We’ve all met the bitter person. Where did that bitterness come from? And how does it affect that person beyond the obvious emotional impact?

Over the last 15 years, [Carsten] Wrosch has investigated how negative emotions, such as regret or sadness, affect people. Most recently, he has focused his attention on the impact of bitterness. With his co-author, Concordia alumna Jesse Renaud, they single out failure as one of the most frequent causes of bitterness. Anger and recrimination are its typical attendants.

Unlike regret, which is about self-blame and a case of “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” acrimony points the finger elsewhere — laying the blame for failure on external causes. “When harboured for a long time,” says Wrosch, “bitterness may forecast patterns of biological dysregulation (a physiological impairment that can affect metabolism, immune response or organ function) and physical disease.” -Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Create a character sketch for a chronically bitter person. Include the cause of the bitterness and the physical manifestations of the bitterness.

Journaling Prompt: How have you experienced bitterness in yourself or others?

Art Prompt: Bitter

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the effect of bitterness on the human body and psyche. Persuade your audience to eliminate bitterness from their lives.


2 Responses to Prompt #120 Bitterness

  1. What an incredible prompt! This sounds like it’s perfect for a group activity. In my day job I work in addictions- need I say more? perfect!
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