I used to be the queen of holding a good old grudge. I felt that I shouldn't forgive anyone who had wronged me, and I would find it difficult to look at someone in the same way if they had previously upset me in the past. That was until I started to reassess how I was living my life, and if the choices I was making were really making me happy. Having taken action and been living grudge-free for a few years now, here are my 3 top tips for letting go of grudges.
Acknowledge the grudge
Take some time to reflect on the grudge you are holding. Why are you upset? Is it really a certain persons/situations fault? Or, is it something deeper that you've subconsciously put blame onto something else?
Write down what is causing you pain and, for however many, reasons you come up with think about how you could deal with the issue. Is it really someone causing you this upset, or is this just your perception of the situation?
Once you've reflected on this you can start to recognise when you are having negative thoughts around this grudge, and challenge yourself to turn these into a more positive thought pattern. For example, personally when I was house sharing I had my fair share of, to put it mildly, evil housemates. Although, they probably thought the same about me. Anyway, eventually instead of resorting to passive aggressive attempts to teach them a lesson and spending all my time at home feeling resentful and stressed, I decided to get over myself. Rather than hold onto this unnecessary tension, I acknowledged my situation and decided to not let it bother me. For some reason, mentally wishing said evil housemate a pleasant day, helped me let go of grudges.
Work on yourself
As fun as it is to put the blame onto something else rather than take responsibility for a situation, working on some self-improvement can be extremely beneficial. Who'd have thought it? Look into what you want, what will make you happy and what will bring a little joy to your everyday. Through this you can find ways to ignore the grudge until eventually, you stop thinking about it altogether.
Putting yourself out into the world can reap huge benefits. If you've been emotionally hurt and are lacking confidence, it can help you realise you are not the problem. Through trying new things and hobbies and making new friends, this can really help you to feel good about yourself again. Carrying around a grudge is like carrying a bag full of negative energy which is just weighing you down and keeping you from seeing the good in yourself and life. Think of it like the Horcrux Locket in Harry Potter (where my Potter fans at?), you gotta stab that thing right in the heart and then move on. Please note this is not a recommendation for violence, we're speaking purely metaphorically here.
So, you've done all the soul searching in the world. You've joined up to all the clubs and classes going, and your social calendar is full to the brim. You're still feeling bad about a particular someone? That grudge is still there? Then maybe it's time to address the issue with that person. Think hard about what you want the outcome of this relationship to be. Does the change need to come from them, or is it something you can work on? Or, does this relationship need to end? Whilst it's sad, sometimes if a relationship is too toxic then it's best for both parties if it did indeed end. Moving on from something that doesn't serve you any more can be a very liberating and healthy experience.
Either way, you need to consider how you want to achieve the best outcome for everyone involved. Don't rush into anything or act out when you are feeling sad or angry, etc. Only ever take action once you've reflect and are feeling calm. And, think about how you are going to include this other person. It's going to affect their life too so potentially they should be included in the decision making. You may want to act alone, or tell the other person your intentions. Or, once you've reached a decision you may just want to get their feedback on it. Just remember to always act calmly and with kindness.
Now, go forth and live your life grudge free. Start taking some positive steps today because living life with negative energy is just not worth it.