But this is actually a very complex subject that has many different nuances.

It doesn’t really matter what people say about this feeling. The truth is that it’s quite universal and recurrent and that no one is exempt from feeling it. A person who experienced traumatizing events such as abandonment or betrayal is very prone to feeling resentment.

Characteristics and Psychological Profile of Resentful People

Inability to Forgive

We all know that forgiving isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, we must keep in mind that it’s an important thing to do if we want to get closure and move on with our lives. Resentful people don’t want to forgive anyone. All they do is feed their pain by replaying the triggering event over and over.

By doing this, their feelings of despair and anguish intensify. In fact, the University of Pisa carried out a study that was published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience magazine that revealed that, while feeding resentment deepens the emotional wound, forgiving regulates a great number of neuronal structures, reduces stress, and activates areas in the prefrontal cortex related to problem-solving.

Immense pride

Pride is a battle horse that invades and annihilates everything. Resentful people are always on the defensive. They’ll always find a way to get upset at you, no matter what you do. Even the smallest things make them feel bad about themselves. Thus, it’s not easy to coexist, have a conversation, or reach an agreement with a proud person because you know that, at the end of the day, they’ll take everything personally.

Inability to tend to emotional and psychological needs

We all get hurt sometimes. Having negative feelings about the person that hurt us isn’t frowned upon. It’s actually quite the opposite, we kind of have the right to. However, being permanently angry at them and not being able to detach ourselves from the event and the pain is not psychologically normal. Feeling like this on a daily basis will only cause bitterness.

We must digest the things that happen to us and move on. Now, moving on doesn’t necessarily mean forgiving everything. It means making use of psychological strategies to deal with our wounds and open ourselves up to new opportunities. Those who don’t give themselves the chance to escape from their frustrations will live a life full of grudges and spite.

Dichotomous thinking

You’re either with me or against me. Things are either black or white. You either help me or you’re betraying me. This way of thinking automatically causes cognitive distortion. The worst part is that resentful people don’t even realize they think this way since it becomes so natural for them. Going to extremes is their way of handling everything. They tend to push everyone away because of this.

How to keep resentment from controlling us

A behavioral psychology article talked about an interesting study on this topic that was conducted in Ontario, Canada. In this study, the researches discussed the importance of giving resentful people appropriate psychological tools that would allow them to welcome emotional forgiveness into their lives.

There’s a very simple reason why this is such an important exercise. Basically, it allows us to get rid of our negative emotions in order to create a new psychological reality.

Last but not least, resentful people must learn to start focusing on the present instead of the past. Thinking only about past experiences keeps them from living a free life. To fight this, they should focus on starting new projects and relationships.

Resentment in a Family Business Setting

Family-owned businesses can be rewarding, but they also come with their own unique set of challenges. One common issue is conflict, which can arise due to a variety of factors. As we presented in a previous article in this series, “Drivers of conflict in family-owned businesses,” conflict in a family business has many root causes. They include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of clear roles and responsibilities
  • Lack of planning (leadership succession and/or ownership transition)
  • Differing values, goals and family vision
  • Differences in work ethic
  • Power struggles
  • Treating family members differently than employees
  • Lack of family governance structure
  • Jealousy and favoritism
  • Lack of approach to address family conflict:
  • Greed

If not properly addressed, conflict can lead to tension, misunderstandings, and even the breakdown of relationships within the family and the business.

When it comes to family businesses, consider the words of author, Max Lucado … “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” 


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

Extract from SGUK podcast on Resentment (Re Individuals, Groups and Families) and Links to Hate Activity

We will always come back to the groups at the top of UK society. Eg  Government, Monarchy, Aristocracy, UK media including Royal Reporters and the police.  All of them are slow to react to hate speech, or incitement of hateful behaviour, often because they use the same words, or take part in some of the activity, and it is deemed acceptable as they know the other pillars at the top of UK will not challenge it.  All scratch the back of each other.


My views and I stand by them.  When those groups allow a couple to be put at risk in terms of health and safety, and a growing number of tangible death threats, along with the keyboard warriors who openly post death threats on various forums, then I strongly believe that International Legal bodies need to step in.  If they don’t or can’t what is the use of any United Nations/International Forum?

