Have you just been feeling off or blah lately? Would you even go so far as to say you’re feeling bitter? The Cambridge Dictionary defines a bitter person as “someone who is bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget bad things that happened in the past.” So how do you know when you’re getting past the point of anger and to the point of bitterness?
Well, there are a few signs, according to Seth Meyers, a psychologist who described three signs to look out for in Psychology Today.
The little things end up bothering you
Meyers reveals that a “bitter person’s baseline mood is often angry, disappointed or irritable.” So maybe you’ve spilled coffee on your favourite shirt, or your computer keeps crashing, and while you’d normally be annoyed by these things, you’re beyond that — and you can’t seem to let those negative emotions go.
If you’ve noticed yourself behaving out of character by going off on someone or feeling angry for no reason, it could be that you’re on the path to bitterness.
You feel misunderstood or underappreciated
Maybe you’ve been fighting with your partner more than usual, or perhaps your co-worker is driving you up the wall because they aren’t seeing your hard work. In both scenarios, you need to ask yourself if you feel appreciated and seen by them. If not, is it because the relationship isn’t serving you anymore — or is it because you’ve become bitter?
Meyers explains that people who are feeling bitter “have lost faith and trust in others close to them, telling themselves that relationships are not worth the hassle because no one ultimately cares enough about them anyhow.”
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You think you may never experience true happiness
As dramatic as this sounds, you need to pay attention to how you’re feeling. Meyers says that “when a person becomes bitter, there’s often a sense of betrayal about how life has treated them,” so you may feel not only unhappy with your life, but believe you don’t have a shot at genuine happiness.
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How can you stop being bitter?
With everything going on in the world right now from inflation to climate change, it’s natural to feel a sense of doom and gloom at times. However, if you do find yourself feeling bitter, the best thing you can do is take steps to create a change.
Meyers suggests doing productive activities the next time you start to feel too strongly (AKA you overthink and over-feel). These activities can include spending time with friends or practicing some self-care — whatever makes the most sense. And you can also consider getting support from a mental health professional who can also assist you.