If You’re Feeling Resentful At Work, There’s Only One Way To Fix It (And Only You Can Do It)

Finding balance at work can be difficult, but you can't live without it.

Worker looking frustrated and feeling resentful at her desk. DimaBerlin / Shutterstock.com

The workplace trend of “resenteeism” and a growing disconnect felt by employees in their companies have become the new “quiet quitting” of the corporate world. 

Not only do people feel undervalued and under-compensated, but they’re growing resentful because of it.

Mentor Alissa Boyer took to Instagram to address the growing feeling of resentment in the workplace and urged people to take one personal step to address it. 


There’s only one way to help combat feelings of resentment at work, and the responsibility lies with you.

Addressing resentment can be challenging — not just to fix but also to acknowledge. 


Often, it’s a culmination of a million different feelings, conversations, and interactions that fuel a much more complicated mood, something that’s common in high-stress situations like work.

overwhelmed employee holding head in hands Yan Krukau / Canva Pro

RELATED: Life Coach Explains The Difference Between Feeling Burnt Out & Having A 'Burnout Mindset'


But, as Boyer suggested in her recent post, resentment can be boiled down to one simple cause — an “unmet need.” 

Maybe you’re underpaid, and your unmet need might be the freedom from the stress of monthly bills. Perhaps your boss guilt-trips you into more work or time in the office than you’d prefer, and your unmet need is flexibility and free time.

@chelsea_canedy Replying to @Drive In Drawing lets talk resentment and burnout.Many clients come to me saying”i dont know what im good at or if im actually good at anything”9 times out of 10 this is because they are in environments that make them feel resentful about tasks and activities that they would otherwise love. Work environments where you experience micromanaging, a lack of trust, and stressful or toxic cultures can have you second guessing yourself. Resentment can then build from the environment not matching your hope or expectations.This is 100% normal, however a lack of motivation can follow making you question yourself in that work environment and in others.Remember to be kind to yourself if you’re experiencing this and let yourself process the emotions and rebuild your working relationships to better support your emotional wellbeing or look for an environment that really supports you professionally.If you need help with either snag a 1:1 coaching appointment in my bio for support and guidance in moving forward. #resentment #jobtok #careertok #burnout #healingburnout ♬ original sound - Chelsea | Career Coach

Like any unmet need, it needs to be addressed so it doesn't fester. 


Some people might leave their jobs or sever relationships as a means to rid themselves of the subsequent resentment, otherwise known as unrecognized resentment, but there are ways to actually heal from it.

How can you heal from resentment at work and strained relationships as a result? Start setting boundaries.

RELATED: 7 Unexpected Benefits Of Setting Boundaries At Work (& Exactly How To Do It)

If you’re feeling resentment at work, it might be a reminder that you need to set boundaries.

Of course, many have already rolled their eyes at the overused (and, might I add, misunderstood) phrase “setting boundaries.” However, the more you implement healthy work boundaries, the more they’ll serve you. 


Boundaries help honor our needs. They are not a means to control or enforce other people’s behavior but rather a way to protect ourselves from it.

Two work peers having a conversation. Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

“Boundaries are how you teach people,” or even thoughtfully remind people, “how to treat you,” Boyer wrote. They serve as reminders of our needs, wants, and comfort levels. 


For employees that could be anything from equitable time off to maintaining a healthy workload. 

If you’re struggling with burnout or feeling undervalued, make an effort to keep and reinforce work boundaries.

“If you’re always overgiving or taking care of everyone else without ever speaking up for what you need … and you’re silently resentful, frustrated that they don’t ‘just know’ what you need … It’s time to look at the part you’re playing in this.”

You might recognize that your workload is too heavy or you’re not being respected in the workplace, but if you continue to stay complacent or accept the circumstances, are you really drawing a line in the sand? Complaining about work is a part of life, but if you don’t set healthy boundaries or remind people what you’re okay with, you shouldn’t complain.


One way you might set boundaries to target resentment over your workload is to prioritize your time clearly, whether in a calendar or some other format. When your boss comes to you with something new or another project, ask them what they’d prefer you prioritize — then ask for help.

If you know how much time you have to work, how much time your current projects and responsibilities will take, and set a boundary at how much “extra” time you’re willing to put in, your boss will have to respect that you can’t handle it all. It’s easier said than done, but advocating for yourself and combating feeling resentful takes practice. 

Don’t let harmful interactions and a toxic workplace build up.


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.