Bitter, Party of One

Bitterness is an emotional state of resentment combined with anger. It’s usually chronic, in nature. A bitter person feels entitled to something he or she didn’t get — whether it’s a specific courtesy or something as unspecified as happiness. Bitterness is more than anger, though. It’s verification of a sense that one had all along, a sense that: “I knew it would be this way.” Bitter people often bring problems on themselves, without necessarily realizing it. It starts out that they expect trouble or disappointment. They develop, sometimes in childhood, a view that everyone and even existence itself is somehow against them. When trouble or disappointment occurs, they grant these more importance than they deserve — and, on top of it, they expect it to happen again. Once you expect everything to go badly, then you’ll tend to give little or no importance to the things that go well, that others do well or that you do well. The best way to overcome bitterness — aside from being aware of it — is to make a strong and bold commitment to placing objective reality above feelings. Only this commitment will allow you to rise above your emotions and find possible errors in them so you can come to see reality more accurately and clearly. This is the start on the road to defeating the “self-fulfilling prophecy” fueled by chronic bitterness. You can say, “Easier said than done!” all you want, but the truth remains that facts and reality have to trump emotions, at least when the two conflict. A bitter person has to make a different commitment, or else stay in the unhappy, unhealthy realm of bitterness.