Skip to content

3 Signs You Are Turning Into A Bitter Person and What You Can Do About It

signs you are turning into a bitter person and what you can do about it

If you’ve landed up on this page, it is likely that you’re curious about your consistent state of discontent or you’re someone willing to dig deep, modify and acknowledge it. Read on to know the signs that you have become a bitter person and what you can do about it.

Bitterness, and mind you I say this as a person who’s been there, is as experiential as it can get. It doesn’t really matter how much you possess in life or how much you have lost. This context isn’t very dissimilar from happiness.

Ever heard of the saying “happiness is an inside job”?

Well, bitterness too is a bit like that and by saying this, I, in no way mean that they aren’t valid feelings.

When I fell into the grasps of “it” a few years ago, not knowing my life’s purpose, feeling like i was changing more rapidly than I could keep up with.

The first time I was able to overtly articulate, I described “it” as something like this: an entourage of heavy clouds rising from the pit of my stomach, spreading inside of my body and soul, poisoning every inch of my being. Soon enough, I was feeling vexed and frustrated all the time, at everybody and at everything.

Happiness is your nature.

It took me a while to realise that this onset had been an insidious process. Perhaps a slow coming out of and a slow-growing into something else. Initially, I didn’t track it for weeks, as it spread through me, dripping ever so slowly into my consciousness that I could easily pass it off as another bad day.

Read The Key To Rediscovering Inner Happiness Based On Your Zodiac Sign

However, you can imagine what happens when the bad days add up. Even when you are backed up with compassionate and genuine friends, an inherently enriching work, understanding and satisfying interpersonal relationships or talents that can get you places- none of these things matter anymore when bitterness begins to grasp you.

Now the question is,

How do you know you’re becoming bitter?

I didn’t know or even attempt to stop and look for almost two or three months, as it was happening.

What signs should you then look out for?

Here are signs you are turning into a bitter person

1. The grudges keep building

Bitterness has a lingering feel to it. You want to enjoy a drink with your coworkers but all you can think of is how one of them shortchanged you in a petty political game at a recent meeting.

You’re with your mother over the weekend watching a film after ages, but all your thoughts are directed to the one time she should have apologized the way you’d expected it.

The instances that I just cited are in no way uncommon. Coworkers can act as backstabbers and mothers become the imperfect figures we don’t want them to be, but here’s the fact : you get over these instances either by talking about them or by reassessing what can or can’t happen or even by thrashing it out with your therapist.

With bitterness setting in, that’s not how it works. You’ll mull over it and sit on it, without perhaps even lifting a finger and doing something about it.

Read 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

At times it also feels like home; you refuse to give it up at any cost.

2. The anger won’t subside

Another master sign you are turning into a bitter person. I remember that time when one day my partner had passingly mentioned how he’s not able to find his favorite mug in the kitchen. This was right in the middle of my bitter phase and the mention of something so innocuous had my hair standing.

Always use your anger wisely.

I remember having experienced an inordinate amount of anger and the trail of thoughts was never-ending, “he’s actually telling me I am at fault”, “he’s always giving these subtle hints”, “what have I gotten myself into?” “Decision to be with such a person is my own stupidity”, “Damn, I can’t even do one thing properly.”

It’ll probably not take much for you to see where this is heading. It is a guilt trip, an accusation trip, a bile trip, all of it, all at once. In a different state, you might be able to look at the situation at hand and say, “Ok, let’s see what to do about this”

With bitterness setting in, you feel far from that place.

3. The conversations won’t happen

As a bitter person, you’ll find it earth-shatteringly difficult to talk about what’s happening. Even with the people you know really well. Especially with the people you know really well.

Intentionally or unintentionally, they may say or do something that doesn’t sit with you, but you’ll not call any of it out. If you’re reading this piece, you might already know that bitterness can be a lump in the throat. You can’t get rid of it and you can’t gulp it in. It sits there, tight and unrelenting.

You sit with it, sulking, angry, complaining, even though you know talking about it might ease at least part of the weight.

So you might now see how each point resonates, but then what after it?

Is there a way to meet bitterness head on?

Read 12 Truths About Defensive Behavior

4 Ways To Handle Your Bitterness

Personally, after the initial phase, I began to cultivate the patience of taking care of my bitterness. This involved doing a number of things that I’ll now talk about.

1. Go into a dialogue with yourself

As someone who’s been bitter and seen bitter people, I know one thing – the basic answers almost always lie within ourselves.

The burning bile I experienced during those days of unending bitterness suggested to me that I could at least talk to myself, if not anybody else,that I could contemplate about what possibly is causing the misery.

In my own experience as well as that of witnessing others who have been through similar experiences, one emerging insight is – anything unresolved could potentially become the cause of bitterness.

2. Take responsibility

Take responsibility for your own betterment

Every time I have experienced myself as a bitter person, I have held someone else responsible for it. It has been family, neighbors, the political state of the country.

In that state, I have often and successfully so, projected all internal disharmony on to other people. As a corollary again, I’d say it’s not like people are not to blame. Rather, it is an opportunity to see what you can possibly change about yourself.

