Holding a grudge, maybe not the kind that involves close friends and family, but a colleague at work or the security guard at your parking garage that gives you a tough time every time. Are you that person that holds on to it and can’t help…
Here are a few tips to burying grudges
Consider what’s good for you.
In holding a grudge, there’s a sense of strength and righteousness in the short term, You’re saying, ‘You can’t do this to me.’ The quest for justice seems right. But it does not cure the resentment. It’s not about whether the offender deserves forgiveness. “You deserve it,” because you are the one who is hurt. You deserve to live a life free of that gnawing and discontent.
See the other person through new eyes.
It may feel like the offender’s actions were meant to hurt you—and sometimes that’s true. But try to view these incidents from a different perspective. Don’t define the person by the words or action that hurt you, That is not all the person is. Try to see them more broadly, in terms of their humanity and when they might have done good.
Don’t wait for someone to “earn” your forgiveness.
Do it sooner rather than later. A lot of people hold grudges because they are waiting for an apology. They think, ‘I’ll forgive her, but she hasn’t asked me yet.’ But that’s not the way the world works. Most people won’t apologize in a way that is satisfying—in our culture we aren’t really taught how to do it. So if we want to be happy and heal ourselves when we’ve been hurt, we must forgive whether or not we are asked for forgiveness.
Separate forgiveness from reconciliation.
By forgiving someone, you are not validating their behavior. This is especially important to remember in more serious situations, including cases of abuse or legal strife . Reconciliation is mutual; forgiveness is not.
When people do not forgive, they tend to pass their resentment on to others. The innocent (children) ones inherit the resentment that shouldn’t be theirs. They grow up with an anger, and if they enter into a marital union, they bring that anger into the new relationship.
Only confront the offender if you think it will change things.
If you think someone will deny their actions and criticize you for being overly sensitive, it’s better to show you forgive than to proclaim it. Return a phone call or text, smile in the office hallway, pay them a visit—be good to them in a genuine sense. They will understand. If reconciliation does seem possible, you can sit down with the person and tell them, “You hurt me, and I’d like for us to avoid having that happen again.”
Know that it’s never too late. Really.
You can even forgive someone who is deceased. If you hold on to it, they win again. Forgive them, and it takes away their power.