How long is too long to hold a grudge?
By: K. Denise Richardson
This past weekend, I went on a friendly outing with my girls. While we were partying we ran into some old school chums. Some were excited to catch up and reminisce while others…not so much. I stepped away to reply to a phone msg, but watched the body language of the two group’s interactions. As I watched this conversation, I couldn’t help but notice the snarls and eye rolls. In my head, I’m thinking we are so far removed from college what in the world could you be mad about? My second thought was who in the hell cares? My third…Get your life together.
We all have experienced the rifts and tiffs that happen when personalities clash on a situation. But how do you know when it’s time to get over it? Do grudges have expiration dates?
In my opinion, he who angers you, controls you. Fact: It takes 42 muscles to frown, 22 to smile, but only 4 to reach out and smack someone. I’m all about working smarter, not harder. (I kid, I kid)
For this reason alone, I don’t argue. My temper is way to short to withstand someone yelling in my face like a fool. My wires somehow get crossed and they send a signal to my fist to handle the problem. So, if I am in an unpleasant situation, I walk away and return when I have the sense to talk calmly.
First of all, I think holding a grudge shows a lack of anger management skills. If you keep that animosity bottled up inside for long periods of time, you’re doing more hurt than help. Stress kills. People think that if you remove a person from your life or never talk to work through it, the pain of the issue will subside. Not the case. You are stuffing yourself with negativity energy just waiting for a fuse to make it all explode.
Secondly, when you cast all of your anger on one person, you are dodging all of the blame when more than likely you played a part in the altercation in some way, shape, or form. Know your role in the matter and how your actions affected the outcome. If you are housing grudges often and with multiple people, you might be the problem.
Thirdly, time heals all wounds regardless of size. After some time, if you can function daily without thinking about that particular situation or person, 9 times out of 10 you are harboring unnecessary hate in your heart. The things that matter to you at 19 (the boy on Student Council) should NOT be the same at 30 (your career choices). If they are, you should re-evaluate your life, where you are heading, and WHY!?
Lastly, Stop holding grudges that aren’t you own. This is the most ridiculous reason to not like someone. I understand you may have a best friend and someone has wronged them. I’m not saying invite the person over for crumpets and tea; HOWEVER, there is a point when you have to say to yourself, did this person really hurt ME that badly, how am I benefitting from being angry at them, am I over this situation, and most importantly, is it really that serious? If you can make it through all four questions with the utmost of confirmations, then by all means, you are free to walk around with an ugly frown on your face and a heart filled with anger.
If you care about the friendship or bond with the grudgee find out why you feel the way you do. What’s the root of the problem and is this worth that person not being in your life anymore. If you could give two squats about them, let it go & let it flow. Everyone isn’t meant to be friends, UNDERSTAND THAT. There is nothing wrong with not allowing someone toxic in your life. However, walking around with the stink face because that person’s name is mentioned is a bit childish.
As any good advice is, this is all easier said than done. I can be the QUEEN of the grudge holders if you take me there. But as time progresses and as my life continues, I realize a lot of people aren’t even worth your time or energy and by holding a grudge that’s exactly what you’re giving them.
Let it go. Let it flow. Wooosah 🙂