I loved these bits of advice from Beliefnet’s Renita Williams.
We all have experienced hurt and pain in our lives. Sometimes we are exposed to experiences so painful that they leave marks that are difficult to heal-especially if we feel somone has wronged us or harmed us.
1. Acknowledge the problem
Figure out what it is that’s causing you to hold a grudge. You have to know what the problem is in order to solve it. When you allow yourself to see the real issue you can then make a choice to move forward from there.
2. Share your feelings.
A grudge can form when an issue isn’t fully confronted. Without being judgmental about yourself or another, clarify your feelings on the situation. Then, decide if this is something you will work on in your own heart or by contacting the other person involved. Only when you are ready, communicate with the other person about the issue. Whether you work it out on your own or involved the other person, you may feel more relieved by releasing that built up tension and all involved can have a better understanding of the situation and able to resolve the issue.
3. Switch places.
To get a better understanding of the other person, try putting yourself in their shoes. This will give you a better understanding of their point of view and behavior. Maybe the person in question was in a lot of pain. This doesn’t justify their negativity, but it will help you understand it. The more you understand the other person and their behavior, the easier it is not to let go of a grudge.
A natural response may be to develop a grudge, or even a hatred of the person who has caused us pain. But the person who holds the grudge always suffers more!
The longer we hold a grudge the more difficult it is to forgive and move on. You can begin to free yourself when you begin to forgive. Here are eight ways to get a grip on the pain and find the strength to let it go.
4. Accept what is.
Choose to create your own healing, with or without an apology. Don’t wait for the person you are upset with to come around. For all you know they are already past the issue and not putting as much thought into it. Even if they don’t offer an apology, it doesn’t mean they are not remorseful. Some people are unable to apologize or may not fully understand that the person they hurt may need to hear one.
5. Don’t dwell on it.
Once you have decided to move on, keep on moving. Don’t put too much thought into the situation or continuously discuss it. It will only make things worse and harder to get over. If ever the issue is brought up in conversation, change the subject or just look at it as the past and leave it there.
6. Take the positive.
For every negative situation there is a positive. If you take this as a learning experience, you will benefit from knowing more about yourself and the other person. Choose to learn a valuable lesson or walk away with a better understanding that can help you let go of the issue and not resent the other person.
7. Let it go.
Letting go allows room for peace and happiness. A long lasting grudge will only drain you physically and emotionally and can surely affect your health. You will use more energy than you can imagine by holding a grudge than you will by letting go.
Of course forgiving doesn’t mean you will forget the issue. It’s just acknowledging your differences and accepting that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes we should learn from. Forgiving isn’t the easiest to do especially when you’ve endured a lot of hurt and pain, but it’s the only way to truly let go and have peace.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Dec 2010
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Borchard, T. (2010). 8 Tips to Stop Holding a Grudge. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/12/11/8-tips-to-stop-holding-a-grudge/