Holding a Grudge

Are you holding a Grudge? how is holding a Grudge affecting your life? Learn about letting go of Grudges

Holding onto a Grudge

It’s okay to be disappointed in someone, and yes, even in some cases angry. However, sometimes, we have to let go. Let go of that pain, and maybe that anger for which we believe others may be responsible. When this is difficult to do, it is called “holding a grudge”.

There comes a time in our lives when holding on to a grudge will come to the surface. It has to. When we think about a situation in such a negative way, it can consume us. It becomes all we think about when we think of this person who hurt us.

Most of us have at some point held a grudge or had someone hold a grudge against us. We would like to believe we don’t hold grudges…human beings are, by nature, a forgiving species. Who can cause a grievance from miscommunication?

Grudges may be real, or Who may imagine it. When we choose to do something we are not really up to, and we agree to it anyway, we can hold a grudge against the person who insisted “we come”.

We may feel resentful towards this other person for “making” us go. When, in reality, a simple, “You know I’m not really up to it, could we maybe do it another day?” would suffice. If not, we are angry most of the day, harbour ill feelings towards the other person, and become unpleasant to be around.

In turn, your friend may now have a grudge against you for being so hateful most of the day. Grudging means to bitterly hold onto that anger or feeling slighted, feeling as if we are being forced to do something we don’t necessarily choose to do. Grudges can go both ways.

There’s this story called “The Grudge”…The Grudge is about a psycho girl (psycho ghost, to be exact) who was murdered and carried her Grudge to the grave. She comes back and wreaks havoc, killing innocent people and seeking revenge on those who murdered her. Even though only one person killed her, she takes “grudges” to the extreme.

She crawls on ceilings (really, really fast), turns her head in positions that only ghosts can do, floods their home with sludge, and terrifies children. Therefore representing her “grudge”. However, these actions bring grudging to a new level, and only one fiction writer can present.

While this is story form and we, as human beings, cannot crawl on ceilings nor murder innocent people, the point is well taken. After sequels two and three (possibly four), you’re thinking: “all alright already, girl, move on, the person who murdered you is long gone”. Forgive…

In almost all circumstances, it is impossible not to go through life and experience what it’s like to have a grudge against someone, somewhere, at some point. Or to have someone hold a grudge against us. We’re not perfect. If we’ve been harmed or slighted, we can forgive, right?

Well, no, not exactly…you see, sometimes, we hold onto pain or hurt for a bit too long. This can and does cause resentment towards the person we have a grudge against.

What was once thought to be an insignificant moment now stays with us. It may be a small grudge or a feeling of resentment in which we want to bring harm to the person who caused the hurt feelings if the problem is not faced or confronted. Sometimes consciously or unconsciously, we will plot our revenge.

When there is a feeling of sadness and anger over a trivial (or important) situation with someone, and we just can’t let it go, and we’re holding on to that resentment, intended or unintended, there is a strong possibility; we are “grudging”.

People hold small grudges; however, if we cannot forgive that Grudge, it could become larger, and we could find other reasons to have even more grievances. Just not in such a violent way as in the previous story mentioned. There is a slight difference between “holding a grudge” and protecting ourselves from further harm.

A grudge means we feel we have been wronged and have not forgiven. We have not let go of that insult or betrayal and cannot sincerely move forward in our lives in a healthy way until we do.

We may feel like we are protecting ourselves when we hold onto a grudge. After all, as long as you’re angry about a situation or a person, they can’t hurt you anymore. A feeling of sadness or anger and coming to terms with this is not such an easy task.

A grudge will eat us up inside, destroy within ourselves; rather, it is guided towards the person we’re holding a grudge against or to ourselves. We bring harm to ourselves, emotionally and physically, as we hold on to that Grudge.

There are times we may not realize we are holding a grudge. It’s easy to think you have forgiven someone for hurting you, but then you may recognize the relationship has changed.

Not dealing with grievances and facing them head-on, to truly forgive and move on, causes a sickness inside of us, which simply is not going to go away unless it is dealt with. It’s there…glooming like some monster ready to take over.

Not only has research shown that forgiveness allows us a sense of empowerment and is healthier, if we’ve ever experienced (and most have) that feeling of holding on to a hurt, that sense of being wrong, we know it causes us to be in a state of confusion and indecisiveness. Do we let it go? Or do we hold onto the pain and become stronger. Not likely…

Continuing to hold on to the anger or hurt feelings over someone wronging us stresses us out. Therefore, interfering with our health and mental and emotional state. When we can’t let go of something inside of us, it has nowhere to go and can slowly harm us from the inside out. Holding a grudge against a person we love can take away from being around this person and enjoying the relationship.

The Meriam-Webster dictionary describes a “grudge” as: “to dislike or feel angry toward (someone) for something” (Merriam-Webster, 2014). Holding a grudge makes us feel bad. It’s sort of like a sickness inside, and no amount of medicine is going to take it away or make you feel better. Unless we confront this anger or sadness, we sometimes hold on to a grudge for years.

Do You Have a Grudge?

Are you avoiding a friend, a loved one or maybe an associate or coworker?

Do you find yourself deliberately ignoring phone calls or may be thinking of a way to “get even” with someone?

Are you sad, angry, hurt, disappointed in someone and unable to move past this grief or this anger? If so, rethinking the situation and finding a resolution can help to move past this Grudge…

What can we do to let go of a grudge? First, ask yourself if it is truly worth your health or destroying a relationship?

  1. Realize you are holding a grudge. Ask yourself if you are angry with someone or have resentment, a bitter feeling towards another person?
  2. Forgiveness is what is sincerely at the root of a grudge. Learning to be able to forgive can allow us to move forward.
  3. Confront the person against which you are holding a grudge (maybe there is a plausible explanation).
  4. Communicate and talk about what is hurting you or making you angry; if you can’t talk about it and express your feelings, you holding on to that Grudge.

Grudges need to be dealt with rather than holding those miserable feelings inside and allowing them to interfere with our lives. Forgive and truly let it go. Don’t just say “I forgive you”, and secretly be thinking to yourself, “that’s okay, I’ll get you back”. That Grudge is still there.

Remembering we also want to teach our children about forgiveness can help us too. When children see that mom or dad can forgive others for hurting them or making them angry, they too learn to forgive. As parents, we want our children healthy and to learn to communicate with others. We do not want them to be angry or to hold grudges.

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