Difference Between Anger and Resentment

Anger vs Resentment
 

The difference between anger and resentment stems from the way we come to feel these emotions. Anger and resentment are emotions that often go together. Anger refers to a strong feeling of displeasure. Resentment, on the other hand, is a feeling of bitterness that the individual experiences. Even though most people consider anger and resentment as synonymous, this is not true. Anger and resentment are two very different emotions. Anger is a reaction to a disturbing situation or an unpleasant event. Resentment, however, is not merely an automatic response to a situation, but involve a voluntary act of dwelling on past events. This is one of the key differences between the two emotions. Through this article let us examine all the differences between anger and resentment.

What does Anger mean?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word anger can be defined as a strong feeling of displeasure. Psychologists state that anger is a natural emotion just as any other emotion that we experience such as happiness, sadness, guilt, betrayal, etc. In our day to day life, we feel angry about various people for various reasons. Sometimes anger can be directed at another individual or else at ourselves. Anger can be viewed as a reaction to a disturbing situation where the individual feels hurt or threatened. For example, after being scolded by a school teacher or parent, it is natural for the child to feel angry because he is hurt.

When an individual feels angry, it brings about physical and emotional changes. Increased heart beat, tightened jaws and muscles are some of the physical changes that come about. Emotionally the person feels hurt or else threatened. Anger can lead a person to be aggressive in which case the person would pick up fights, shatter objects around him, and behave in a violent manner. However, this is not the only response. Being distant and cold, and resignation can also be seen.

Difference Between Anger and Resentment

Anger can lead to violent behavior

Anger should not be viewed as unnatural and problematic as long as it works as a motivational factor for the individual rather than a hindrance. If anger becomes a barrier, which detriments the individual’s relationships and attainment of goals, such a person should make an attempt to manage his anger.

What is Resentment?

Resentment can be defined as a feeling of bitterness that an individual experiences for being treated unfairly. This is usually an emotion composed of anger, pain, hurt, and disappointment. It is not based on a present event but on a number of past events, which may be ignited by the present event. Resentment usually involves reliving a painful experience again and again. The individual fails to let go of the hurt and forgive the other individual, but clings on to the bitterness. Unlike anger that can sometimes be positive, resentment is never positive as it only hurts the individual. Resentment works as a barrier, which makes the person unable to forget and forgive and to move on with his life. In order to let go of resentment, the individual needs to acknowledge his actual condition. This can include rejections, hurt, pain, etc. Even though, it may be extremely difficult, it is by acknowledging these that the individual can move on. This highlights that anger and resentment are two different emotions.

Anger vs Resentment

Resentment is feeling bitter as you think you are being treated unfairly

What is the difference between Anger and Resentment?

• Definition of Anger and Resentment:

• Anger can be defined as a strong feeling of displeasure.

• Resentment can be defined as a feeling of bitterness that an individual experiences for being treated unfairly.

• Nature:

• Anger is an automatic response to a difficult situation.

• Resentment usually involves reliving a bitter and hurtful experience again and again.

• Controlling:

• Feeling angry is normal when the individual is overwhelmed by the situation. This is because it is a natural reaction which is beyond individual control.

• A person can control resentment by letting go of bitter emotions.

• Natural or Not:

• Anger is natural.

• Resentment is a choice that the individual makes.

• Connection:

• Anger turns into resentment when an individual allows it to be persistent.

• Response:

• Anger can sometimes be positive.

• Resentment is never positive as it only hurts the individual.

 

Images Courtesy: Windshield and The Misfits (1961) via Wikicommons (Public Domain)