Spite is usually considered petty. It had this darker connotation that you want to cause some sort of humiliation or inconvenience to someone else because they wronged you originally. Spite fuels vengeance. It’s always looked down on as a negative emotion or motive, but spite, whether we want to admit it or not, fuels and motivates us to keep grinding. Therefore, you should succeed out of spite.

I’m very aware of my red flags. I am a petty person who lives off of passive-aggressive comments. I’m also unhealthily competitive, so if you say I can do something, I will prove you wrong. I could trauma dump and talk about how my dad issues directly correlate to my busting my a** in college. Or how being the kid of two immigrants makes me want to prove something to the world. Or how I would sacrifice my body as a kid while playing sports to win at all costs. (2 knee surgeries, a couple of dozen broken bones, a few concussions, and a bunch of miscellaneous injuries later, I can tell you it was always worth it.) But you don’t want to hear how petty and spiteful I can be. I’m also not trying to wave my red flag around on the internet, even if it would make good content. 

Succeed Out Of Spite

Everything In Moderation

Spite should not be the only thing motivating you in life. Leading a life with anger and pettiness is exhausting at best. However, spite can be a great auxiliary motivator. You should want self-improvement for yourself. We all have dreams and goals we want to achieve, but motivation wanes as time passes, so let spite reignite the passion for your dreams. It might only be a temporary boost, but sometimes that’s all you need to help you get back on track. 

Success, Spite, and Heartbreak

If you are in a relationship filled with spite, then you should 100% leave. But there is something to say about dealing with heartbreak through spite, especially if your relationship was toxic. Dating someone who never supported you or believed in you is demoralizing. Breaking out of that toxic environment is hard. Even if the relationship was toxic, the aftermath can leave you heartbroken and shattered. Picking up the pieces after a toxic relationship sucks, but if you lean into spitefulness, at least for me, it makes the recovery more bearable. 

Again, this might be my competitive side, but if someone tries to drag me down and belittle me, then I need to prove them wrong. It’s not that their opinion of me matters, but I’m just petty. Usually, my inner monologue sounds something like this. “Oh, you think I can’t do something? Okay, bet. Watch this.” As I’ve gotten older, my need to prove doubters wrong is as strong. I’ve learned to pick my battles, but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t at least a little spite and pettiness fueling me toward my goals.  


I love rejection. Scratch that. It makes me sound like a masochist. But rejection fuels me like nothing else. I become a different person after I get rejected. I have a box full of rejection letters from magazines and publishers. It’s something I almost look forward to at this point. I can’t wait to get rejection letters from grad schools when I start applying. Seeing a written letter that sounded no or that I wasn’t good enough triggers something primal in me. Again, my inner monologue just wants to prove that those publishers made a mistake and will have to live with it. 

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but with a bit of a perspective change, it can fuel your growth. Getting told no sucks, but sometimes it’s the swift kick in the butt we need. I sometimes grow complacent, and rejection is a stark reminder to wake up. So let the spite of rejection keep you going. 

Spiteful Success

Success is success. Does it matter what emotions or motivations got you there? Negative emotions shouldn’t consume you, but to ignore those emotions and fake positive ones isn’t healthy either. Turn negative emotions into something productive. People love to use the gym and workouts as stress relief and an outlet for their anger. Some of my best lifts happened after stressful days. Use spite and pettiness to reach your goals. Who’s going to stop you, the person who said you couldn’t do it? Don’t let them win like that. Prove them wrong. Be spiteful. 

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