rub salt in a wound

rub salt in(to) the/(one's) wound(s)

To make something that is already difficult, unpleasant, or painful even worse; to accentuate, aggravate, or intensify a negative situation, emotion, or experience (for someone). After losing the championship match, it really rubbed salt in John's wound for his girlfriend to break up with him the next day. My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but hearing that they gave it to Dave really rubbed salt into the wound. I can't believe you would ask me to pay you back on the day that I got laid off. Thanks for rubbing salt in my wounds, man.
See also: rub, salt

rub salt in a wound

Fig. to deliberately make someone's unhappiness, shame, or misfortune worse. Don't rub salt in the wound by telling me how enjoyable the party was. Bill is feeling miserable about losing his job and Bob is rubbing salt into the wound by saying how good his replacement is.
See also: rub, salt, wound