Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

To Hold a Grudge is to Paralyze one's Life

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Aug 20, 2013 9:17 PM

A grudge is like emotional constipation-clogged anger, stuck, resulting in bloated, frustrated, uncomfortable attitude and behavior. Trauma, hurt, rejection, neglect, misunderstanding, jealousy lead to the development of grudges. People holding grudges overreact to small slights. They project their anger on anyone who reminds them of times and people past when they felt belittled or humiliated. They overgeneralize about people and situations, classifying "types" and rejecting before they can worry about being rejected in turn. What a lot of hard work it is to hold a grudge. Grudges weigh people down. They constain people frogm thinking clearly, from experiencing happiness and fulfillment, from gratitude and optimism. Holding a grudge is a tautology because it grows due to hurt and creates hurt continually, preventing healing and resolution.

To overcome their grudges, people must decide to open their minds to the possibility of understanding and accepting human frailty and the unfairness of life. They must forgive and grow. They must determine that they should waste no more time and energy on anger which changes nothing and leads nowhere, concentrating on love, choosing courage rather than fear, and working to make themselves better instead of figuring out why others are as good as they wished. Becoming the kind of human beings they admire then becomes easier than hating other people for not being so.

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