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Being bitter can take the sweetness out of life

by Jessica Kinnari March 8, 2016
Being bitter can take the sweetness out of life

Harbouring bitterness can create walls between those we love

Being bitter and holding onto emotions for too long is absolutely detrimental to friendships—and believe me, it nearly destroyed one of mine.

Graphic by Thom Bell.

Graphic by Thom Bell.

Harbouring negativity will just lead to resentment, unhappiness and an overall poor state of mental health. In the end the best thing to do is let it go, for bitterness is toxic and can poison all aspects of your life.

One of my closest friends and I had a falling out some time ago over a communication issue. Both of us were feeling a tremendous amount of emotion, but couldn’t properly express it. Our miscommunications eventually led to the disintegration of our friendship.

According to the book entitled Embitterment: Societal, psychological and clinical perspectives, bitterness occurs when an individual feels like they’ve lost control over a particular situation. Since they couldn’t prevent an undesired outcome, negative emotions begin to resonate.

My personal feelings align with the information above, because I felt like I lost control of the situation despite, my best intentions.

Normally time heals all things though, but not in this case. After a bit of distance, we tried to catch up not too long ago over lunch, but couldn’t seem to patch things up. The bitterness still resides deep within my being, and I can no longer connect with this individual.

Bitterness affects your entire life, and it is like a cancer that eventually spreads to other domains. I think about our fight every day, wishing I wasn’t so angry and upset over the way things ended up. I think about it constantly, regretting how I should’ve initiated a conversation with him, and understand the reason of our falling out.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them,” said Bruce Lee.

If something bothers you everyday then it is a problem, one that needs to be addressed.

I carry around this bitter need to fix things, and it affects my daily life.

Just walking home from school or going to class can be a battle if I’ve been thinking about the fight. I’ll sometimes choose to not go places or hang out with my friends because the bitterness makes me go to a dark and horrible place.

The feelings of resentment now have turned inwards towards myself and are affecting my own personal happiness. Letting these feelings get in the way of your own well being is not a healthy emotion.

I firmly believe that you are in charge of your own happiness. Sometimes letting go and working it out is the best way to fix the situation. Letting go of the bitterness will make things better, even if the friendship has ended at least there will be less pain.

The greatest example of not letting bitterness take control is Nelson Mandela. If he can forgive and forget those who mistreated him, then we can forgive the little things that we have done, even if it’s difficult to accept.

Bitterness is a toxin that will seep into all the crevasses of your mind. It will affect your happiness, your friends, and sometimes even your family.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong,” said Mahatma Gandhi, a sentiment we should all adhere to.

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