How to Deal With Resentment — a Career Success Killer

Strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are one of the keys to life and career success that I discuss in a couple of my career advice books: Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Success Tweets.  Successful people build strong relationships with the important people in their lives.  Resentment is a relationship killer.

Joseph Bernard, a good friend and talented blogger recently did a great blog post “How to Stop Resentment From Killing Your Relationships.”  Joseph is an abunadance type of guy.  He allows me to repost his blogs.  You need to read this post.  It’s the very best advice on dealing with resentments that I’ve ever seen…

Have you ever stuffed a feeling just to keep things okay in your relationship? The answer is YES. If you deny you have, we need to talk because you are either a saint and I can sit at your feet and learn or (I am betting on this second one) you need to get help identifying what you feel.

 Resentment is a secondary emotion generated by unexpressed feelings. The more you deny, ignore, or push down your feelings the more resentment you gather in your body.

Example: Let’s say you are angry over something that happened. Maybe you feel ignored or someone has hurt you with their words. If you sit on those feelings and don’t express your anger, where do those feelings go? They go into an energetic holding pattern and become tension in your body. The emotional cost of unexpressed feelings is that you become resentful.

Think of emotions as energy-in-motion. Once they are denied or ignored the energy is blocked like putting a brick in a very small stream. The aliveness in your body is impeded like that blocked stream. These bricks of resentment cause you to close down and become numb.

Warning: blocked emotions can be very destructive to your health and well-being. They also can have a very negative affect on your sense of self and your connection to others.

Imagine each stuffed feeling adds another brick that further blocks the inner flow of your aliveness. Soon you have enough bricks to build a wall. You begin to wall yourself off from those around you. This wall of resentment not only blocks you but it blocks the flow outward. This constricted flow is particularly noticeable because it closes your heart to giving and receiving love.

After a period of time you become aware that you don’t feel much towards those you love and you might wonder, what happened? You have built a wall of resentments (unexpressed feelings) and now you might even blame them for not feeling love anymore. Even positive feelings not expressed can become part of your interior construction site.

Other ways you can add bricks of resentment might include work situations, friends who frustrate you, other family members, the relentless judging of the mind towards those who think differently than you, and even from watching the news or reading articles that make you mad. The habit of stuffing emotions seems to grow exponentially.

Once the wall is fully constructed, your primary relationship is often in real trouble. You don’t feel love, at some level you blame them and before long the relationship’s hopes and dreams come crashing down. Unfortunately the wall of resentment doesn’t also fall apart. In addition your ability to feel love towards everyone is compromised.

There is hope however. You can approach this from several directions and start to experience positive changes rather quickly. The hopeful approaches include: having a healthy expression of your feelings; tearing down your wall of resentment; and bringing healing to your relationship(s).

Here’s the plan:

The Healthy Expression of Feelings – The best place to begin is to become aware of what you are feeling. Simply acknowledging your feelings and doing your best to be accepting of all of them is a great way to allow emotions to flow right through you. This recognition and release of emotions is very healthy.

Sometimes you will find yourself trying to deny or ignore your feelings. Simply be aware that you are doing that and tune back inward and feel what you are feeling. This allows the energy of emotions to keep you feeling alive.

Removing the Wall – This deconstruction project is important and can be done in ways that are very beneficial:

Get physical. Exercise can be a very useful way to release old pent up emotions. Going for a walk at the end of the day, you can imagine letting go of any stagnant feelings by allowing them to flow into the ground you walk on.

You can also write in a journal the feelings you need to release.

Finally and most powerfully, you can become mindful of your thoughts and realize your thoughts create all your feelings. This approach removes all blame and instead says, “I am responsible for all I feel.” “I am feeling this because I thought that”. “Let me change my thinking and thereby change how I feel.” The key here is, you realize that your thoughts about what someone said or did are the true cause of what you feel inside. Your feelings are not caused by what they actually did. Post the following note somewhere you can review it daily – No one can make you feeling anything. All you feel comes from what you think.

Bring Healing To Your Relationships That Matter

Begin this conversation with a humble apology about being unaware of your feelings and what you are doing to change that. When you own your mistakes and make a commitment to be open and compassionate with those you love — work with, walls can come tumbling down.

Ask that together you can work on the healthy acknowledgement and expression of emotions. This can include: you saying how you feel and you owning your reactions/thoughts that generated how you feel. You can even say things like, “I need a few minutes to shift my thinking. – I am caught up in my reactive mind and am working right now on letting that go. – I      have a big charge of emotions and I need to go for a walk.”

The important thing to avoid is blaming. Remembering you are the sole creator of what you feel inside.

When someone is really bugging you, acknowledge that “bugging” is  caused by your thoughts not by them. An excellent question to ask yourself in times of reactivity to others is, “How is that like me?” Translation – what they are doing is bugging you because they are acting in some way that you judge about yourself as not okay.

Lastly love is a powerful healing force if we get out of our own way.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Relationships are an important key to your life and career success.  Resentment is a relationship killer.  In this post, Joseph Bernard shows you how to deal with resentments that may be killing important relationships.  In my opinion, the most important bit of career advice that Joseph shares is simple common sense.  “The important thing to avoid is blaming. Remember that you are the sole creator of what you feel inside.”  Take personal responsibility for your feelings and you’ll be on your way to building the strong relationships that will help you create the career success you deserve.

That’s the career advice I found in Joseph Bernard’s ideas on dealing with resentment.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb?  It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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  1. Great article Bud! Thank you so much for sharing such great thoughts on how to effectively deal with resentment. It all makes sense and logical that if resentment is left nurtured and uncorrected, it will definitely affect the performance and productivity of each one of us and eventually impedes us from achieving career success. Worst, it will drag us down and left us stagnant from moving to the life and work we love. Thanks for sharing this career advice and I really enjoyed reading your posts.

    Wish you the best,

    Kent Julian

  2. Thanks for your comment Kent.
    But I was reposting Joseph Bernard’s thoughts on resentment here.
    I hope you enjoy what I write as much as you like Joseph’s thoughts.
    All the best,

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