cut nose off to spite face

cut (one's) nose off to spite (one's) face

To seek retribution against someone else in a manner that is ultimately harmful or disadvantageous to oneself. He fired Tom for criticizing his managerial skills, but Tom accounts for nearly 75% of his branch's quarterly sales, so all he's really done is cut his nose off to spite his face. I know you're mad at your parents, but running away is only going to make your own life harder. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face.
See also: cut, face, nose, off, spite

cut one's nose off to spite one's face

Prov. to hurt yourself in an attempt to hurt someone else. (Often in the form, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.") Isaac dropped out of school because he wanted to make his father angry; years later, he realized that he had cut off his nose to spite his face.
See also: cut, face, nose, off, spite