From Bitter to Better: Signs of a Bitter Person & How to Stop Being Bitter

Last Update on May 26, 2023 : Published on May 28, 2023

Resentment, anger, jealousy, envy – all these emotions aren’t new to us, but when you let them linger in your heart and mind, it can make you feel negative and bitter. When you cling to these negative emotions and let them fester, you can turn into a bitter person, not knowing when to stop or let go.

Being a bitter person can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health. Prolonged bitterness in your heart can even make you turn your back on your relationships and the people around you. Some people choose to allow their bitterness to separate them from their loved ones and others take measures to let go of the bitterness and live with joy, positivity, and happiness in their hearts.

What you choose to do with your bitterness is up to you. As humans, we’re prone to face and experience disappointment and hurt, but instead of choosing to curl up with them, we can say goodbye to bitterness and welcome betterness!

Let’s take a look at some of the signs of a bitter person and if you have them, how it affects your life, and what you can do to get rid of bitterness in your heart.

What Does “Being Bitter” Mean?

Causes Bitterness

The best way (and simplest!) to define bitterness would be, “a mix between sadness and resentment.” When you are called a bitter person, that means you keep the anger and all negative emotions bottled up, long enough for them to fester. These old wounds can prevent you from healing.

While being bitter isn’t something completely negative, it can make you feel exhausted and a toxic person to be around. If you’ve ever been called a bitter person or if you feel bitterness in your heart, then here are some signs of a bitter person you can watch out for;

  • You hold a grudge
  • You go on a complain-streak often
  • You refuse to see the good or the bright side of things
  • You feel bitterness towards others who do you harm or hurt you
  • You find it hard to forgive
  • You are often jealous or envious
  • You are too cynical
  • You are quick to blame others for little things
  • You view optimism as a toxic trait

While bitterness can look different in everyone, these signs are the most common ones you can find in any bitter person.

What Causes Bitterness in Your Heart?

Stop Being Bitter

Various reasons can give rise to bitterness in your heart and life. Some common reasons why you allow yourself to grow bitter can include;

  • Unable to forgive yourself and allowing guilt to fester to the point where your mindset grows negative
  • Feeling disappointed by others and not knowing how to address said disappointment and hurt
  • Having an all-or-nothing mindset that contributes to a negative perspective
  • Feeling a loss of control in life and knowing that you feel helpless to change
  • Delayed happiness until you reach your desired goals
  • Allowing your mistakes to label you a failure
  • Feeling like there’s nothing in your life you can be grateful for

How can these reasons and experiences impact our health and well-being?

When you live in bitterness, you live in a constant state of stress and anxiety. This constant stress and anxiety can be harmful to your physical and mental health. While our bodies can handle stress, prolonged stress can become unsustainable. When you leave your bitterness unaddressed, it can create negative side effects such as;

  • Higher levels of cortisol
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Poor digestion

When bitterness in your heart is allowed to fester, it can affect your nervous system creating issues such as;

  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Poor immune system
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased symptoms of depression
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Stomach issues, and more

If you’re being bitter, then here are some quick ways you can overcome bitterness and become a better person from a bitter person!

How to Stop Being Bitter?

Being Bitter Mean

1.Figure Out the Cause of Bitterness

Bitterness always has a root, so the first thing you have to do is figure out where your bitterness is coming from. What happened in your life that has made you bitter? If you can resolve the root issue, you’ll know how to let go of the bitterness in your heart.

Bitterness can rise from unresolved anger, unaddressed sadness, and other such emotions that make you feel out of control. Figure out the source of your bitterness and address them then and there.

2.Learn to Forgive

Next, you need to learn how to forgive yourself and others. When you’re angry or ashamed of yourself and can’t figure out how to forgive yourself, it can also worsen the bitterness in your heart.

Bitterness makes our brains react negatively to everything and it makes you blame yourself for whatever happens. This will stop once you learn how to forgive yourself. If you made a mistake or if someone hurt you, learn to forgive yourself and them.

3.Learn to Settle Your Mind

When our mind is unsettled, it can also cause our thoughts to bounce here and there in a tumultuous way. When you learn to settle your mind, you can figure out how to properly reframe your thoughts and let go of the ones that keep hurting you like old wounds.

You can settle your mind by practicing meditation, mindful walking, trying yoga, or even journaling. Doing these things will help you calm your mind and release all the bottled-up negative emotions that cause bitterness in the first place.

4.Be Responsible for Your Emotions

Your emotions are yours and you can’t put the blame on others for how you feel. If there have been events that left you feeling as if you were the victim, then you’ll keep holding others responsible for how you feel in similar situations.

Negative emotions are not the right response to things that happen in your life and you can’t keep blaming them. Learn to take responsibility for your emotions and feelings. Once you know how to control your emotions and emotional responses, you’ll be able to get rid of the bitterness in your heart.

5.Live in the Present

Past belongs in the past, so let it be. You can’t gain anything new from living in the past, so learn to live in the present. When you’ve experienced bitterness and hurt, it’s bound to keep you from experiencing new and positive things. Don’t allow your bitterness to affect your present.

To live in the present, you can try to engage in activities you find enjoyable, find new interests, get out in nature, and most of all – stay curious. If you’re too busy dwelling on the past, you’ll not see the value of the present.

6.Be Grateful, Daily

Gratitude is a practice you can’t forgo if you want to live a positive life. One of the best ways to overcome bitterness is to be grateful, every day. When you know how to express gratitude, you see things from a different perspective; a happy perspective. Starting your day with gratitude can help you keep the negatives and bitterness away.

All you have to do is list things you’re thankful for – you can also add people to your list. From the little things that happen in your life to the big events that drive your day, mention your thanks to them.

Words From The Writer’s Desk…

It’s not always easy to let go of bitterness and resentment in your life, but when you learn to get rid of it and stop being bitter, you see life from a joyful lens. The moment you let go of the bitterness in your heart, you’ll have a new (and improved) outlook on life. While it can be difficult to open up old wounds and release bitterness, you can do it by following the ways I’ve listed above on how to stop being bitter.

Once you do that; let go of bitterness; you’ll begin to live an exciting and happy life! Try these ways today and if you need additional help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional counselor or therapist.

Found this article helpful? Let me know in the comments below. If you have other tips to stop being bitter, you can share them with me at or leave your thoughts below.

Take Care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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