Why Do We Hold Grudges?
A grudge is an unresolved emotion resulting from a situation that caused us discomfort which we did not face and, instead, kept silent for a period of time; causing us to prolong our discomfort indefinitely. The grudge remains and the suffering stays with it. When there is a feeling of resentment within us that we do not allow ourselves to resolve, our memories of the pain continue to be present.
What is resentment?
Resentment is the threshold of a grudge. It is an emotion of pain, anger and rage, towards a situation or a person that caused us discomfort. Being resentful means not forgetting what happened, thus remaining with the pain, anger and rage, as if it just occurred.
Resentment prevents us from living in the present since we are always carrying the burden of what happened in the past, and this generates emotions like pain, anger, sadness, and anger.
Being resentful is a load that will not allow you to move towards the future, as there is still a block with a need to be resolved. This prevents us from looking forward, and prevents us from enjoying the present moment.
A grudge does not allow us to “turn the page” at the moment you should be settling your pain. This is why the attitude of a spiteful person will focus on restoring balance by making another person “pay” for what happened.
It is an emotion that promotes revenge, hostility, aggression and hatred towards the person considered responsible for the suffering or damage done.
It is important to be aware that the only person who is still suffering from what happened is you. When you feel anger, both resentment and bitterness serve only to prolong the suffering, without solving it.
The reality is that time distances us from that situation and the person we’re dealing with and revenge most likely will never solve our resentment. And even if there were the possibility of revenge, it will never fix that much accumulated discomfort because the consequences or the subsequent conflict can’t repair the damage. The pain of others never calms one’s own pain. Therefore, revenge is not the way to solve our suffering.
So how do we free ourselves from grudges and resentment?
First, it’s best to resolve the situation when it occurs in order to express ourselves and feel respected at the time. This way we will not feel resentful since we will have addressed the situation, and therefore there will be no bitterness.
If we are already living with grudges and resentment, we can free ourselves from them by accepting what happened and respecting the other person.
After this task of acceptance and respect, we must decide what kind of relationship we want to maintain with that person. Respect doesn’t mean sharing your way of doing things, so we don’t need to relive a similar situation to the one we experienced before.
Through this process, we can feel liberation from suffering and discharge any unnecessary weight, allowing us to live happier.