Have you ever been profoundly mad at and avoided, or ceased speaking to a person because of a real or perceived wrong done to you? Are you holding on to the resentment toward that person in a need to be right? Could you have been part of the issue? If so, be aware that holding a grudge keeps you in a persistent state of resentment. The negative emotions of resentment keep the problem going on forever…or until you decide to deal with it.
Merriam-Webster defines a Grudge as:
- unwilling to give or admit : give or allow reluctantly or resentfully <didn’t grudge the time>
- a feeling of deep-seated resentment or ill will
The awful thing about holding a grudge is that the person who suffers the most is YOU. You feel the resentment, the anger, the hostility toward the target of your dislike. The mention of that persons name flames the anger or hurt associated with the unresolved issue, making you tense, uncomfortable and upset. The only remedy is to work out the issue or to forgive the person.
In the article from the Mayo Clinic titled “Forgiveness: Letting Go of Grudges and Bitterness”, states that forgiveness is:
“a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.”
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse
Holding a grudge not only binds you negatively to that person, it can also affect your health.
Therese J. Borchard’s article in psychecentral.com, “8 Tips to Stop Holding a Grudge”, relates we first need to:
- Acknowledge the problem in order to solve it
- Share your feelings with the other person (yep, this can be really hard – but they may not even be aware!)
- Switch places in order to understand the other persons point of view
- Accept what is whether you get an apology or not
- Dont dwell on it – move on
- Use this as a learning experience – see the positive
- Let it go
- Forgive. This doesn’t mean forget, it may mean agreeing to disagree.
The questions is…how can you be happy if your emotions are all tied up in knots and you are harboring resentment toward another person? The other person may be walking around not aware of, or not giving a tinkers damn, that you are upset. The multitude of negative feelings keeps you stuck on an issue or event, which in turn, holds power and controls some aspect of your life.
Fixing what’s broken, exposing your feelings to a person who has hurt you, is a scary thing. Nobody wants to be belittled or brushed off, but sometimes in this life, you have to get past what’s stuck in your craw to move forward.
Do you want to be happy, or keep score? It’s Your choice…but we hope you choose happy.