Can you hold a grudge?
If someone lies to you, lets you down, or simply does something you don’t agree with, do you find it hard to forgive them?
Have you ever found something out about someone that you simply can’t forgive them for, so you cut them out of your life completely?
Me too, and it’s justified right?
They’re the one in the wrong, they’re the one who did something unforgivable, so of course the natural reaction is to hold a grudge against them.
I get it!
But here’s the problem…
Holding a grudge against someone is doing more damage to YOU than it ever will to the other person.
Not sure about that?
Here’s 3 quick reasons why…
1.You are poisoning yourself.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain.
When you hold on to resentment, frustration, any kind of negative energy, you are letting it take control of your mind and body. Not only are you are allowing that anger at another person to rule your life, you are letting it cause you health problems at the same time.
The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with recurrent unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
- increased anxiety
- digestion problems
- high blood pressure
- skin problems, such as eczema
- heart attack
So by holding a grudge on someone else, you are actually managing to poison yourself!
2.It doesn’t change what happened.
No matter what the other person did, how bad it was, or how much they hurt you – holding a grudge against them will never be able to change what took place.
Regardless of what happened – you can’t change the past.
As much as you might wish it never happened, what’s done is done.
Why keep holding on to something that you can’t do anything about?
Why let it ruin your life?
3.It’s affecting your future.
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.” – Buddha.
If you are constantly holding on to negative thoughts, those thoughts are shaping your reality.
Even though the other person did the horrible deed that is making you hold a grudge – it is the negative thoughts in your head that is affecting you.
Don’t let someone else’s’ bad decisions ruin your life.
So why am I telling you all this?
Because I’m like you, and holding a grudge ruined my life, and unfortunately I had to learn the hard way.
For 12 years I held a grudge against my Step-mum without even knowing that my thoughts had played any part in that.
12 years’ worth of anger, frustration, breakdowns, even panic attacks, all because I couldn’t let go of a grudge I was holding against one person in my life.
And why couldn’t I let it go?
Because I’m what we call a Red Dot (a Rationalist).
What’s a Red Dot?
A Red Dot is how we classify a Rationalist – one of four communication styles.
There are only four different communication styles in the world (the four DOTS – Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue). Most of us will have a fraction of each Dot in our communication style, but there will be one style that you are most dominant in. It is the communication style that you are used to, so it comes naturally to you.
So how do you know if you’re a Red Dot?
Red Dot’s tend to be cautious and thoughtful, hesitant until they know people well, very literal and aware of the physical world, uncompromising about personal standards and diligent and conscientious, organised and decisive.
But one of the biggest traits of Red Dots are – we can hold a grudge.
If you are a Red Dot and someone lies to you, lets you down, or does something you don’t agree with, you will cut them off before they even know what happened.
In your world, everyone you meet is either a:
- cognitive guest (friend)
- a psychological trespasser (foe).
And without even knowing it, you will automatically put everyone you meet and interact with into one of those two categories.
There is no in between.
Because black or white thinking controls your life. Your habit is to:
- mentally let people in
- mentally shut them out.
If you’re a Red Dot, others need to be aware that you:
- dislike injustice
- are intolerant of those you see as overly emotional.
You may even find yourself being accused of having a suspicious mind. This occurs when you habitually cross-question others in order to get at the facts. But this is merely a Red Dot tendency and it is not always negative when properly understood.
So how can you stop your Red Dot trait to hold a grudge from ruining your life?
It’s all about being consciously aware of what you are doing and why.
When you hold onto anger for any reason (no matter how justified), just remember it is doing more damage to you than anyone else.
It is ruining your life.
Remember that it is a conscious choice as to how you let that anger affect you.
If you can learn to control your grudge-holding tendencies, I promise you your life will run far more smoothly.
Letting go of a grudge can be hard to accept, but you can’t change the past. You can’t go back and manipulate things to the way you wanted them to happen.
But you can change the future and that’s a beautiful thing about life.
If you want to know more about your communication style, and find out whether you really are a Red Dot, or one of the other three Dots – take our quick online test now on our home page or come along to our next event.