What happens long term when you hold a grudge? Nothing good, I know, but do the people holding on tight to the grudge realize all they are missing? I’m not a grudge holder, at least not with people I love. People who I have no use for, like ex-husbands, I just assume they are no longer alive. But for people I love, I don’t hold grudges. When I have a fight with a sibling, a parent, or a friend it bothers me for days. The longest fight I’ve ever had was with one of my sisters and every day until we fixed it I died a little bit inside. We eventually fixed it and I vowed never to let it happen again and it hasn’t. Grudges will kill you a little bit inside every single day until you are just an angry shell of yourself. When you hold a grudge, you miss out on wonderful things, big and small.
In my experience, grudges are usually the result of a misunderstanding, the refusal to get past yourself or your ability to listen to the other person. They are usually over someone’s feelings getting hurt and that person not having the ability to look past those feelings and see the other person’s point of view. The ability to say sorry goes hand in hand with the grudge. When my kids were little, one of the life lessons I taught them was it takes the bigger person to be able to admit they did something wrong and say they were sorry. When Raymond was little, he wasn’t allowed to say he was sorry for a period of a month or so because he said it ALL THE TIME. He lost the ability to honestly be sorry. He has since fixed that and now, I’m proud to say, when my kids are wrong they realize it and apologize, sincerely.
When you decide you are going to hold a grudge, not only do you miss out on things, but you are forcing the other person to miss out on things in your life. You miss out on major life accomplishments like college gradations, weddings, or the birth of a child. But you also miss out on things like hearing ‘I love you,’ a hug, a kiss, or a reassuring that things will work out. It is more tragic to me to miss out on those things than the major life accomplishments. With the age of technology you can always see pictures of graduations, weddings, and babies with a little stalking of one’s Facebook page. However, technology will never replace the sound of your mom’s voice telling you she loves you. Technology will never replace the hug of a friend when you’re feeling down. Technology will never replace a sweet kiss from a husband or lover. Technology will never replace the sound of your grandmother’s voice telling you stories of when she was younger. Technology will never replace the sound of your grandchild’s laugh. Technology will never replace the sound of someone eating an amazing meal you cooked for them.
Grudges do an immeasurable amount of damage, but can often be solved by a simple and sincere, ‘I’m sorry.’ Don’t let your inability to apologize cause you to miss out on the little important things in life. Life is short and if you love the person you don’t want to waste any of that sweet and precious time holding onto a misunderstanding.