What is Negative Rumination?
One may hear or read about negative rumination, but what exactly is it? Essentially, negative rumination is unexpressed anger. It is anger at people who are seen as offenders--that is, those who have wounded one's pride and, therefore, self-esteem based on pride. Anger can be either outwardly expressed, whereby those who have hurt one's self-esteem clearly know about it, or only inwardly experienced (felt)--not directly expressed--and offenders may not even be aware of its presence. Negative rumination is the latter. It is hidden (secret) anger at someone. Outwardly, there may be the appearance of friendliness; but, inwardly, there is a range of emotions from irritability to rage.
Negative rumination involves blaming others for loss of something important (i.e. self-esteem) or for one's general discontent. Others are seen as the cause of one's personal problems and, thus, unhappiness and are the object of one's wrath. Negative rumination is unforgiving. Actually, it more than that; it is vindictive. It obsesses with perceived just retribution for various offenses committed by others. One repeatedly imagines getting back at others in some way for past or present wrongs. Because negative rumination is so mentally consuming and disturbing, ironically, the person experiencing it is the one who suffers the most from it. The offenders, at whom it is directed, likely do not even know about its existence. And if they are affected by it, it is only in some veiled, roundabout way, which may be incomprehensible to them.
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