Why Do Some People Hold a Grudge But Very Little Admit to It? (Opinion)

Debbie Centeno

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Photo by Vera Arsic

Do you hold a grudge against someone? If so, how does it make you feel? Does it do anything to the person you are holding a grudge against?

I ask these questions because the topic has come up a few times within social gatherings. Everyone who commented on the subject claims not holding a grudge. They also mentioned having no contact with the person who did them wrong. It is a topic that engages a lot of people with different opinions. Since I have no particular people in mind, I will name them “the Grudger” as the one holding a grudge; and “the Grudgee” as the one who committed the offense.

If you consider the implications of holding a grudge, it is senseless. You see, holding a grudge will only affect you the Grudger. The Grudgee will immediately forget. And that is if they ever knew you held a grudge against them. The Grudger will feel disappointment, resentment, or sadness. But think about it, what will it do to the Grudgee? The Grudgee will not feel any disappointment, resentment, or sadness when they think about you. The bitterness is all on you.

It’s funny how many are still holding a grudge but just a few acknowledge they are. The rest are adamantly in denial. They feel fine and “are not” affected in any way by their Grudgees behavior. I asked what their relationship with the Grudgee was. Not surprisingly but their demeanors changed. Most were no longer in any type of relation with the Grudgee, some still maintained a cordial friendship but were not close, and others said they had no choice because the offense was from a family member. Hahaha, that made me chuckle. There were all sorts of reasons why the grudge began. While some were justifiable to not continue a relationship with the Grudgee, others were flat-out ridiculous reasons.

One in particular which I thought was silly was that the Grudgee failed to attend the nieces’ dance recital — which is the daughter of the Grudger. The Grudger did not want to accept an explanation or apology and assumed the Grudgee was lying about it. The Grudger told the Grudgee they would need to take it up with God.

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“Did you have to purchase any extra tickets or incur extra expenses for the Grudgee to attend?” I asked.

“No, it was a free recital,” responded the Grudger.

“So, why would you hold a grudge for such a petty reason?” I asked, “What are you going to do?”

“Someday I’ll get even. I haven’t forgiven the person and can’t just let it go,” responded the Grudger.

“Wait, what? What are you going to do?”

“Something will come up,” responded the Grudger.

I had nothing else to say — no words. The ignorance of this Grudger left me in shock. The Grudger admitted that the Grudgee acted as if nothing had ever happened. Hence my point! Most Grudgee's do not even realize that their action has, in some way, disappointed, hurt, or angered you. You can confront the Grudgee and they might defend themselves or apologize and then go on their merry way. But you as the Grudger are still feeling resentful. In your eyes, things certainly will not be the way they were before because you cannot enable the Grudgee’s behavior. Meanwhile, the Grudgee only realizes that they issued an apology and all is well between you two. Even though the Grudger may not have forgiven the Grudgee.

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Forgiving is crucial to our well-being. Even if you haven’t received an apology, it is beneficial for you to just forgive and let it go. I learned to not hold grudges and forgive. When I forgive I release any negative feelings that I may harbor. Therefore I’m taking care of my health. If I retain those negative feelings, they will affect my overall health by lowering my vibrations, which might affect my immune system and make me susceptible to disease or mental illness. It’s not worth it. I learned to let it go. If it will not benefit me then there’s no need to hold on to it. Even though many in the social gathering agreed with my opinion, some could not seem to let it go. “sigh” I hope they can one day realize that holding a grudge is only hurting them.

So tell me, are you holding a grudge?

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

Orlando, FL
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