People, Stop Holding Grudges, It’ll Only Harm You!

Holding grudges is something all of us has done at some point in time. But what good does it do to you, except making you a grumpy, angry person?

Holding grudges is something all of us has done at some point in time. But what good does it do to you, except making you a grumpy, angry person?

The world is full of people of different cultures, religions and beliefs, but I know of  another exasperating kind of people who exist. You have definitely met them too. I am not talking about the rich or poor.

It is the ones who believe that they are always right about everything. And then there are those, who feel they are always being pulled up for being wrong. On the other hand, there are those drama queens and kings with an ability to create something out of everything.

Is holding a grudge ever justified?

Arguing and having moral battles with someone who thinks they are always right is a waste of energy and frustrating. The world does not revolve around us and this is something most of us just do not seem to get.

It is a given that you will be hurt by someone, and very often, it will have nothing to do with you, at all. Grudges too, then are a given. Who has not been hurt by the actions or words of another? What is wrong then, with people holding on to grudges and regrets, you may ask? Actually not much.

Some grudges last forever. And for some, holding a grudge becomes a defence mechanism and justification against getting hurt by the same person again. Have you ever considered that the painful thoughts in your head cause you uneasiness, but the person who hurt you is unconcerned? In fact, they have moved on.

If it makes you happy then go ahead and live with your anger and bitterness. Who, then, suffers but you in this scenario? Remember it will affect your mental health like no other thing in the long run.

The worst thing you could do is to get family and friends to take sides. Ask yourself first if you would want to be involved in an issue that could put your relationship at risk? Why then allow it hold you back, I ask?

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I try not to hold too many grudges

I may not hold a grudge but I am no different when it comes to hurting. Personally, I consciously don’t allow it to linger and simply have these big mental fights in my head with that person. I know that if I did that face to face, it might make it worse.

When I am completely spent with arguing with that person in my head, I find myself letting go and then it just does not matter anymore. I have seen many in people my family actually enjoying holding on to the anger. And I also know of people who like playing the victim and if you are one of those, think again.

No one, believe me, no one cares today or has time for negativity and after a point no one will care too. Either fight it out, mentally in your head, and forget about it. Or you could try just punching a pillow hard till you get over the anger against that person.

Another way is writing a letter. Let the feelings flow and when done, read it once, twice, and then tear it up. You will realise that you are done and dusted with the grudge and anger.

If you want to confront the person, listen to them too

The most difficult option is confronting your feelings and talking it out with the person concerned. A word of caution here- do that only when you are ready and willing to listen to the other person’s point of view too.

The choice is yours because either way, it is about whether you want to keep that relationship going or lose it. Some people are unable to apologise and some are unable to accept apologies too.

There are certain thing you can do in order to help yourself figure out the course of action, depending on the situation. Here are some of them-

  • Question yourself what the issue is really about. Is it about you or is it about the other person?
  • Switch places with that person to see his or her point of view
  • Don’t keep waiting endlessly for the person to apologise. For all you know they have already forgotten the issue and moved on.
  • Don’t keep thinking about it or discuss it with others. It will only make things worse and difficult to get over.
  • Everyone deserves a second chance. We all make mistakes.
  • Relationships and friendships matter more and forgiveness is the best gift to give yourself

Holding a grudge will only increase YOUR issues

I believe letting go of the guilt and grudges that come with reliving old memories is a tough one. This is because guilt has an incredible way of popping up when just you don’t want it to.

Angela Buttimer, a Psychotherapist, says, “When we hold on to grudges and resentment, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.”  And I think that’s true.

So let me ask you this- Is it ever possible for you to change in any way? Then how can you expect for another person to change their ways, actions, behaviour or words? This will rarely ever happen and that is the truth of life.

That’s where the grudge, guilt, and the feeling of being let down kicks in.  It is followed bitterness and the anger that can only cause higher levels of stress and increase problems for you.

There will be people who’d hold grudges against you too

What if someone is giving the silent treatment or holding a grudge against you? That is possible as well. The reasons for holding onto that grudge may seem valid to them at that point in time.

Maybe you were just incredibly annoying and you deserved that anger. Or unknowingly you failed them. The anger and hurt they direct towards you could probably be deep-seated hurt which may or may not be about you.

Upsetting situations have a way of making our lives miserable. Sometimes a simple apology isn’t going to be good enough. So instead of tossing and turning it over, accept that you can’t change perspectives no matter what.  Besides this holds true for you too, does it not?

Why not use this serenity prayer?

It reminds me of the serenity prayer, I often say, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Let me leave you with another thought by Stephen J. Cannell, a TV producer and writer. He says, “So many people get involved with carrying grudges and having these moral battles with people, where they cast themselves as the righteous and the other guy is the dirt bag. They waste tons of energy on it, create all kinds of darkness around themselves and the other person. It gets you nothing.”

Get off that grudge train today and just allow it to whiz past your life station without stopping. Allow it to disappear out of sight. You and only you can make the difference.

Picture credits: Pexels

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About the Author


Effective administrator, coordinator & communicator,retired with 38 yrs of experience as Manager,Corp.Commn,ICICI Bank.Invited back as consultant after retirement to archive history of the bank. Hold event management diploma from NIEM, read more...

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