Gratitude for evil deeds or actions of others.
This one is quite obvious. Showing or feeling appreciation for the evil deeds and actions of others is not virtuous in any way, shape, or form. If anything, it is little more than indulging in a form vicarious revenge or sadism. Regardless of whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, this form of gratitude makes you an accomplice in the evil deed.
Gratitude for the misfortune of others.
The German word Schadenfreude (harm/joy) perfectly captures the essence of this kind of negative gratitude. Experiencing satisfaction at the misfortune, ill-luck, failure, or humiliation of another is nothing more than malice. Though this kind of gratitude may bring pleasure, it is hardly a respectable form of gratitude.
Gratitude for the possibility of shirking ones duties and responsibilities.
Everyone appreciates a snow day now and then, but feeling grateful for being given the opportunity to shirk your duties and responsibilities when the possibility of fulfilling those duties and responsibilities is viable is false gratitude. It reeks of irresponsibility and immaturity.
Gratitude for getting away with lies and evil acts.
A common example of this is the unfaithful husband who is grateful that his wife knows nothing of his illicit affairs. Another is the relief one feels when one is able to float a lie past someone else. Regardless, the gratitude one feels is often short-lived, for lies often have a way of resurfacing later until they are ultimately revealed.
Gratitude as an excuse for accepting something suboptimal when a more optimal option can be attained.
Being grateful for little things is virtuous, but there is nothing virtuous about sacrificing one’s potential for the contentment of little things. Of course, there is nothing wrong with contentment, but gratitude that is content with small things breeds a false sense of satisfaction that could prove limiting and harmful in the long-term. This kind of gratitude inspires passivity and acceptance. It is the gratitude of the coward and the slave – there is no dignity or nobility in it.
There are a few others, but these shall suffice for now. On the whole, gratitude is a virtue, but not all forms of gratitude are virtuous. Negative gratitude is an interesting subject to include in novels and stories, but one should be aware of them in life as well.