Women who are deeply resentful but never complain often display these 10 subtle behaviors

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Resentment is like a poison that slowly eats away at you.

Not only does it destroy your own well-being, but it can ruin relationships too.

Unfortunately, we’re not always good at expressing our frustrations and irritations.

But when we keep it bottled inside, it only festers.

Here are some signs that a woman is deeply resentful, even though she never complains.

1) She constantly runs around after others

As we’ll see throughout this article, people-pleasing behaviors often end up in secret resentment.

That’s because it means someone is overly concerned with keeping others happy, and so often neglects themselves in the process.

If a woman consistently puts other people’s needs and wants in front of her own, it sounds like there is an imbalance.

Sooner or later, that’s bound to lead to her begrudgingly putting everyone else first.

2) She withdraws when she is feeling down or angry

A lot of the time stonewalling (aka the silent treatment) looks like sulking.

Sometimes it is. But it’s also important to realize that this passive-aggressive move often arises when people cannot express themselves in healthier ways.

For example, when someone finds confrontation too difficult, perhaps as they fear rejection. Or if they can’t find the words to honestly share what they worry are “negative” emotions.

But when we try to keep a lid on feelings, they have a habit of spilling out anyway, often in toxic ways.

Withdrawing becomes a defense mechanism to try to handle anger and upset at a situation or person.

3) She talks a lot about everything she does for others

My mom is a classic example of this.

She wants to be a completely selfless person, and in many ways she is. But the real truth is that selflessness isn’t healthy.

It’s not only okay to consider your own needs, but it’s essential to your well-being.

When you bury them, you turn yourself into the martyr and end up silently seething, hoping someone will realize it’s not fair how much you put yourself out.

Rather than have clear boundaries and say when something isn’t convenient for her, my mom will make very subtle complaints.

If you’re not paying attention, you could easily miss them. They seem light-hearted and played down.

She’ll very delicately highlight how busy she is or what she has to do for others.

For example, “I’m feeling quite tired as it’s been a busy week. Your sister needs me to pick up the kids again. I was there 3 days this week already. But, of course, I don’t mind.”

Although it’s not a complaint, when you read between the lines you can see the strain she feels under.   

4) She turns her irritations into a joke

Sarcasm is often used in relationships to make subtle digs.

A lot of truths get expressed under the guise of “only kidding”.

It becomes a platform to air annoyances that feel less confrontational and more indirect.

It’s another passive-aggressive outlet for the things we don’t feel like we can say straight-up.

5) She seems incapable of saying “no”

Every single request made of her she feels obliged to agree to.

Even if she is running herself into the ground and close to burnout, she still takes on more. 

It may be parties that she doesn’t want to attend, favors she doesn’t want to do, or extra workloads she doesn’t have the time for.

We only have a limited amount of energy and time. When we say yes to everything, something has to give, and that’s often at the expense of self-nurturing.

This is why people pleasing can lead to extra pressure on yourself, as we’re about to see next.

6) She gets stressed or anxious

General life dissatisfaction and taking on far too much are just a couple of things that can turn into stress.

When we have too much on our plate or feel resentment in our relationships it may manifest in anxiety or depression.

It’s not just the physical toll it can take, it’s the mental one. When feelings like anger, sadness, bitterness, hurt, and indignation build, they have to go somewhere.

This leads us nicely to our next sign…

7) She has mood swings

The reason is that she is sitting on her emotions.

When we try to push down frustration and irritation, it starts to build below the surface.

It needs an outlet, and if you don’t give it one it tends to explode.

She may end up crying over something seemingly small, but that’s because it’s all been building up.

Or she flips her lid over little things, which are the metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back.

8) There’s an unspoken tension in the air

Sometimes words don’t need to be spoken for you to sense there is an issue.

We’re very good at reading non-verbal cues that people give off because so much of our subtle communication involves these silent aspects.

That’s why resentment can show up as an uncomfortable and uneasy energy in the air.

You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you still sense something isn’t right.

9) She has a victim mentality

Resentment robs us of our power.

We end up feeling hostage to things that seem out of our control.

“I don’t like it, but what can I do about it?!”

This mindset means we slip into victimhood.

Our circumstances don’t change because we are waiting for others to make the first move.

We don’t realize that we’re the ones in charge of our own feelings, thoughts, and actions, which can make all the difference.

This sense of powerlessness only serves to further feed the resentment as she feels trapped in it.

10) She can be quite cold

Withdrawing affection is another consequence of deep resentment.

Perhaps she no longer wants to spend as much time together and makes excuses as to why.

Rather than explain how she is really feeling, she pretends she’s just busy or tired.

But it’s actually a sign of the disconnect she feels. It manifests in a withdrawal of affection and attention.

She may be complaining…just not to you

It’s worth pointing out that a woman who feels deeply resentful but doesn’t complain may have an outlet elsewhere.

The majority of badmouthing behind people’s backs springs from an inability to directly address concerns with someone face to face.

Sadly, women are often taught by society that they should always be nice and kind, and so end up suppressing what they believe to be negative thoughts and emotions towards someone.

But because that’s not natural, they then feel compelled to express themselves, and so may do that with a friend or family member.

Letting go of deep resentment

It’s a process that involves internal and external steps. But the good news is that peace of mind and healthier relationships are possible.

1) Create clear and healthy boundaries

Boundaries can feel tricky for many of us to navigate. But this is just one of the many areas where they become vitally important in maintaining healthy relationships.

We have to be able to express what we want and expect from others.

We cannot expect people to be mind readers, yet that’s often what happens. People assume expectations without clearly defining them.

They then start to feel resentment when they aren’t met.

Getting more comfortable with honest communication is a must.

I know it can be awkward, but boundaries are no use if we can’t simultaneously find appropriate ways to express and uphold them.

2) Take self-responsibility

Resentment creates feelings like “this isn’t fair”. 

But it becomes a big problem because it’s often accompanied by hopelessness that there’s nothing you can do about it.

These things combined create a ‘woe is me’ self-narrative that ends up leaving you feeling hard done by.

Taking 100% responsibility for ourselves empowers us because we start to realize we do get a say.

If we don’t like how someone is treating us, we don’t have to wait around for them to realize the error of their ways and do better.

It’s on you to choose how you want to live your life.  

3) Be kind to yourself

Self-compassion and self-care can help us to release some of the unpleasant emotions that have built up inside.

The kinder we are to ourselves the less burden we pile on. Many of the things we feel resentful about, nobody ever asked us to do.

Learning that your own emotions, needs, and preferences are just as important as other people’s is key.

4) Use empathy to let go of grudges

Sometimes resentment builds up against one person and it fills us with negativity.

To help let go it can be useful to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

The real truth is that the vast majority of us are doing the best we can, with the life tools and skills that we have at the time.

When someone falls short, they’re not necessarily a “bad person”, they are just human and so flawed like the rest of us.

5) Remember to be grateful and focus on the positives

Gratitude is like a magic tonic that can help to dissolve bitterness.

Resentment keeps us focused on our frustrations. But in the process, we can forget all that’s good.

Looking for what we can feel thankful for encourages positive emotions and aids our relationships.

It’s not about glossing over the bad, that clearly needs addressing. But it is about readdressing the balance so we don’t inadvertently overlook the good.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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