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What Is the Connection between Anger and Resentment?

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  • Written By: E. Reeder
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2018
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Anger and resentment are connected because the anger toward a person or entity that an individual harbors for a long time can turn into resentment. Anger is an emotion that is often openly displayed on the surface, usually for a short time. Resentment, on the other hand, might be manifested by passive-aggressive behavior, snide comments, or a lack of responsiveness. Resentment is more difficult to spot than anger and might result from anger that has not been dealt with over a long period of time.

Both anger and resentment are emotions that are considered to be negative. Anger, however, can be healthy in certain cases. A person who is being bullied, for example, might become angry about it and use that anger to take concrete steps, such as taking up for himself or letting others know about the bullying, so it will stop. The person being bullied, on the other hand, might decide he is too scared to defend himself, or that it is not worth it, and build up resentment, based on repressed anger, toward his aggressors. Repressing anger, which turns into resentment, is hardly ever a healthy or positive emotion, unless the outright display of anger could result in physical harm or death.

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Another reason that anger and resentment are connected is that they can both originate from feelings toward another person or situation. Many things can make people resentful or angry. Being treated unfairly at work or in a relationship, losing a great opportunity because of the malevolent activities or negligence of another person, and being insulted are all reasons that people might become angry and resentful. The reasons why people feel angry or become resentful are numerous and are unique to different people and their situations, life experiences, relationships and emotional states.

Anger and resentment can both come from the same source, although resentment is a long-term emotion that has built up over time. Having a great deal of either one or both of these emotions can result in psychological and physical problems. There are mental and physical health problems that can result from having a great deal of either one of these emotions, including stress disorders, ulcers, depression and intermittent explosive disorder. Anger is a short-term emotion in most cases, and a sudden feeling or outburst of it can result in major problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.

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Lostnfound
Post 2

@Grivusangel -- You are so right about resentment that bursts into anger. I've seen this happen in a friend's relationship. Both of them are experts at keeping a record of every single screw-up the other has made since they've been together, and they will dredge up things that happened 20 years ago, just to prove a point or "get" the other one. I don't know how in the world they've stayed together for 25 years. I couldn't deal with that kind of fault-finding.

I'm not saying my hubby and I have a perfect marriage -- there is no such thing -- but we decided by mutual agreement when we got engaged that, unless it was absolute necessity to bring something up, that done

was done and gone was gone. No bringing up something from the past, unless it had to be done to solve a problem or something like that. We've abided by that, too. Oh, we'll pick at each other a little for something the other did years ago, but it's in good fun and never from resentment.
Grivusangel
Post 1

Resentment can also flare into anger unexpectedly. Long-held resentment can suddenly boil over into an angry outburst. This kind of anger is often worse than a quick blow up at the time of the provocation, because the angry person has had time to brood over the offense and think for a long time about what he or she would say, and all the other offenses the person has committed, which will probably be brought up in the process.

This is the kind of issue that breaks up marriages and other long-term relationships. It's a toxic, evil kind of vibe to bring to a relationship and it's not healthy at all.

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