Mental Health Monday, Relationships

The Art of Grudge Holding

This morning I am struggling with holding a grudge.  The target is my husband. The details of which are inconsequential, mundane enough that most would be able to see themselves in it. So I will not bore either of us with the actual circumstance.  

It has made me think about the purpose of holding a grudge.

I think at its core it is a protective behavior. Both shielding us from taking responsibility for how we feel about any particular situation and creating a barrier to the potential rejection of those feelings if we expressed them to the other person.  Truly saying what we are thinking and feeling is often a terrifying proposition. 

But a grudge is also a little about power- Holding a grudge can give some power to its bearer reestablishing a more comfortable, albeit unhealthy dynamic.  A grudge gives a false notion of control over feelings of vulnerability and of not feeling seen or heard.  

So I find myself at a crossroads this morning- choosing whether or not to hold on to this grudge as a way of really sticking it to my husband and telling him what’s up or letting it go and examining what is really going on; forcing myself to look at what is really bothering me and communicating that to him like an adult.

Some of me would like to ice him out for the rest of the day but even as I type this, I can feel the anger that fueled the situation dissipating.  I have never been a champion grudge holder. I often look at people who are able to hold powerful grudges, the ones that go on for days, weeks and sometimes years, with a combination of admiration and curiosity.  I always thought that not being able to hold onto something that long was a reflection of laziness or lack of conviction on my part. Maybe there is some truth to the lack of conviction- I am still trying to work that part out, but it is definitely not lazy to take responsibility for how you feel.

So for this week, take some time to ponder “to grudge or not to grudge” or maybe more simply- create a self-awareness of the role that holding a grudge holds in your life.  

Have a great week!


2 thoughts on “The Art of Grudge Holding”

  1. Great article. So many people feel it is important or powerful to hold a grudge. My thoughts have always been to go directly to the person, address the situation, and move on. