What's Underneath Anger and Resentment?

Anger is a natural response to being threatened (fear), having our expectations violated (frustration), and being hurt (emotional pain). This is one of our ways to seemingly protect ourselves from further risk of more emotional pain, frustration and fear. It becomes a "get them before they get me" state of mind that acts to separate (creates disconnection).

Anger as Internal Toxicity

The anger that is built up within then becomes toxic, like an emotional cancer that grows on itself. As we view ourselves being violated by significant others, life, work, plans that get disrupted, unexpected occurrences that create turmoil in our lives, we then add more and more internal tension and distress from holding on to this anger which in turn becomes resentment.


The anger that becomes resentment has now found a permanent home. This is now creating a void of separation between yourself and others. The resentment disallows the ability to fully realize a sincere connection and further isolates providing more opportunities for situations and people to “violate” you and thus the cycle continues.

Get Them Before They Get Me

Anger and resentment are a state of heightened vulnerability and powerlessness. When you are angry, you are like a dog backed into a corner, scared and tense with anxiety of what’s to come…ready for a fight. But who are you fighting? The real fight is internal. It is the tension and unease created by the state of Anger and Resentment building within. You aren’t “getting them” rather you are creating internal turmoil within yourself. It may give you some temporary satisfactions feeling like you have “won” by exploding your anger on a person you’ve targeted in the moment; however, what is really happening is you are reinforcing the feeling of anger and its expression and making it even more difficult to experience any peace within yourself.

The Solution

Realizing that anger and resentment are a cover for internal emotional pains allows for the understanding that what really needs to happen is forgiveness. Many times we must forgive ourselves. Many times we must forgive others. Some may say, “ya, but if I just forgive those who have violated me, it’s like giving them permission to defy my. I feel like I’m just rolling over.” However, my response to that is that by not forgiving them, you are giving them power over you to control how you feel. They “win” by manifesting within you anger and resentment. They are in control of how you feel, even from half way across the globe or from miles away. You stay tied to them with an emotional bond of hurt, frustration and fear. So finally saying that you will let them and that situation go releases you from this emotional bond and allows for the freedom to experience joy and connection once again.

Forgiveness as Emotional Freedom

When you are ready to forgive, it may not be that you say “I am going to forgive” and then it’s all over. To forgive does not mean that you have to interact with the person that’s hurt you. It is a process of releasing yourself from anger and resentment and the need for revenge. You may have to release them or the situation or whatever you perceive as the source of this internal turmoil many times. Maybe 100 times today as you continue to feel the emotions arise and you remember, wait, I’m going to release and let go of this. Forgiveness is the process of releasing and may take time to fully let go of all the emotions involved; though it’s a worthy endeavor in that it is the pathway to becoming free from the emotional bonds of Anger and Resentment. Remember, forgiving someone or something doesn’t mean that it was okay what happened, it simply means you are taking your power back and will no longer be controlled by that person or situation any longer.


For Further Help

If you have anger, resentment, trauma or other emotional pains and feeling overwhelmed, Anthony Haskins serves a transformational coach in Oklahoma City.

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