Dealing with bitter people

Dealing with bitter people can be exhausting, if you let it be. Bitter people resent your good fortune, your life and just about everything about you, and they let you know it. Yes, they let you know it, usually in a passive aggressive way. They are not fun people to have around.

So how do you deal with a bitter person in your life?

I decided to start my research by Googling some good quotes on bitterness. Here’s some of the ones I found;  

“Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.”
~Harry Emerson Fosdick

“I know from personal experience how damaging it can be to live with bitterness and unforgiveness. I like to say it’s like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. And it really is that harmful to us to live this way.”
~Joyce Meyer

“Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.”
~George Eliot

“Before you give someone a piece of your mind, make sure you can get by with what is left.”
~Author Unknown

Essentially, you’re dealing with someone that has made you their object of obsession. They have loved you so much that now they hate you for it. They hate you for their disappointment, their shortcomings, and their own loneliness. They want to hurt you as much as they hurt themselves.

The problem is whether or not you even care. Oftentimes the object or target of bitterness has moved on in their life and past this bitter person for a reason. No amount of jabs and pokes will ever reach them because they’re beyond being affected anymore. But if you have a bitter, angry person in your life making waves, there are ways and means for you to protect yourself from their wrath.

The first thing you have to realize is this person is in a great deal of pain. It’s pain the voices in their own heads inflict on them. They have no idea how to deal with it, or take ownership of it, except to blame it on someone else. It’s a sign of entitled immaturity or malignant narcissism;


In reality, no one is entitled to your love or your attention. Those gifts are to be given freely and without restrictions, and only to the people you wish to share them with. No one is entitled to love.

You are not responsible for their pain, their bitterness or their resentment. Those are all feelings they have created in their own heads and they alone have manifested them and they must own them. It is their own childish outlook on the human condition that makes them believe someone else is responsible for the way they feel and until they mature, they will never grasp that concept.

The only thing in life you are responsible for is your own happiness.The actions of someone else do not have magical powers that can make you unhappy. You don’t need for someone to make you happy. If you aren’t happy in your own heart, no one will ever do that for you.

You can’t fix them.

They have to fix themselves.


About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Personal Boundaries Primer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Dealing with bitter people

  1. OneHotMess says:

    Thank you! I loved this…so much truth packs into this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen, I do not like to deal with the bitter and the toxic in the world. Like poison they will drag you down, very rarely will your good intentions lift them up! I often try to understand the awful situations that someone must have endured to be so bitter, mean and resentful of everyone else!! Thanks for the thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. orestgtd says:

    Thanks for linking to my post Madeline.

    I’ve had a look around your blog and I think it would take me hours and hours to explore it all 🙂 I enjoyed reading two of your posts, “Are you seeking Validation on Facebook?” and “Are Facebook Comments just Wasted Keystrokes?”.

    Wishing you all the best for 2013.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Becky says:

    This is an interesting topic. I believe that bitter people, are sad, people, and the root of their bitterness is most likely anger and fear. Realizing that I am not responsible for their bitterness is a big step. I am only responsible to treat them with love and respect as a fellow human being. I can’t control their thoughts or their actions. It’s hard to be around bitter people without letting them pull you down. I guess that’s why we try and avoid them, but sometimes, they are just unavoidable 🙂
    Thanks for the thoughts, and thanks for the pingback too!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. afteramerica says:

    Reblogged this on AfterAmerica's Blog and commented:
    My brother-in-law in San Francisco I find to be a bitter person. He loves to play the game “my life is your fault.” He has huge back problems. Why? He carry’s his bitterness directly on his lower back showing he has a lot of “unresolved issues” from his past. You realize you can’t change your past and you can’t predict the future (well maybe Clif Hi can at Half Past Human dot com) but for most of us it is important to live in the ever present now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. frizztext says:

    I remember your advice: “Be nice, but don’t be stupid. Keep your distance and stay happy!”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: supersize me…with happiness | Madeline Scribes

  8. I cannot abide a bitter person. They are toxic and anathema to everything I strive to be. Who wants to carry around that heavy, dirty load? I went to Google too, and found this gem:

    “The bitter heart eats its owner.”
    ~ Bantu proverb

    And a few inches down, I saw this. Mr. Mandela’s infinite wisdom and purity of heart shine through:

    “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
    ~ Nelson Mandela

    ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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