Anger, Resentment


Anger, resentment, impatience, jealousy, and aggressive impulses typically tell that you’re sensing (perhaps unconsciously) at least one of the following:

  • Something you value seems threatened
  • Your value as a person seems threatened
  • Your personal values are in conflict.


Anger Management Quiz

Part I. In general:

I dwell on things that bother me___

I have trouble listening to people who disagree with me___

I tried to point out mistakes and flaws in other people___

Some people think I have a sarcastic sense of humor___

Some people think I’m insensitive___

It doesn’t take much to get me angry___

I sometimes hold onto resentments___

I often feel disrespected or treated unfairly by more than one person___

When something goes wrong, the most important think is finding out who’s to blame.___

Total number of checks X 2 ___

Part II: During the past week, I felt:

Irritable ___

Tense, tensed up ___

Losing temper easily ___

Shaky ___

Angry ___

Annoyed ___

Restless ___

Mad ___

Resentful ___

Irritated by other people ___

Hot-tempered ___

Hostile ___

Total number of checks X 1___

Part III: During the past week, I felt:

Rage ___

Hate ___

Furious ___

Like attacking people ___

Total number of checks x 3 ____

Total Score: add totals from Parts I, II, III.___

Under 9: Congratulations, your level of anger is not bad. You might take this test occasionally to be sure it stays that way.

10-19: Anger is becoming a problem for you. You may be on edge about what might make you angry next.

20 and above: Anger is on the verge of taking over your life and your relationships, if it has not already.

Love, Anger & Resentment Facts

Many subtle and hidden forms of anger, resentment, and aggression as well as obvious ones, ruin health, love, and relationships. Anger, resentment, and impatience:

  • Increase risk of many deadly disorders, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure
  • Increase risk of depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drugaddiction, and other compulsive behavior, such as workaholism and extramarital affairs
  • Reduce performance competence while raising performance expectations – you expect to do better but don’t do as well
  • Increase error rates and misjudgments
  • Make you a reactaholic – when other people “push your buttons,” you’re a powerless reactor
  • Eventually ruin intimacy and sex life
  • Create power struggles
  • Cause behavior impulses to:
    • Control/neutralize
    • Warn-threaten-intimidate
    • Inflict emotional or physical injury
  • Eliminate positive passion (conviction, meaning, intensity of purpose) through compulsion to avenge, punish, or withdrawal.

Love & Anger Test

Please put a check next to all that apply.

When I am angry at my spouse (or significant other) and I think about his or her point of view or how she/he is feeling:

  • I feel angrier ____
  • I feel kinder ____
  • I feel warmer ____
  • I feel furious ____
  • I don’t care about his or her point of view, at least not until I cool down ____
  • I feel patient ____
  • I feel like I should give support and sympathy ____
  • I feel like I should apologize for hurting his or her feelings ____
  • I feel charitable, forgiving ____
  • I find that I can’t think about what he or she is feeling until I calm down ____
  • I wish he or she would just see it the right way ____
  • Why should I see it their way, they don’t see my point of view ____

Subtract checks on b, c, f, g, h, i from checks on a, d, e, j, k, l.

Any positive number indicates a potentially serious problem in your relationship.

Boot Camp



If you often feel that things are blatantly unfair and that you’re not getting the help, appreciation, consideration, praise, reward, or affection you deserve, you’re you’re caught in the relentless treadmill of resentful living.

Resentment builds under the radar; by the time you’re aware of it, it’s in an advanced state, where it:

  • Blocks natural compassion for others, especially loved one, and justifies disregarding them
  • Forms a self-linking chain of events that makes you look for things to resent
  • Starts a downward spiral of bickering, irritability, cold shoulders, emotional shutdown, angry outbursts, and, eventually, emotional abuse in families

Here are the early signs that resentment is building to danger levels in love relationships. Either you or your partner is:

  • Irritated by things you used to think were cute – facial expressions, laughter, tone of voice, manner of dress, etc.
  • Losing interest in most forms of intimacy – talking, touch, hugging, sharing, sex

The following are advanced signs that resentment has become dangerous. Either you or your partner is:

  • Judgmental about the other’s perspective without being curious to learn more about it
  • Irritated by how the other feels
  • Intolerant of differences – you should see things my way


  • Your partner seems bent on making you feel bad, irritating you, hurting you, or pushing your buttons
  • It feels like you’re sleeping with the enemy.