Remember when the Royal Family through its mouthpieces the Royal Rota tried to describe life outside of the Royal bubble as if was like swimming in shark infested waters.  Life would be one without state banquets and wearing tiaras and gowns and people would curtsy to you or vice versa dependant upon the class system that exists in Royal life but nowhere else.  A life of pretend playing Statesman/woman, and have people bow and scrape to you to boost your ego.  No child is prepared for a life outside, earning their own coins.  The Royal Plantation has just grown and grown on the backs of the UK people.  A number of groups have grown out of that system, and now the system needs to be protected to preserve the way of life of a few. Hence the collective approach to stamping out any individual or group set up to bring about change and accountability, and for the public to have a say on whether or not a Monarchy is viable in a modern society.

The treatment of Harry and Meghan, has provided evidence and learning points for the future.  The Sussexes have made a new home for themselves in the USA, and they are pursuing their humanitarian projects on a global stage.  No longer do they have to dim their lights in an effort to make the others look good. Whilst the BRF and pals, in their various groups are spending more time trying to save their position in the Monarchy from collapse, than do anything tangible to help the UK and its growing poverty within its population. The Sussexes are mixing with global leaders formulating real projects on the ground to help people.  Harry and Meghan represent modern Monarchy, even though they have been stripped of all the things that appear to people living within that Royal bubble. The Sussexes have proved titles and tiaras do not make the world sit up and take notice. Now the UK is starting to see self inflicted damage they did to themselves, whilst Harry and Meghan are flying high.

The plan to seek and destroy has backfired on a global stage and it is the BRF own acts of propaganda activity that has had a ripple effect of damaging the credibility of the Royal Family with each passing act of vindictiveness.  Meanwhile the Sussexes are thriving, and creating a wonderful legacy for their children, and a growing list of organisations and people who have felt the impact of the kindness and generosity of the Archewell Foundation.

The moral of this story, and one which I will end the podcast is to say, that despite years of a propaganda campaign being in place, and the people who have come on board with its messages, increasing numbers of people are now beginning to question the purpose of the campaign and its duration.  The world has major issues that need tackling, and to see a family and its powerful friends, pursue a woman of colour and to put her and her children at risk because she was not a Stepford clone like all the other females in that family who are left alone, is damaging to sensible people.  The UK has lost a very valuable member of that family because he supports his wife 100% and no doubt feels deeply ashamed of the racism that is completely evident by his family, despite it being wrapped up in other descriptions as part of the propaganda campaign.  Media hosts were making public statements daily for Meghan to leave the UK and go back to the USA.  The media spoke and wrote articles about the acting industry and Hollywood in particular in a very disparaging way.  Referred to black billionaires in similar terms, and showed no knowledge (did no research) and were so unprofessional in their rhetoric, yet now members of the BRF plan to visit the places that they have spent the last 5 years describing negatively, using such words as “ghetto” and referring to all wealthy black people in disparaging terms and even worse for those who work in the medium of television.

Well now Meghan and Harry have left the UK, and are still standing and doing very well indeed.  The same cannot be said for the Royal Family or the UK.  Who is sorry now?

  • Resentment is a complex, multi-layered emotion that has been described as a mixture of disappointment, disgust, anger and fear.
  • Inherent in resentment is a perception of unfairness.
  • It has become known for anger, spite and holding a grudge
  • Resentment can also develop and be maintained by focusing on past grievances continuously, or by trying to justify the emotions.
  • Resentment can occur as a result of the grief process and can be sustained by ruminating over it.
  • Steven Stosny makes an analogy distinguishing the functions of anger and resentment, as anger being like a fire extinguisher meant to put out and prevent immediately harmful situations, from becoming more harmful, while resentment is more like a smoke alarm something that is always on and requires energy and emotions to sustain this alarm system and is meant to protect us if just in case something or someone harmful from past experience shows up.
  • Anger is about the immediate situation whereas resentment is a defensive way to mentally punish or in the more extreme case, to devalue.

To repeat an example of resentment behaviour I mentioned earlier in this podcast, is as follows:-   Resentful people are always holding on to the things that hurt them like burning pieces of wood they can’t seem to let go of.

