How To Be Less Bitter

Do you know bitter and cranky people? People who see everything as a problem and everyone else as responsible for the problem? I know people like this.  They’re hard to work with and hard to be friends with; as students, they are hard to teach and support, and as a result they have a hard time learning. (But alas, I keep trying because that’s what I do.)

Related to this, I found another gem on Indexed – this one called Ponderous:

Ponderous, from Indexed

How do we develop the ability to reflect? We practice by engaging in “the process of internally examining and exploring an issue of concern, triggered by an experience, which creates and clarifies meaning in terms of self, which results in a changed conceptual perspective” (Boyd & Fales, 1983, p. 100).

Easier said than done (and it could in fact be easier said!). But I think this has much to do with learning from your experiences instead of letting them get you down.

This is how to be less bitter.

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7 thoughts on “How To Be Less Bitter

  1. Oh, man! Those people at Indexed can say more on one little striped card than whole libraries of self-help books can say in about forty linear feet of shelf space.

    I LOVE this one! I want a bumper sticker of this one. I’m going right now to put this one on my blog.

    Thanks!

  2. Yeah, D.P. … people won’t like you much.

    But I have another plan. I’d like to perfect the blaming but not be bitter about it. Whaddaya think? That way neither the blame NOR the stench sticks to me.

    no?

    sigh …

    Well, it’s back to my standby (much easier to tell other people than to remember for myself). “It’s better to be a stable person than to live in a stable world.” (And no jokes about stable-dwelling donkeys or their hinder parts.)

    Really, that’s what the bitter complainy thing is about, as far as I can tell. It’s a tired child’s reaction to an unrecognizable or unexpected universe. “But I wanted the OTHER one …!”

    still … non-bitter complaining seems like a very good option some days.

  3. This is aparticular challenge in the public/political/media sector.

    Far too often we base important community decisions on narratives crafted in the media by bitter individuals (be they the sources talked to by the press or the people commenting on the stories) as well as on the pressure placed on public processes by bitter advocates.

    This isn’t a matter of problems making someone bitter. People can have problems, compaints, gripes, etc… and be angry even, and thats perfectly okay.

    To be bitter, though, is as you’ve highlighted here to be without reflection. To make decisions that affect all of society based in bitterness is just irresponsible and wrong. Unfortunately most modern media tools and other ways of projecting influence today favor the loud/bitter over the thoughtful and reflective. Dealing with this skewed perception of the world will be the single greatest challenge in public life for this century.

    • ‘zackly!

      The Tyranny of the Helpless (or the Hopeless or the Hapless …) —it drives me nuts! It seems to me that making policy decisions based on the lowest possible (not the lowest common) denominator is to make policy decisions that will be likely to CREATE the lowest possible denominator.

      But, on the other hand, I think these things are also cyclic. After awhile, the great weighted glob in the middle leans back again, and the outside edge is once more the overbearing, overcritical, and over-controlling. Then we wait a bit, and the glob leans back, and we have where we are today at the opposite outside edge.

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