By Max Highstein
Bitterness is a state of mind that colors the way we see others and ourselves, and limits our potential for loving relationships. When we are repeatedly injured or beaten down by life, we adopt a bitter, cynical, and pessimistic point of view as a way of protecting ourselves from further disappointment: "If I expect misfortune, then when it happens I won’t be blindsided or devastated by it."
This "armoring" serves a purpose for a time, until we can recover and become stronger. But at some point we have to reopen to the possibility that the world is a good place, and people can be kind. Otherwise we’ll continue to attract disappointing experiences, and never be able to fully appreciate the positive ones.