8 Effective Ways to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment

woman contemplating

Bitterness does not only happen because of a breakup or when you get dumped by the person you like. You normally feel it whenever you think you are being treated unfairly. Of course, no one wants to feel this way. However, it is an emotion that can easily swallow you up once you don’t feel good about yourself.

So, how can you overcome bitterness or resentment? Can you escape from its poison?

Overcoming resentment is a battle inside you. You’re the only one who can win it. Based on personal experiences, the following ways are proven to be effective in helping anyone who’s being oppressed by resentment. I encourage you to try them.

1. Forgive yourself and others.
Accepting your failures and flaws is the first step to defeating bitterness. Once you’ve accepted your limitations, insecurities can’t put you down anymore. Your chance of being bitter is then decreased. That’s why forgive yourself for all the frustrations brought by your imperfection.

Moreover, choose to forgive the people who made you feel rejected or treated you unfairly. It’s hard, but do it for your own sake. Forgiveness can remove hatred from your heart.

ALSO READ: 9 Tips on How to Forgive Someone Who Broke Your Heart

2. Think positively about those you resent.
If you only focus on the bad behaviors of others, then the more that you feel bad inside. An ill-thought towards others is a poison that can contaminate your soul. You would notice that if you only see the negative side of people, you don’t feel comfortable with them and your mind is filled with criticisms and judgments. Soon you become suspicious of others, thinking they think the same way towards you.

For this reason, filter your thoughts by consciously deciding to reject any negative thoughts against the people you resent. Instead, always look for the good in people and see them in this light.

3. Appreciate them—even if you don’t feel like doing so.
Appreciating the people you resent requires a lot of humility. This would feel like torture. However, if you practice appreciating others—even those you hate—you stop focusing on your hatred or resentment towards them. Instead, you start seeing their good side for real, and soon you begin to love these people.

By the way, appreciation is different from flattery. Make sure you are sincere in whatever you tell them and how you deliver your appreciation. They would feel it if you are only trying to flatter or please them.

4. Stop stalking them.
One of the bad effects that bitterness causes on humans is an obsession with monitoring the person they resent. Usually, you can’t resist the urge to check their Facebook timeline or eavesdrop on gossips about them. This is because you want to find something bad about them, so you’d feel good about yourself. You want to assure yourself that you’re doing better than them.

However, instead of making you feel good, this actually saps all the joy and peace from you. Instead of moving on from what they have done to you, you get stuck in the situation since you always check on them. Forgetting becomes hard.

5. Celebrate with them.
This also needs humility. Have you ever felt jealous when the people you resent accomplish, receive, or experience something great? It is a normal reaction because you don’t like them being ahead of you in any way. The competitive human instinct tells you that you need to be better than the people who let you down. You want to prove them wrong and acknowledge your importance.

However, instead of making you feel better, this desire to defeat the people you resent will make you worse. Whenever you surpass them, you become prideful and arrogant. Whenever they do good, what you get is self-pity.

That’s why the best response to their success should be being happy for them when they are happy, and sad for them when they are sad. Since your conscience is clean, you don’t feel bad about yourself, and that will extend to how you feel towards others.

Effective Ways to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment
Photo by Hermann

6. Prevent yourself from talking bad about these people and what they did to you.
It is normal that once you have been hurt, you would look for people you could lean on. You would go to people you know who have the same experience or concern towards the people you feel bad with. You want to be assured that there’s nothing wrong with how you feel because it’s not your fault.

Doing this would lead you to slanders and gossips. Without your knowing, you’re already stooping down to the level of the people you dislike. Soon you are worse than them. This won’t help you move forward a bit.

For this reason, avoid talking about your bitterness with other people. It’s okay to have expressed what you feel once or twice with one or two mature individuals just to release the burden. However, going around and telling everyone you meet about your grudge just to get sympathy would just make your bitterness worse.