Instead of holding on to the bitterness you must try to spit it out. By doing this, you can take back the power for yourself.

3. Express it in “safe” ways

At the peak of purposelessness, the bitterness I felt took extreme shapes.

I wanted to hit out, lash out, do anything but to feel that way. When I found a way to work with my bitter feelings, I saw the need for “safe” expression.

And so began the crazy drawings, the incessant use of black and other heavy colors, the scratching and scrawling with the pen, using words exactly as I wanted in my private journal. I found words to describe my state and this led me to also open up conversations with other people.

This was a initial phase of self expression which helped me loosen up and be open to other possibilities of expressing my bitterness like talking it out.

Read 100+ Eckhart Tolle’s Quotes To Help You Power Through Life

4. Work it out with your therapist

If you’re already seeing someone who can hold a mirror for you, you have the support you need. I don’t have to tell you that this is perhaps one of the safest ways to work through your bitterness.

As someone who practices expressive arts therapy and someone who has perhaps seen the entire gamut of bitter feelings, I am surprised by how this subject is often handled. There is harshness, critical judgment and a lot of distancing and retrospection of what could really be causing bitterness.

If you’re reading this, please know that owning it and acknowledging it is perhaps the first steps to ultimate relief. You can always find a way to come out of the vicious cycle of bitterness.

3 Signs You Maybe Turning Into A Bitter Person
signs you are turning into a bitter person and what you can do about it pin
signs you are turning into a bitter person and what you can do about it
signs you are turning into a bitter person and what you can do about it pin
signs you are turning into a bitter person and what you can do about it

Sunanda Pati

Sunanda Pati is a certified expressive arts therapist and facilitator and a freelance creative writer. Having developed an early interest in psychology and later various forms of bodywork, she has actively worked in knowing her own inner world and processing various traumas. She believes every person is blessed with an endless reserve of inspiration, courage, and wisdom. Sunanda lives, writes, practices, and facilitates in Bangalore, India. More of her writings can be found at Gaia Comes to the City. She also runs an expressive arts initiative of the same name (Gaia Comes to the City), which can be found on Facebook.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Up Next

7 Things To Consider When Making A Midlife Career Change

Things To Consider When Making A Midlife Career Change

Are you one of those who are wondering how to go about making a career change at 50? A midlife career change can be exciting but terrifying as well, so here are some of the things to consider as well as options you can consider.

Changing careers is always challenging. But sometimes, a change is all you need to find workplace happiness and a feeling of accomplishment. We see several people changing their careers in their 40s and 50s to find better work-life balance and more tremendous success. 

The first step in a midlife career change is accepting it is possible. An average person holds 12 jobs in their lifetime – and more often than not, if you look at their journey, you’ll see that the jobs they held towards the end of their career had nothing to do with the jobs they started with.

Up Next

How To Improve Your Relationship With Yourself

Improve Relationship With Yourself

Having a healthy relationship with yourself is extremely important when it comes to living a happy and content life. Let's find out what you can do to improve your relationship with yourself.

Key Points:

Many people would be glad to work on self-improvement but believe they don't have enough time for it.

A change in mindset can help them take advantage of the time they already spend transitioning between locations or tasks.

These transition times can be used to check in with themselves and gain a better understanding of how they're feeling.

The thought of adding or removing a habit fr

Up Next

Feeling Down? 5 Reasons Why You Feel Like Shit And What To Do About It

Feelings that make you feel like shit

Feeling down? Me too, buddy. The keyword here is ‘feeling’. Feelings are weird, if you ask me. Emotions make life complicated. It ruins relationships, families and even careers. It makes you feel like shit and like hitting your head against the wall. But that’s not completely true, is it? 

Not all emotions pull you down. After all, who would we be if we didn’t feel anything? Emotions make us who we are and it adds meaning to our lives. The secret lies in identifying which negative emotions make you feel like shit and knowing how to deal with them.

Dear negative feelings, thanks for making me feel like shit 

Yes, I know we should experience the whole spectrum of human emotions

Up Next

How to Tame and Silence Your Inner Critic: 5 Ways

Ways Tame And Silence Your Inner Critic

“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.” ― Beverly Engel. This one quote perfectly shows why it's important to silence your inner critic.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your inner monologue? You know, the voice that can motivate you to press on or stop you dead in your tracks and make you feel a few inches tall.

It is the same voice that attempts to protect you from shame, embarrassment, or making a mistake. If not tamed and regulated, this voice morphs into an intense critic, one that can sabotage and stagnate if it gains too much power.


Up Next

Thanksgiving Blues? 11 Ways On How To Feel Grateful When You Don’t

Thanksgiving Blues

Not feeling grateful this holiday season? Well, even if feel like there's less to celebrate this Thanksgiving 2022, here's how to feel grateful when you don't.

The expectation of feeling grateful can be challenging when we’re struggling with loneliness or relationship, work or health problems. It can be even harder to have gratitude around holidays when we see other people happily celebrating.

When you’re discouraged or weighed down with negative thoughts, there are several things you can do.