Don’t Let Your Anger “Mature” Into Bitterness, by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.
“Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented.” (Gregory Popcak)
The Cause of Bitterness
All bitterness starts out as a hurt. Your emotional pain may well be related to being victimized. Someone has wronged you and caused you grieve. Anger and resentment readily came along. When left to fermentation, anger eventually becomes the corrosive ulcer that is bitterness. Stephen Diamond, Ph.D. defines bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and deservedly regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”
The Cost of Bitterness
Prolong your mental and emotional pain
Lead to long-lasting anxiety and/or depression
Precipitate vengeful acts
Prevent you from experiencing the potential joys of living fully in the present
Create, or further deepen, an attitude of distrust and cynicism
Interfere with your cultivating healthy, satisfying relationships
Compromise or weaken your higher ideals
Rob you of vital energy
Undermine your physical health by taxing (or “overloading”) your immune system
Bitterness puts the focus on the person who wronged you. Yet you don’t have any control over the other person. You do have power over yourself. By redirecting your focus inwards is precisely how you go about empowering yourself, to reprieve the entrapment of bitterness.