7. Focus on improving yourself.
The more you focus on wanting to see the people you hate go down, the farther you go from going up. Instead of doing something to improve yourself so you can prove these people wrong in their perception of you, you get distracted when half of your attention is on them.

Choose to forget about the people who hurt you. Set goals for yourself and concentrate on achieving them. As you become busy doing things for yourself, soon your bitterness slowly fades away. By the time you have accomplished your goal, you’d realize you have already moved on from the past. Also, seeing the people you used to have a grudge with won’t sting anymore.

8. Pray for them and your heart.
Prayer can help you forgive. Instead of cursing the people who hurt you, just lift them up in prayers. Pray that they realize their faults and be changed for the better. Don’t think about getting even, but just surrender everything in prayer.

Also, pray for the cleansing and restoration of your heart from what happened. You should also ask God to change your heart towards these people, and be changed in how you see them.

Effective Ways to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment
Photo by Pexels

It is well
You don’t deserve to be treated unfairly. However, thinking about revenge or competing against the people who hurt you won’t make you better than them. Forgive and let go of your grudge, so you would have peace and be happy.

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8 Tips to Let Go of the Past and Move Forward to a Better Life

Photo by Artem Kovalev

Cyril Abello
Cyril is a personal development blogger and content writer. She is also an online language teacher. She has a degree in Communication Arts and loves everything about writing. Being a full-time mom, she enjoys freelancing.

13 thoughts on “8 Effective Ways to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment”

  1. Helo,
    Thank you for the article but it’s really a struggle for me,I still don’t understand how am I gonna forgive him am in so much pain.

  2. My sister and my ex live with me in the same place.We sold our home to buy this place.So it is registered in my daughters name,which is the owner.2 years ago he started this affair with my sister,She doesn’t have to pay according to him.and gets treated like a queen.But is very hostile towards me.A unemotional person.and couldn’t care what happens to me or my daughter.He is a narcissist.

  3. Thank you for this article. It helped me understand and now aware why I held on to bitterness so long. I never addressed it to myself.
    I realized after 30+ years I held on to bitterness I thought I let go those years ago. The person comes back into my life and my short fused attitude and lack of wanting to respond towards them made me realize I never did let go! I was surprised. I consider myself a Christian now, I know I’ll have to put work in it and rely on my Faith because your steps are very helpful but will not be easy for me but I know it is for God.

  4. Thank you for this
    Difficult when I have had feelings of love for someone who is with someone else.
    We were never together but it’s difficult to let it go fully when he has such lovely qualities and we get on so well.
    And he doesn’t know of my feelings.
    I do not want to retaliate and try to make him jealous. I just want to remain in the love of Jesus and be humble and graceful
    Working out life’s purpose can really help and distracts.
    In time fulfillment comes and one day the feelings can be gone .
    And we can come out stronger
    Bitterness changes who you are.
    It can colour your perspective on not just that situation but also on other areas.
    It corrupts.
    We have to make a choice not to be bitter
    Be better not bitter.

  5. Thank you so much I needed this more than anything right now I have to learn to forgive and this is a blessing in running across this message, bless you ;

  6. Hello
    Thank you for these wonderful words.
    To be very honest, I need them very much and I just feel like the whole universe is moving against me.
    I’m constantly sad and I hope this will work for me because it’s really hard for me right now and I just want to be happy.
    God bless you

  7. Thank you for these steps that you had made and I felt very resentment and bitterness just now to my friends in school but now I still feeling that I want to resentment her because I gave her many chances already

    It really help me but it is very difficult to let go the resentment already

  8. Thanks for the godly advice. Very powerful and uncommon recommendations you have offered to your readers. This article will go a long way to heal the mentally unwell or depressed people. Marriages could be secured as a result of your wisdom and godly advice. God bless you for good work you have done.

    • Hello Zab,

      Thank you also for visiting our websites. Just keep visiting this site, as we will publish more inspirational articles and stories to keep on inspiring the world. 🙂



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