A vindictive person is someone with an enduring need for vengeance. People who are prone to vindictive behavior have a high level of negative emotions, and often take out their anger by hurting their loved ones in some way, via psychological or physical abuse and manipulation.
Vindictiveness is also commonly a result of a personality disorder such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder is also characterized by excessive and impulsive behaviors, emotional instability, a strong fear of abandonment, self-destruction, paranoid thoughts and unstable self-awareness. Narcissistic personality disorder may include an exaggerated sense of self-value, lack of empathy, self-centeredness, repressed aggression, hatred, envy, paranoid and suspicious thoughts and behavior. A vindictive personality can negatively impact social, family and work relationships.