Resentment and You!

Kimmel & Associates e-Letter

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates

Volume 6, Number 2

February is the shortest month of the year and a reminder how quickly time flies. How many of us are still following our New Year’s Resolutions? February is also a time to remember two presidents who each faced conflict and whose determination, vision, and leadership helped to establish and preserve the country we have today.

In this February E-Letter, we present information about resentment and how holding grudges affects us. Our Ask the Doc question deals with group therapy and our email of the month is about Chocolate Math. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful. As always, we appreciate your questions and feedback.

Practice News

Dr. Joel Kimmel recently participated in a seminar on improving marriages at Temple B’nai Aviv in Weston. He spoke on how to make good marriages great to a number of couples who are going through recommitment ceremonies.

As report cards have been sent home, our practice has been contacted by parents who are concerned about their child’s academic performance. For some of these students, we will be conducting psychoeducational evaluations to identify their learning profile as well as to diagnose whether they may have a learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder, or another type of problem that interferes with their performance. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s functioning in school and whether he/she is performing at his/her potential. You can either call us at 954 755-2885 or send us an email.

We have also been asked whether we run groups in our practice. The answer is yes and Dr. Jim Kaikobad is in the process of establishing several groups. We are looking for just a few more members in the following support groups:

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Breast cancer
  4. Stress management

If you are interested in any of these groups, please call Denise Champagne in our office at 954-755-2885 for a complimentary initial eligibility consultation.

Handouts from previous e-Letters can be found on our website. We invite you to read and download them if desired.

Resentment and You!

Our E-Letter this month focuses on resentment which is the harboring of animosity or holding of grudges against people whom you believe, rightly or wrongly, have wronged or hurt you. Your grudge holding does not affect the other person, only you. It can lead to withdrawal, isolating yourself, depression, edginess, and lack of trust in others. It can also cause people to act submissive and accept bullying and intimidation in order to be part of a group. People with resentment often pout or fume silently about the other person, frequently remember, rethink, or have nightmares about the perceived hurt, get upset when something triggers a memory of the hurt, avoid doing anything with the other person, or if in their presence, can fake liking them. They develop distrust of others and often remain vigilant not to be hurt again. This leads to impairment in developing healthy relationships with others. It is as if a part of the person is tied up in anger and hurt and the person cannot fully enjoy their lives or being with others.

Resentment can come from many sources although there is an underlying hurt, which may be due to a misperception or miscommunication. People typically become resentful when they believe they are being used or taken advantage of, when they accept being made fun of or being bullied without speaking up, when they feel ignored or rejected by others, when they see others succeed or get recognition when they have worked harder than that person, and when they feel they have been embarrassed or humiliated.

Overcoming resentment involves recognizing the hurt underneath the resentment. What has really happened to hurt you and what can you do about it? This taking of responsibility means that by expressing anger appropriately, you can eliminate your resentment. Other techniques involve practicing forgiveness and letting go of the perceived hurt, giving oneself positive self-affirmations, creating a ritual or ceremony to mark the end of the resentment, improving your self-esteem, and strengthening and developing friendships. Doing volunteer work as well as exercising and practicing relaxation activities can also be very helpful. You may not be able to stop others from hurting you but you can manage your own emotions about how you handle it.

We offer the following information on Resentment and You:

Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you…— Norman Vincent Peale

What to Know!

