Holding A Grudge Can Affect Your Mental Health #MentalHealth #CauseAChatter

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:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-Harm
  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Suicidal

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
  • Acceptance
  • Practice any form of exercise
  • Meditation
  • Self-care
  • Self-appreciation
  • 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 blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.’

This post is part of Blogchatter’s #CauseAChatter

29 Replies to “Holding A Grudge Can Affect Your Mental Health #MentalHealth #CauseAChatter”

  1. Agree with your action plan.. a very informative post. We have more control than we think and can leave behind the victim mentality when we realize we have the tools to process and let go of our bitterness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t agree more Swati, forgiving n letting go are soooooo imp and it’s so nice that you’ve written a whole blog about it.

    I keep reiterating this with my daughters (it is a part of one of my earlier blogs, a letter i wrote to them) and tell them that it’s ok not to forget cuz remembering is something to do with our memory and we can’t help it but forgiving is something that we can consciously do.

    I have seen so many people live with a burden lifelong just cuz they’ve carried the bitterness and not solved issues while there was time.

    Love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We tend to struggle more in our mind when we hold grudge. Indeed you need to have a lot of strength to forgive and forget but yes with your each points in action plan make it easier. You just need to practice. I am still practising it.😇😇

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holding a grudge does more harm to the person holding it rather than the other person which you have rightly shared. We need to follow the steps you have shared more for our benefit because we need to see the bigger picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Its true that forgiving people for the wrong they did with us or someone else related to us can give peace of mind. But just saying ” I forgive you” is not actually what the mind’s verdict is. What we say is that we need to accept that mentally and just verbal saying of forgiving will not work. Majority just say it to stop the person requesting continuously to forgive but don’t forgive mentally. Here the situations or the mental state of the person take a critical turn which is not at all healthy. Some situations are there where it is really difficult to forgive and forget. In such scenarios its better as per me is to ignore that person completely and keep out of your life. With time the person who did the bad or wrong will fade away from your memory. I said this because I practice this. Everything cannot be forgiven so better in that case ignore that person and enjoy a relaxed and happy life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have made some really good points. But is not easy to forgive and forget. Holding on to things causes us more damage than the other person. They might have even forgotten about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Holding on to grudges no matter how small it is not good at all. Not to you and not to the person you’re holding grudge with. Learning to let go of things make take some time to do but making an effort in doing it really pays off. Not only do you feel lighter within but also get to let go of the other person from the hatred you’ve been holding for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Grudges! I dont know how people live with them. Agree with you absolutely. A grudge will only eat you up and life is so short to live with grudges. Why is it so hard for people to forgive and let go. It may not be forgotten, but surely forgiveness is next to godliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I read this quote the other day that anger is a punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake. Holding a grudge is worse. Sometimes people hold onto them to avoid feeling empty otherwise. That is more defeating.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Holding on to grudges no matter how small it is not good at all. Not to you and not to the person you’re holding grudge with. Learning to let go of things make take some time to do but making an effort in doing it really pays off. Not only do you feel lighter within but also get to let go of the other person from the hatred you’ve been holding for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I doubt if there is anyone alive you has never held a grudge against anyone. But letting it go is an action that needs practice. Your post suggests the perfect way to let it go and be free from the negativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Negative emotions can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health. Holding a grudge is a product of hate and/or jealousy, and can have a very negative effect. One should learn the art of simply letting go.

    Liked by 1 person

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