Resentment Quiz

Please place a check after each that applies:

I often feel take advantage of___

I sometimes feel manipulated___

I don’t feel appreciated___

I’m often treated unfairly___

All I get from my significant other is a few crumbs now and then___

Other people get more reward or notice from less effort than I make___

Most people are just concerned about themselves___

The most important people in my life don’t consider my feelings___

What I think and feel doesn’t matter to others___

I get frustrated when people don’t behave the way they should___

I feel like I give more than I get in return___

I feel like I am judged by a higher standard than others___

I often fantasize about getting back at jerks___

Sometimes the word, “compassion” irritates me___

I hate it when someone mentions things they’ve done for me___

If you’re not careful, you’ll be cheated most of the time___

I don’t get enough help___

I have to put up with more crap than a lot of other people___

I have a hard time getting my mind off problems when someone doesn’t behave like they should___

I have trouble thinking about a solution when someone else is to blame___

Total Score (add all the checks)___

0-5: Congratulations, your level of resentment is not bad. As long as you balance out whatever resentment you have with compassion, at about a 5:1 ratio of compassionate thoughts to resentful thoughts, you’ll do fine in life’s relationships.

6-10: Resentment is becoming a problem for you. You may expect to be disappointed and, in response, start looking for things to resent.

11 and above: You are entering the red zone of resentment, from where it can easily take over your emotional life without you ever knowing it.

170-190: Your tendency is to blame rather than improve. You must choose between blaming and improving, because you cannot do both.

200-210: Resentment is chronic and hardening.

Above 210: Resentment is moving toward contempt and bitterness.



The Most Common Addiction: Anger/Resentment
(from The Powerful Self)

As part of the fight or flight instinct we share with all mammals, anger is the only emotion that acti­vates every muscle group of the body. It comes from the limbic system, a small region of the brain known as the mammalian brain, because we share it with all mam­mals. Virtually every mammal experiences anger the same way that we do, to mobilize the organism for fighting.

The biochemicals secreted in the brain during the experience of anger — most notably the hor­mone, epinephrine and the neuro­transmitter, norepinephrine — are experienced much like an amphetamine and an analgesic. They give a surge of energy while they numb pain.

Epinephrine is an especially powerful chemical that is sometimes injected directly into the stilled hearts of heart attack victims to get them to beat again. As with any amphetamine, once the surge of anger burns out, you crash. (That surge of energy is borrowed from the future.) The experience of anger is always followed, to some de­gree, by depression.

Think about it: The last time you got really angry, you got really depressed afterwards. The angrier you get, the more depressed you get, once it wears off. And that is merely the physiological response, regardless of whether you do something while angry that you’re ashamed of, like hurting the feelings of someone you love.

So an addictive trap is sprung when the energy surge of anger is used frequently. In no time at all, anger will seem necessary to escape depressed mood, even though it inevitably means more depression. In other words, the brain will look for excuses to be angry and make you an anger junkie.

You may be an anger junkie if you use anger:

  • For energy or motivation (can’t get going or keep going without some degree of anger). This often takes the form of getting mildly angry to do a job you don’t like to do, like your taxes or raking the leaves. The anger gives you the energy to get through the task, even though you won’t do it as efficiently
  • For pain-relief (it hurts when you’re not angry)
  • For confidence, a stronger sense of self — you only feel certain when angry (probably because you’re oversimplifying)
  • To ease anxiety, especially in new or uncertain situations. If you get irritable when things depart from the norm or if you’re super-critical in new social situations, you are using anger as an anxiety-reducer
  • To militate out of depressed mood. This can put you on one wicked rollercoaster ride. Pretty soon you’ll have only two feeling states: one of the many forms of anger, such as grouchiness, irritability, or resentment on the one hand, and depression, lethargy, or weariness on the other.

The Anger Junkie Test

Please put a check next to all that apply.

I use anger or resentment:

For energy or motivation (can’t get going or keep going without some degree of anger) ___

For pain relief (it hurts when not angry) ___

For confidence (only feel cer­tain when angry) ___

When I’m nervous ___

To avoid depression ___

To enforce a sense of entitlement (get what I deserve) ___

To punish or inhibit honest disagreement with my opinions ___

More than once a day, and it lasts for more than a few minutes. ___

Any check marks indicate a reliance on some degree of anger.


Impatience Test

Please put a check after each that applies.

When I’m in a hurry or need to get things done or just in the course of an ordinary day, I:

Lose track of other people’s perspectives ___

Fail to understand or care about how they feel ___

Feel disgusted by their choices ___

Feel held back ___

Feel like hardly anything works the way it should ___

Feel like the world is full of jerks___

Total Score (add all the checks)___

0-1: Congratulations, you’re not too impatient.

2-3: Impatience is causing you a few problems.

3 and above: Impatience may be impairing your relationships and setting you up for failure.