Select Page

Holding Rancor / Resentment: Meaning & Releasing It

Holding Rancor / Resentment: Meaning & Releasing It

What is resentment or rancor? Rancor is another word for resentment. What are the characteristics of this and how can you resolve it? Read along…

The meaning of holding rancor / resentment

Resentment and resentment are synonymous. Let’s look at the definition of these terms. says it means permanent anger at someone who has treated you badly.

The dictionary says:  1) Bitter feeling 2) Bitterness 3) Secret enmity 4) Hate 5) Hatred 6) Hate feeling 7) Bottled up hate 8) Bitterness 9) Revenge 10) Vengeance 11) Resentment

Resentment (also called rancor or bitterness) is described as the combined experience of the feelings of disappointment, anger, and fear. Usually all these feelings are felt at the same time when thinking about a situation where one has been hurt, so that it can be qualified as resentment.

It encompasses the three basic emotions of disgust, grief and surprise, which also evokes a sense of injustice.

Resentment is not one of Paul Ekman ‘s six basic emotions (surprise, disgust, happiness, sadness, anger, and fear).

The Psychology Behind Resentment

resentment and resentment

Resentment can result from a variety of situations involving an individual’s alleged wrongdoing, often resulting from manifestations of injustice or humiliation.

Common sources of resentment include humiliating situations, the sense of discrimination or prejudice, jealousy, the situation where achievements are not recognized, and others succeed without hard work. Resentment can also arise from emotional rejection by another person or deliberate belittlement by another person.

Characteristics of resentment / resentment

Unlike many emotions, resentment has no physical characteristics that indicate that a person is feeling this emotion. However, there may be physical manifestations associated with related emotions such as anger and envy: grooved eyebrows or bare teeth.

Other behaviors are:

  • Pretending to be happy while hiding your true feelings.
  • Talk to or about the other person in a sarcastic or demeaning way.
  • Resentment can also be diagnosed by perceiving emotions related to depression, such as feeling inexplicably depressed or dejected, getting angry for no apparent reason, or having nightmares or distressing daydreams about a person.

Consequences of resentment

hold a grudge

Resentment is an emotionally debilitating condition that, if left unresolved, can have a variety of negative effects on the person experiencing it.

  • For example, the development of a hostile, cynical, sarcastic attitude that can be a barrier to other healthy relationships.
  • There may also be a lack of personal and emotional growth.
  • Problems in trusting others.
  • Loss of self-confidence.
  • And overcompensation.

Resolve resentment / resentment

  1. Identify the source of the hateful feelings: Identify what the other person did to evoke these feelings.
  2. With the pain-pleasure principle, feel how painful it is how resentment has affected your life and how letting go of resentment can improve the future.
  3. Invite the source of the resentment to a visualized campfire through  The Journey process . List the crimes and circumstances to this person. Then you can forgive and let go of the crimes .
  4. Visualize a future without the negative impact of resentment. This is also woven into steps 2 and 3.

On your luck!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!