One of the biggest reasons we have trouble seeing bitter-hearted or psychopathic behavior is probably because it’s really hard to believe that these types of bitter individuals actually exist. We can’t really imagine that someone is devising or hurting us, with no conscience or that someone is lying and making up stories so that they can hurt us. It’s also hard for us to understand the reason behind all of it – the physical and emotional pain and destruction. Unfortunately, these types of people really do exist and you may know them personally, or intimately. The following signs indicate that you may be dealing with someone with a bitter heart. If these indicators are showing up in your relationship, it’s probably in your best interest to step away.
They hold grudges.
One of the biggest indicators of a bitter heart is a person who holds grudges. These people always feel like they are right and believe the person who has wronged them is automatically bad. They also have a tendency to justify their bitterness as appropriate and well-deserved. They think that because the person has done something so hurtful and insensitive, they deserve punishment. One of the big issues with this is that the anger that comes along with the grudge is often disproportionate to the wrong that was done. Often, they’re not just punishing a person for what they did but also for all the same wrongs other people have committed against them. They hold so much anger and resentment inside, it can really tear them apart.
They create confusion, chaos and conflicts.
People with bitter hearts are often narcissistic and experts at creating confusion, chaos and conflicts. The narcissistic lover with a narcissistic personality will create turmoil on a regular basis and on purpose to keep you in a heightened state of anxiety. He or she will do this even when things are good so you don’t expect the relationship to go left or to be kicked to the curb. This is why the silent treatment always catches us off-guard, sending us into a tail-spin trying to figure out what happened. Creating chaos is one of the oldest narcissistic tactics in the book, next to the silent treatment and is absolutely intentional.
They are jealous.
Bitter people are often jealous of what other people have. Most of the time, this is a result of their insecurities. They are not happy that other people are in better positions than they are and many times they can’t even hold back their bitterness. Sometimes, jealousy can even bleed into their relationships with others. Have you ever heard jealousy signals passion? This is a very common misconception, especially in relationships of emotional abuse. There is a difference between a partner who cares a lot and a partner who gets upset and controls a lot. While your partner's jealousy may appear like they are extremely passionate about you, it signals major issues of insecurity and control. Constant jealousy, rage or envy is not only unhealthy but will tear your relationship apart.
They are experts at fooling others.
You would never think it but people with bitter hearts are experts of flattery. They want other people to think that they’re better, more attractive, more interesting and smarter than everyone else. In the initial phases of a relationship they tend to tell whoever they’re dating that he or she is wonderful, attractive, interesting and smart, because they think that it reflects well on them: they’re marvelous, so they choose marvelous partners. The trouble is that they can’t deal with the inevitable result of what that proves: your development of affection for them. So what do they do? They flip the script. The minute you start getting close to them, the fear of exposing their intrinsic lack of their ability to love starts to kick in and they’ll begin to push you away, leaving you confused, upset and in pain.
They take advantage of good or vulnerable people.
If your partner is constantly consumed with their life and their needs, proceed with caution. People with bitter hearts will take advantage of you. They play on the kindness and sympathy of good people, and then try to mislead them. They will demand mercy, but never give any themselves. They will also push for warmth, forgiveness and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy. They also have no real intention of making amends or working hard to regain lost trust. A partner that does not concentrate equally to both individuals in the relationship will not change their priorities down the road.
They don’t like positive people.
Bitter people walk around like there is a constant cloud above their heads. As a result of their negative attitude, the last thing they want to do is be around a person with a cheerful attitude. One of the big reasons they don’t is because they are then confronted by their own negative attitude. Usually, they don’t have to deal with it but being around positive people forces them to confront it. They are often in situations where they can avoid those types of people, but there are situations where they can’t be avoided, like work settings. When they are around positive people, they can become anti-social. They’d rather spend time talking and thinking about how the world is against them than being social and embracing the people around them.
They demand control.
People with bitter hearts not only demand control, but also crave it. Controlling people use a whole arsenal of tools in order to dominate their partners – whether they or their partners realize what’s happening or not. Sometimes, the emotional manipulation is complex enough that the person who is being controlled actually believes that they themselves are the villain, or that they are extremely lucky that their partner puts up with them. Their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability and make up their own rules to live by. They are the type to use Scripture to their own advantage, but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance.
They have no conscience.
People with bitter hearts don’t know the meaning of the words remorse, guilt or shame. This means they can do practically anything, and then act as if nothing happened, then hit you with “what are you making a fuss about?” They don’t even struggle to fight against their sins or bitter. In fact, they actually enjoy it, all while masquerading as someone of noble character. They also have no fear. They do not care what others think of them, unless it involves being exposed, which would affect their ability to con further. They will say the most outrageous things, and then act like nothing happened when it is convenient for them.
Recognizing the signs that someone is bitter is difficult, especially when you love them, but it’s important that we confront those who are bitter head on. The longer we try to reason with someone with a bitter heart, the more we become a pawn in their game. When we confront bitter, chances are good that the bitter heart will stop counseling with us because the darkness hates the light and the foolish and bitter heart reject correction. Place the power back in your hands.