Eight ways to cope with grudges

Eight ways to cope with grudges

It is part of human nature to hold grudges. The reasons behind grudges can be because of misunderstandings and assumptions, unrealistic expectations, feeling left out, reaching a limit, or even envy. We hold grudges when we feel anger, bitterness, resentment, or other negative feelings after someone has done something to hurt us. However, grudges are often persistent and can end up hurting you as much as the person who caused it. This is because holding onto grudges can cause you to relive bad experiences or feel trapped in an unpleasant event, leading to more distress, frustration, and disappointment. Therefore, although these negative feelings towards others may be unavoidable, it is important to learn how to cope with them in a positive way and overcome them.

  • The first step to overcoming a grudge is acknowledging the problem. What caused your grudge? Allow yourself to see the real issue in order to solve it.
  • Communicate with the person about the issue. Grudges often result from a lack of confrontation, so when you are ready, clarify your feelings with the other person about the issue. Whether you resolve the issue or not, this can be beneficial as you may feel more relieved by releasing built up emotions.
    Try putting yourself in their shoes. You may better understand their point of view and where they were coming from or what may have caused them to act a certain way. This doesn’t justify their actions, but it may help you understand why something happened.
  • Don’t wait for the person you are upset with to apologize. The person who inspired your grudge might not care about the issue, may feel remorseful but unable to apologize, or may not understand that they even caused harm towards another person in the first place. By accepting the situation without an apology, you can begin healing on your own.
  • The more you dwell on the issue, the harder it will be to move past it. Therefore, try to change the topic if the issue is brought up and try to leave it in the past.
  • Try viewing your grudge as a learning experience. There are positives to every negative situation. You may benefit by choosing to walk away with a better understanding of yourself and the situation.
  • Let the issue go. A persisting grudge will negatively impact your mental health by draining your energy. Letting the grudge go will give you more room for peace and happiness.
  • Lastly, try to forgive. Forgiving does not mean forgetting, but it means you acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes and we should learn from them. This may be difficult, but without forgiveness, it is even more difficult to truly let go of a grudge and be at peace.

Although it is difficult to forgive others when they hurt or offend us, holding a grudge can be more detrimental to your mental well-being. Allowing small things that upset us to consume energy can take us off the course toward our overarching goals. Overcoming grudges is a sign of maturity and resilience as you encounter different experiences in life. Communicating your negative feelings to the source can help prevent long-term grudges and develop your personal relationships to a healthier and more mutual understanding.

TJ, Pooja and Elisa 

Editor’s Note

The idea of youth voice takes on many forms, including sharing experiences and ideas with policy makers, which many of the young people of Our Tomorrow have done. 

However, young people’s experiences and ideas are abundant and we at Our Tomorrow and UP Partnership wanted to create a space for them to share their thoughts on current issues they face around mental wellness. This is a series of blogs that we will share monthly that highlight these experiences, thoughts and opinions. Thank you to The Center for Young Minds and The Ecumenical Center for partnering with us for this initiative.

These thoughts and opinions do not expressly represent the thoughts of UP Partnership, its leadership team or board of directors.