Somewhere along the way in life, everyone will have to confront some things that will threaten to embitter them. If you are in this world where you have to relate with people, where you will get offended and where there will be disappointments, then you have to understand that you will need to deal with bitterness.
Dealing with and moving on from bitterness is really important in life because if unchecked, it has the capacity to destroy relationships and to keep people stuck among other things.
In order to be able to get rid of bitterness, you must learn to examine yourself and let go of certain things.
Here are some things you can do to deal with bitterness:
What is the problem?
Whatever you do not acknowledge, you can’t deal with. In order to be able to deal with your bitterness or resentment you really have to discover and examine what has caused your bitterness. Some of the questions you may ask are: are you bitter as a result of unexpressed anger? Are you angry and bitter because of unfulfilled promises? Is your resentment borne out of unmet expectations and assumptions? Is it because you’re not getting your way?
When you interrogate your feelings and get to the root of your anger and resentment, you can begin to look out for solutions to resolving those feelings and moving forward.
Is there something you need to say?
Many times anger and animosity results from not discussing or airing one’s views, expectations, dissatisfaction or concerns. This makes bitterness to spring up in many instances because people are repressing their feelings or they do not get a proper response that might make them understand things better or help them acquire more realistic expectations.
When you have been able to trace your bitterness to bottled-up feelings, you will need to speak up and discuss some of those things that are eating at you. Many relationships fail because one or both parties refuse to talk about what they want or feel. Relationships also become strained and pain filled because people rely on assumptions instead of creating opportunities and conversations to understand what is being offered or what the other person’s expectations are.
Are you expecting too much?
Sometimes people are bitter and it is unjustified; it’s their entirely their fault. One thing that makes many people to carry unjustified resentment is unrealistic expectations and idealism.
You may discover that the source of your bitterness is tied to expectations that you have of others that are simply unfair and impractical. You may be holding them to standards that they have never promised you or ideals that no one can actually meet up to. Sometimes what you are requiring of them is simply too much. So your anger that they are unable to deliver is foolish and the only way to correct such bitterness is to change your perspective and get rid of your unfounded sense of entitlement.
You may discover that you ought to be more grateful for what you have than angry.
Are you putting up with too much?
If a relationship is filled with offenses or there are situations of one person taking the other for granted, then there is likely to be bitterness on the receiving end. Consistent bad behaviour, infidelity, and too many failed promises can cause deep pain and bitterness. Sometimes, the only solution to this is to leave the relationship.
You may only be able to resolve your anger and prevent further pain by cutting off or staying away from that person whom you can see is unwilling to change and expects you to put up with everything.
Is there enough reciprocity?
Sometimes the simple source of bitterness is that you are in relationships where everything is one-sided or you are doing so much and getting so little in return. Whether it’s a job, family ties or committed romantic relationships, a lack of or inadequate reciprocity can become a great source of bitterness.
The solution is to simply stop putting up with it. Have a conversation about your challenges and your expectations; they may be a change in the other party especially this failing is not known. On the other hand, you may just discover that you hooked up to wrong people or the wrong place. The solution might be to leave.
Is this what you want?
Sullenness and unpleasant feeling often develop when people are tie up in the wrong relationships. Many people are angry and full of sorrow because they are doing jobs they don’t like, dating people they don’t enjoy being with or just doing things they would rather not.
If you discover that this is the source of your bitterness, you need to find the courage to break away. It doesn’t matter what investments you’ve made or the other party has made, if you’re not interested in something or someone, you may end up bitter and sorrowful if you keep sticking around.
If you need to explain or make compensations, do so but you need to find your way out.
Are you grateful and humble enough?
The root of bitterness can sometimes be pride and/or ingratitude. People are doing the best they can but you can’t seem to appreciate it because you believe it’s not good enough.
Sometimes, we also hold on to tightly to people’s mistakes and shortcomings because our self-image is bloated and we think we are better than them. So you may be bitter because you think too much of yourself and wrongly believe that nobody around you are treating you the way you should be treated.
Many people are angry and resentful because they think they should get promotions they actually don’t deserve, they can’t stand to be corrected or challenged or because they are too proud to acknowledge they are ones who are wrong.
If you are in such category, your bitterness with people and life can only be solved by going on a journey of self-examination and change.
Are you forgiving enough?
The truth of the matter is that even the best people will make mistakes and do things that’ll hurt even those they care the most about. The simple reason is that offenses are part of life and anyone who wants to live a life that overcomes bitterness must learn to forgive others.
If you do not embrace forgiveness as lifestyle, you will have many things to be bitter about. If you can’t find any other reason to forgive others, know this one; you are flawed and you make mistakes that hurt others too.
Do you want to be happy?
One major thing that makes a difference between those who are able to live a life that is free of bitterness and those who just can’t seem to move past their pain is a genuine desire to be happy. If you choose being self-righteous and having something hold over people’s head than being truly happy, you will hardly ever be able to take all the steps that will lead you out of bitterness.
People who enjoy being victims and telling stories all the wrong people did can never be free of bitterness because they can’t let go of the power and justifications it gives them for being reasonable.
People who really want to be happy on the other hand will forgive even the unforgivable, just to keep their peace and truly have a fulfilled life.