Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Grudge

It's a touchy subject.  The art of holding a grudge...but is it an art? 

Holding a grudge may be almost instinctive, but it is never the proper response.
Now I know there are people out there that would argue this to the death, and those people have probably lost a good number of friends and relatives over misunderstandings and miscommunication. 

However, I believe there is one very important question that needs to be asked before a grudge can be justified.  Who does this benefit?

The answer is always no one.

What a grudge does for you:
     It is a constant reminder of the incident that made you angry in the first place.
     It keeps your feelings bottled up and creates unneeded hostility.
     It creates boundaries within the social and emotional aspects of your life.
     It prevents you from recovering from the incident that caused you to hold said grudge.

What a grudge does for the other party:
     Could cause them to feel guilt and remorse, not allowing them to repair or recover.
     Could cause hostility towards you in return.
     But this is only if they even notice.

We have all held a grudge at some point.  But what purpose did it serve?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my father's parents made a comment that hurt me.  I did not speak to them for six years because of it.  My father was away, and so I cut them completely out of my life, and as a result so did my brother, sister, and mother.  They never met their great grand daughter.  When my father finally rejoined the family, he immediately contacted his parents, and after much insisting, I allowed them back into my life.  Here's the problem.  They never knew I was angry.  They did not have any memory of saying anything that would have upset me, or anyone else, and the entire time I exiled them from my life, they thought it was because of what my father had done. 

I had held a grudge for six years that was pointless.  They had no idea and it was only baggage on my life.  So before you decide to hold a grudge, ask yourself if it is worth your aggravation.  That is who it really affects, you and only you.  Move forward, forgive and evolve.  It will make you happier in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Feelings/emotions are counter intuitive creatures compared with how most other things work in life. With most things you start w/a set amount of "that" thing and by giving away portions of that amount you end up with less than what you started with (ie: money, food, toothpicks, stamps, Michael Jackson CD's - you get the point!). But, in the case of feelings/emotions (ex: love/anger...) it appears they work differently. Upon giving away love/positive feelings sincerely and freely (not the $20 under a pillow/3min after finished kinda' deal) one will not need to subtract that away from the original amount started with. But, rather the amount given away will always come back in amounts far exceeding that which was given, in some manifest (you may need to search high/low for this sometimes, but this will always prove to be the case). Similarly, I think pent up anger (ie: grudges...) held over time do fester, and also end up greater than originally started with because this "dark" stuff is drawn back to the person who chose to give that type of thing away...