“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” Steve Maraboli
Many times people get their feelings hurt, and after that either they don’t communicate that feeling to the offending party. This causes the feeling grow into a grudge. Grudges are a strange emotional phenomenon where a hurt feeling turns into a piece of baggage that get heavier every day.
Many people carry grudges for strange and wondrous reasons. Some hold on to grudges because they think they are able to get even with the person, or the grudge holder believes they are standing for a cause and doing so means they are willing to martyr themselves for whatever cause they believe they standing for. While not grasping the fact that no one really cares.
Why does a person hold a grudge?
The reasons behind that are as vast as the people who are holding on to those heavy burdens called grudges. I actually tried to think of a few good reasons as to why you would want to hold on to a grudge and apply it to the few grudges I do hold. The main reason is because people believe they are wronged and though the offending party often has no clue as to why they know they are targeted by the grudge holder. So you can chalk the reasons as to why up to only one good reason and it really isn’t a reason as to a life lesson learned the wrong way and that is once bitten twice shy.
Yet people like to hold grudges against some very interesting items. Beside, people like family members. I have a sister who is not happy with me because of something out of my power. My dad didn’t split things up evenly between my sisters and me. One sister just accepted it while another sister has not talked to me in 3 years.
But then there are co workers and this can get dicey because if not handled correctly it can affect work and both people can loose their jobs. Work grudges need to be handled like adults and the offended person needs to be adult enough to talk to the offender about the problem, and get the issue worked out.
Then there is the item that will forever cause grudges and riffs in a nation and that is political views. One side will be more inclined to hold a grudge while the other side will continue doing what it believe it need to do. Which turns the problem in to a self fulfilling prophecy because the offended side will be too busy talking about what the offender did.
People have also held grudges against businesses Other wise known as boycotts. Now normally these do not work unless every person who is participating in the boycott is truly offended and to find that many passionate people is a challenge. Yet, it has happened. When was the last time you heard a hit song from the Dixie Chicks? Or with out a bunch of Black people being upset about how Rosa Parks was treated we might of just still had segregated buses
Countries also are known to hold grudges, but instead of calling them grudges they are called Embargoes and tariffs This basically is politicians and leaders trying to hold a grudge against another country. Often this doesn’t work quite as planned because the longer it goes on the more diffused the reason behind the embargo becomes.
Then you have Society itself holds grudges against other societies., You have a battle going on in the USA right now of the Haves against the Have Nots, or at least that is how it appears to some groups. Then you have religious groups holding grudges against each other whether it is Baptists against the Catholics or the Pentecostals against the Nazarene, or even everyone against the Mormons. You have grudges against each other. Muslims hold a grudge against Christians for a reason no one really understands. It is no wonder that people hold grudges. They get their feelings hurt because of this reason or that reason, and then a grudge is formed.
So let say you have a grudge against the guy across the street. For sake of argument we will call him Bob. Now, Bob one day was mowing and the lawnmower chucked up a rock and it smashed a flower pot. Now this isn’t any ol’ Flower pot, This was painted by your 25 year old son back when he was 8 years old, and to up the ante a bit let say that you son died in a car accident 2 days before the grudge was formed. So, you are grieving and heart broken and then a treasured artifact of your sons precious existence was was just violently destroyed by this new guy Bob across the street. So do I have the scene hammered down pretty good?
So why is it a bad thing to have a grudge…
So why is it a bad thing to have a grudge against Bob? Now, Yes, Bob did destroy the painted flower pot your now deceased son so lovingly painted for you when he was 8. So why not have a grudge? We can break this up into three compartments There is Emotional damage Health problems, and relational problems.
To start off, the emotional problems,First you develop anger. This is one of the most unhealthy emotions people face these days. I have a firm belief that every emotion has its place but, anger is one that is like a nuclear bomb use only as a last resort. Another problem with anger is that it grows, morphs and evolves in to resentment.
Resentment is one of those emotions that affect people is odd ways. Sometimes they can almost seem manic in their emotional responses. They can be around the offending person, in this case Bob, and then something is said and boom! Your feelings are not just hurt but you are seething! You may go as far as yelling and cussing out Bob. Then again you might be able to control it and the resentment grows in to bitterness.
Bitterness is a cancer of the soul. When you start to become bitter it is not just about Bob it is about those who are friends of Bob. Those who live next to Bob and your fun loving self slowly dies and you become this miserable husk of a person. This causing other problems such as distrust and that leads into other relationship problems.
A grudge also causes relationship problems because when grudges develops in to bitterness, people do not want to socialize with you. They may stop by to see how you are but when they see that you are still miserable and bitter about the broken flower pot even your friends will stop coming by.
Grudges also prevent opportunities from happening. Because you are holding this grudge against Bob you lose the opportunity to be able to find out that Bob just recently lost his wife in a car wreck also. He moved from the home they had together for 20 years because the memories were so painful. You could of helped each other out. You could of become best friends but that opportunity was lost because you allowed anger to develop into a grudge.
How do you get rid of a grudge?
Now out of all this, how do you get rid of a grudge? The best thing to do is don’t get angry that is the seed that forms into grudges. You can direct the energy of anger into different paths that are more constructive and helpful than being mad.
For example, That flower pot is broke. Your too upset to talk to Bob about it right now. So why not piece the flower pot back together? You have a better chance of getting all the pieces to fit together, and get it sealed to make it stronger, if you put it back together right away.
The best solution is to go and talk to Bob about the accident you might be able to address a grievance and handle it is a more mature way. There is always a solution if you think about it in adult forms, and handle it maturely This way is very tough but the most graceful and it is called Forgive and forget. That way the grudge will not have any soil to grow in.
Another way is to use the paper method this works when the grudge is still in the anger phase and at times the resentment phase too, and you write out all the emotions that Bob stirred up about the flower pot when it was smashed. When you are finished writing about all the damage Bob caused and you have cried your tears out. Used up 14 and one half pencils then set it off to the side, and in the morning burn the paper. Set it on fire and as the smoke leaves so does your anger and resentment.
You set the tone of the accident the accident shouldn’t set your tone. So the grudge and its subsequent developments are all on your shoulders. They may have been caused by Bob when he sent that rock flying over to your yard. Yet, it is your choice to take that anger and develop it into a grudge. Thus wearing that grudge as a heavy burdensome garment And as long as you keep that heavy baggage on your back you will not be free from your own confines that you have set. You and only you are able to forgive Bob for his wayward rock cause I don’t think he did that out of spite.