Holding a grudge is self-destructive behavior that can truly ruin your life. Val Baldwin, CPC, relationship coach, explained that the only one who gets punished by it is you, not the person who has caused you the pain.
Val said that not only do you feel emotionally hurt, but if you don’t deal with your grudge, you can also cause yourself physical problems such as anger, anxiety, depression, paranoia, insomnia, and even physical pain.
Below you will find Val’s steps to getting over a grudge before it takes over you.
Step 1: Recognize that you have a problem
- You have to recognize the fact that you hold a grudge and that you are the only one getting punished by it.
- When you are ready to admit that this is indeed a problem, you are prepared to deal with it.
Step 2: Don’t wait for an apology
- If you wait until someone apologizes before you forgive them, you’re placing control of how you feel in their hands.
- Sometimes the offender isn’t even aware that they hurt you, or they’re incapable of caring.
- The simple words “I’m sorry” can be healing, but so is deciding that you no longer need to hear those words.
- Be the bigger person and put the incident behind you.
Step 3: Forgive
- Forgiving someone doesn’t exempt them from their actions.
- Forgiving doesn’t mean you have to forget, but it does mean that you acknowledge that the person is human and that we all make mistakes.
- Try to see the disagreement from the other person’s point of view and why they behaved the way they did. Was it their upbringing? Were they under stress that day? Are they jealous of you? This mentality will help you empathize with them, making it easier to let go of blame.
- If you’re not quite ready to forgive yet, start by saying that you are willing to forgive.
Step 4: Shift your focus.
- Look at the good things about the person.
- Find the positive in the situation. Maybe you learned a lesson and discovered something new about yourself.
- Changing your viewpoint will help you release resentment.
Step 5: Don’t feed the monster
- Once you’ve voiced your resentment and committed to moving on, don’t continually talk about the offense.
- If you find yourself thinking about it, mentally change the subject.
- If someone brings it up, explain that it’s in the past and you don’t want to dwell on it.
Val said that when you forgive and let go of a grudge, you’re not giving up on justice. It’s about letting go of your suffering. For more tidbits from Val, visit valbaldwin.com.