They do this to be able to throw those things back at the people who hurt them anytime they please. The funny thing is that, by doing this, they only end up hurting themselves. There’s nothing positive about holding on to that burning hatred and anger for so long.  Some members of the BRF should be reminded of that fact, because they will never recognise this self harm they are doing to themselves.

The aim of propaganda is influence people’s opinions or behaviour actively, rather than merely to communicate the facts about something.

There was a time that the British Royal Family wanted to ship Harry and Meghan off to any country other than the UK.  The first choice was Africa, because the person who was the  driving force behind this nonsense, believed that Africa was a country and more than that, as it was a continent that Harry referred to with love and affection, it suited the family concerned to ‘dump’ the Sussexes in a black nation, where they would be happy etc. apart from the sheer audacity of the plan, in what way could this have worked?  Did you believe that no African nation would expect to make that decision for themselves rather than be told by the UK? The Sussexes light will always be brighter than the rest of the family, because of the BRF refusal to read the room, and move forward accordingly.

Now the Sussexes are on another continent, and their light is shining even brighter.  The Royal Reporters always reported that the heirs should shine the brightest and they should have the limelight  not someone way down the pecking order.

Well, the propaganda did not quite work out as the UK establishment planned.  Yes the UK has created a hostile environment for the Sussexes, in the same way that it has for all people of colour who wish to live in the UK.  In fact the most recent examples is the difference in response to white refugees and all the others who are people of colour.

Well the BRF have the spotlight they craved for, and they have been found wanting.   Almost 8 years since Meghan was announced of being Harry’s girlfriend, we still have one relative hell bent on destroying this marriage, in the mistaken belief that Harry will return and be his whipping boy again.  Have you all noticed that there has not been one project completed since Harry left Shutter island.  Not one.  A few given high publicity by its propaganda team, as making progress or about to start, but we have yet to see one tangible measurable outcome that has made a difference to anyone.

The resentment from the family for being exposed as not really doing anything measurable and meaningful in terms of output, and yet are still doing the smile and wave approach on their visits. Just this week the next in Line to the Throne claims he wishes to do more than “cutting ribbons and smiling”.  Two things in response to that description (which has been quoted in UK media this week ie Feb 2024, 1/ The Heir is admitting that what they actually do is cut ribbons etc and is quite damming coming from his current position. Most people know and recognise that it is no more than that, and anything else away from our view is not of benefit to the UK and the activity is never detailed in any public records and it most certainly is not measurable in any form of output that has ever appeared in public records.

This should be of major concern to the institution and the other societal groups mentioned, but it is never discussed publicly and if there is any form of enquiry into certain aspects of such secretive activity, the facts disappear into a black hole of ‘nothing to see here’ trash bin.  The effort put into maintaining the status quo, and the industry that has been created to destroy a couple who wanted to do things slightly differently has not gone unnoticed and will one day be very high profile in the public consciousness.  In the end they were chased out of the country, and now the same groups of abusers, have found that The Firm is not fairing so well, and it is not a temporary situation.  None of the Firm has put anything like the effort into looking at the state of the UK today, and explored how the Firm and its establishment groups could help, but the resources put towards trying to tear down a couple who are having a global impact with their work, are seen as the enemy that must be destroyed.  The USA is not a commonwealth nation, and since the Sussexes now reside there and are doing well, we now have UK taxpayer funds going towards vanity projects which just so happen to take place in the USA, near to where the Sussexes live.  Yea right.  What a coincidence.  There is zero reason for the individual who is constantly “incandescent with rage” to be there, and that description is quoted in their UK media, who they work closely with most weeks. The latest official line of rhetoric is that the Next in Line has torn himself away from his sick wife’s side, to come out almost daily with a series of cameo appearances, each of which is trying to give the impression that he has now become a diplomat and that he can say the right phrases and be dropped into various places around the world of his choosing so far, and solve issues that experienced individuals have been working on for years.  It gives the impression of a reality show, where they fly people out, and drop them from helicopters into various situations, and somehow they will solve so many issues in a few hours and then board the helicopter again and fly to the next crisis that needs a Royal Avenger. It is not a smile and a wave situation and it is an insult to highly qualified and experienced personnel out their on the front lines of many areas of suffering, to have someone fly in with zero competence in the subject matter.  It is an affront to decency and patronising to those who are suffering.  All of this performative activity is based on resentment towards Meghan and Harry, who are out there working with partner

organisations, along with separate projects of their own, and they are very successful.  They have the respect of their peers who are following similar philanthropic paths, along with venture projects.  Resentment eating away at members of the BRF, which has resulted the implosion we have been witnessing since 2020.

