Bitterness and Resentment Are Twins

Bitterness is a twin of resentment? I heard a minister say that recently. What do you think?

Dictionary definitions


1. sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness.

    “The lime juice imparts a slight bitterness”

2. Anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.

    “He expressed bitterness over his dismissal without notice”


Noun: bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.

“His resentment at being demoted”

From these definitions it seems that unchecked, bitterness leads to resentment. Therefore it seems we need to be on guard against becoming bitter.

Signs of bitterness

  • Feeling Jaded.
    Becoming jaded or cynical from something you’ve experienced can only lead you down an empty and lonely path…
  • Holding Grudges…
  • Being Jealous…
  • Seeking Attention…
  • Being Negative.

And being negative can lead to people avoiding you, which leads to more bitterness… or on to resentment.

Signs of resentment

  • Emotion regulation. *
  • Faking happiness to cover true feelings toward someone
  • Speaking in a sarcastic or demeaning ways about another person
  • Depression
  • Anger for no reason

* The ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.

I looked it up because I had never heard of emotion regulation. I think, reading the description I would call it ‘two-faced.’ Although, I have to add that there are times when we have to ‘regulate’ our emotions. One of those ‘two-edged’ sword situations. And discernment is needed in our response.

Resentment cannot change the situation, or the person you feel resentment toward. Unchecked, resentment can lead to more bitterness, and bitterness is now linked to many health issues. It is also isolating.

Bitterness and health

Research suggests constant bitterness can actually have negative effects on our physical health. Bitterness may predict adverse changes in metabolism, immune system function, and organ function. And while forgiveness is usually the better option, scowling is sometimes beneficial for our health and happiness.

Constant bitterness is a stress on our bodies. Just as our attitude is a choice, so is the decision to remain bitter, letting it develop into resentment, or to examine what caused it and how to get rid of it.

What causes bitterness?

Bitterness comes from things happening that are beyond your control and that you perceive as not being your fault. Examples include: unwanted experiences; failures; disappointments; setbacks. Being bullied can certainly be considered an unwanted experience.

Bitterness also comes from being publicly humiliated or feeling taken advantage of. Again, being bullied can certainly qualify here.

Another way in which bitterness can develop is from feeling betrayed. Betrayal can occur during bullying if you were bullied by someone you knew and trusted.

Keep resentment away

We’re the ones responsible for causing ourselves any current hurt by remaining bitter about a past hurt.

When trying to overcome bitterness, you have to realize that you’re the one who has to change, not the world around you. This is not easy.

But, remember, resentment is a wall. And walls of resentment can become so high and thick that it is possible to lose hope of ever getting over the wall.

bitterness and resentment build walls

Better not to build the wall in the first place, but if we have… each of us is the only one who can dismantle the wall we have built.

God bless,


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