One of the most common self-defeating behavior I have come across is holding a grudge against others. Despite our best intentions, when push comes to shove, not forgiving and not forgetting is what we end up doing. The most sound advice we hear from people is “forgive and forget” but is very difficult to live up to. Am I right?
So when you find difficult to forgive someone just remember this saying from Mahatma Gandhi, – “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” I am sure this will definitely hurt your ego and you would be propel to forgive and forget.
Everything said and done for some people, holding a grudge may be the first step in accepting and acknowledging their feelings to themselves and to the person who they feel wronged them.
Why do people hold a grudge?
When they feel someone has let them down. However, it may be justifiable to be upset or resentful but a healthier approach may be to address the situation head-on with the person in question, especially as misunderstandings or misplaced expectations are often the roots of these issues.
But whatever the intentions or the cause of resentfulness, holding a grudge can end up hurting you as much as the person who caused it. Therefore, it is important to learn how one can begin to let go of their grudges and cope with the anger. Holding a grudge can effect physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing of the person.
The more you try to remember, the more traumatic the whole experience would be and can completely destroy your mental peace. Also remember you may think that remembering you past hurt will keep you guarded from getting hurt again but your wariness can make you so uptight and guarded that others find it takes too much effort to deal with you. You could end up safe but alone.
How holding a grudge affects mental health?
Not forgiving is as good as continuing to blame. It can be considered as powerful defence mechanism where in, you find a target for your anger and frustration. It does protect you from owning your flaws but making your problems someone else’s fault leaves you in a passive position. You may feel good as you have exempted yourself from the responsibility, however at the same time it is keeping you away from taking steps to remedy your situations. Nurturing negative feeling makes you more exposed to more unpleasant emotions and thoughts, which can poison your mindset toward negativity. When a person exaggerates his or her feeling to an extent that the act of holding a grudge becomes more painful than the event itself. Build-up resentments can lead to many mental health concerns like:
- Emotional Dysregulation
What kind of people have more tendency to hold grudges?
People who are more vulnerable towards jealousy, sensitivity, immaturity, negativity, and impulse control may be more apt to hold grudges. Cultural, lifestyle, parenting, environmental, genetic, and other factors may also contribute to an individual person’s tendency to hold resentments as well.
What kind of people are less likely to hold grudges?
Those who are more empathetic, resilient, have a better ability to self-regulate, and have stronger coping skills are less likely to hold grudges. Even certain lifestyle habits, including regular exercise, can also make you more forgivable and flexible.
“Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note- torn in two and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one”. – Henry Ward Beecher
We forgive when we no longer need to blame, we forget when we no longer need to remember…You agree?
Action plan to letting go grudges
- Ask yourself what not forgiving and forgetting is costing you.
- Acknowledge what the other person did wrong and what you would accept from him/her.
- Ask yourself how you might have contributed to the problem.
- Determine what you need to learn to prevent nasty experience again.
- Move on in life.
Ways to letting go grudges
- Be empathetic
- Practice any form of exercise
- Lean conflict management techniques
- Start journalizing your feelings
- Surround yourself with supportive and positive people
“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it”.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter