Being Well Podcast: How to Become Less Resentful
July 26, 2021

In this episode, Forrest and Dr. Rick Hanson explore resentment: where it comes from, what it does, and how to become less resentful.



When we’re hurt in our relationships, it’s normal to experience resentment. We don’t talk about resentment very much, we’re more likely to talk about anger, fear, or sadness. But resentment is a kind of combination of all of these difficult feelings. Resentment and bitterness cause as much harm to our relationships – and to our own well-being – as any other emotion.

“You can only release resentment if you actually don’t want to be resentful.” – Forrest Hanson

“Sometimes we hold on to our resentments because it intensifies the feeling of relationship with those who wronged us. We may want to maintain that relationship, even if it’s unhealthy for us.” – Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 2:00: What is resentment, and what function does it serve?
  • 5:50: Resentment as repressed emotion
  • 9:00: Resentment and power differences
  • 11:10: Aspects of resentment
  • 12:40: Costs of resentment
  • 18:50: Given the costs, why do people hold on to their resentment?
  • 22:20: Resentment connects us to people
  • 28:30: Healthy aspects of resentment
  • 31:00:  Feeling “good enough” 
  • 34:00: Working with resentment: what do you want your experience to be?
  • 42:00: Resentment as an indicator of unresolved communication
  • 44:30: The social functions of resentment
  • 48:00: Metta as an antidote to resentment
  • 54:30: Disentangled forgiveness
  • 57:00: Recap of how to become less resentful

Just One Thing: Dr. Rick Hanson offers 3 free, regular newsletters with a variety of tips, practices, videos, meditations, and other helpful resources you can use in everyday life to grow the good that lasts. Learn more and sign up here.

Rick’s Wednesday Meditation Group: Join Rick for a free online weekly meditation, talk, and discussion every Wednesday from 6-7:30 pm PT/9-10:30 pm ET. Follow the link to learn more. If you can’t join live, the sessions are recorded for later viewing.

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