  • Resentment can be defined as feeling a negative emotion, such as anger, as a result of a real or imagined belief that someone has wronged you
  • It is holding a grudge, often in silence, against those whom unjustly victimized you
  • Resentment involves a lack of forgiveness and an inability to let go of or forget the hurt
  • It often results from a public humiliation, being taken advantage of, envy and jealousy, not being given credit for accomplishments, rejection/denial, and being put down
  • Resentment also comes from others acting superior and knowing better and telling us how to run our lives, how to think, how to feel, how to act, and what our needs are
  • Resentment can be quite debilitating; it can lead to feeling betrayed, getting easily provoked, being edgy/irritable, depression, and withdrawing into solitude
  • It can also lead to the development of sarcastic, cynical, and hostile ways of relating to others including being vindictive
  • Resentment leads to not trusting others and impairing the development of healthy relationships
  • When people are resentful, they become bitter and closed up; they lose enjoyment of their lives, and remain angry and focused on what they perceived happened to them
  • People who hold onto resentment add stress to their lives, keep themselves angry, and often isolate from others
  • People often deal with resentment by pouting, speaking derisively, holding a grudge, and having repeated thoughts or dreams about getting even with the other person
  • People can also become submissive, making fun of themselves or faking that they like the person who wronged them just to be included
  • AA views resentment as a major obstacle to staying sober; several of the 12 steps involve resolving resentment by acceptance, forgiveness, and taking responsibility
  • Resentments are stronger when the one who hurts is a close friend or family member
  • Holding onto resentment only hurts you not the other person

What to Do!

  • Letting go of resentment is for your benefit and not the other person’s
  • Determine whether you have resentments, who you may be angry with, and why
  • Get clarity by identifying your hurt underneath the resentment
  • Allow yourself to feel and heal the hurt
  • Try to identify how you were hurt and whether it was intentional
  • Try to have some understanding of the person and why they may have hurt you
  • Resolve your anger in appropriate ways such as changing your thinking, asserting yourself, and doing relaxation activities
  • Practice forgiveness and learn to let go of resentments in order for you to enjoy life
  • Learn a lesson from each resentment so that you can prevent their reoccurrence
  • Create a ceremony to give you a feeling that you have ended the resentment
  • Exercise, create time for yourself for relaxation activities, and volunteer to help others
  • Seek professional help if you cannot let go of resentments or you harbor animosity to people you believe have harmed you

We Can Help!

Call us at (954) 755-2885 or email us at

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates
5571 N. University Drive, Suite 101
Coral Springs, Florida 33067

As always, we would like to welcome new readers to our e-Letter. We hope that you find it informational and enjoyable. We invite you to share this e-Letter with others. If you have received this from a fellow reader, please send us your email address to include you on our list.

Ask the Doc

SW writes: I have been depressed for over 1 year ever since I lost my home and job. My doctor put me on some medication and it helps a little. She suggested I join a support group for depressed people. I am a shy man and am not sure I can talk in a group of people. Can you explain to me about group therapy and whether I should go?

Dr. Jim Kaikobad replies: Since you are both shy and depressed, group therapy is the ideal adjunct to your overall treatment plan because of its obvious benefits. It helps a person share their burden and realize that they are not alone with their problem or distress. Often, this alone is a huge relief, and can reassure you and give you hope. For a shy person, group therapy also offers an opportunity to open up to others in a safe environment while developing skills to relate to others. It can also be an opportunity to help others, by sharing common concerns and learning better coping skills and by discovering how others are handling similar problems. Lastly, group therapy is a cost effective alternative to one-to-one therapy. Most insurance plans will cover it and, if not, the out of pocket fees are more affordable than individual sessions.

Group therapy sessions are run by a competent therapist who is specially trained and credentialed in group leadership. Generally, groups comprise of 5-10 members and focus on tasks, topics, and discussions chosen by the therapist or group members. Under the guidance of the therapist, there is meaningful and relevant interaction between members who share mutual issues, focus on teaching and learning new skills, and change old self-defeating ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving for more adaptive and effective new options.

Email of the Month

We would like to thank Pam S. for the following email from 2009:


This only works for the year 2009. Don’t cheat by scrolling down first! It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read. Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things, its fun.

  1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10).
  2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold).
  3. Add 5.
  4. Multiply it by 50.
  5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759. If you haven’t, add 1758.
  6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number.
The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are:
Your age in 2009! (Oh Yes, it is!!!!!)

2009 is the only year it will ever work. So spread it around.

Please continue to send us your comments, questions, and favorite emails for our e-Letter.

Till March…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this e-Letter to your contacts and friends.

Copyright © 2014 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. and Associates.