For an institution that wanted the Sussexes to disappear, they do seem to be going to great lengths to be in the dust clouds of the Sussexes, in the hope that they will be seen as popular too???  Too many people in the UK are living impoverished lives, and yet appear to have no problem with their figurehead family parading around pretending to be diplomats, or project managers, or successful business people.

The people who should feel resentment are the UK population.  No doubt it will soon be time again to bring out a black friend for the cameras from their posse in the media.  It is time for the Monarchy to focus on the country that they represent in some shape or form, and then look to people in need elsewhere, and not use the colour of their skin, to guide the interventions used.  Public funds should not be paying for vanity projects of others who feel annoyed that they are not publicly adored because they are a future heir.  Spend time as an institution finding ways to make yourselves useful to the country, if you wish to remain as a Monarchy, because at the moment it is not clear to a growing number of people.

The level of hatred created towards the Sussexes, Meghan in particular, falls at the BRF doors.  That is known the world over now, so it going to take more than visits to places where you feel ‘safe’ to talk about things that are not a priority for those countries, and places where you were not invited in the first place, needs a rethink.

The increase in risks to the Sussex family has increased due to activity by the groups mentioned above, deliberately baited by UK media groups.  Your hands are not clean just because you hide them behind your backs after you write the venom daily in the tabloids, interview the same problematic people on the tv, and now have encouraged groups within the population to set up hate groups online and now the activity is moving into the physical realm.

Move the effort put into resentment activity and do something tangible for the UK population reliant on food banks and who cannot afford to heat their homes in the winter.

Allow discussions to take place about becoming a Republic to commence.  At the moment, the public has no opportunity to vote yes or no.  Those discussions need and will eventually start to be prominent.

One couple leaving the BRF should not lead to this aimless lack lustre sight we see every day now.  One couple leaving should not cause the Monarchy to crumble.  Seems to me that it was always weak, but you had someone who was good at the job and covered for you all, but when he met his future wife, who was equally accomplished and experienced,  the jealousy and the envy began.  Very quickly it turned into resentment, and now we are where we are.  Who is Sorry Now? The writing is on the wall for all Monarchies but the UK seems hellbent on being in the front of the activity in Europe.

To repeat an example of resentment behaviour I mentioned earlier in this podcast, is as follows:-   Resentful people are always holding on to the things that hurt them like burning pieces of wood they can’t seem to let go of.

They do this to be able to throw those things back at the people who hurt them anytime they please. The funny thing is that, by doing this, they only end up hurting themselves. There’s nothing positive about holding on to that burning hatred and anger for so long.  Some members of the BRF should be reminded of that fact, because they will never recognise this self harm they are doing to themselves.

 The BRF are behaving like crabs in a bucket and are destroying each other over time.  Anyone who wants to become a diplomat should look into that more in the private sector, and see how many companies will be eager to snap up any member of the BRF without evidence of competence.  The huge risks involved with such activity being performed as a member of the BRF does not bare thinking about.  The ramifications of playing Statesman in various Royal engagements has been uncomfortable viewing, and if 1% of that was done with National leaders and dignitaries, it could escalate very quickly into something which could risk lives.

This is not a school play.  This is real life.  Royal life of cutting ribbons and smiling is no longer relevant.  Popping up every time the non tax payer funded Royals have another success somewhere in the world, is not a circus act or even credible behaviour for the nations figurehead family.  Made worse by the fact it is nothing but a performative act with no measurables or performance indicators contained in a project plan.  It is just promises of jam tomorrow, with no idea where the jam will be produced and transported to the correct destination.  It is all just words, not action.  The appearances that immediately follow any Sussex success are as predictable as a working clock. Likewise the content and tone of UK tabloid litter tray liners relating to Harry and Meghan, but radio silence on anything of worth that the nation should hear about.  Any nation that has a newspaper industry that creates news to write about, as opposed to reporting on the news, represents a nation with a failing economy.  Known fact.

Ivy Barrow

25 Feb 2024


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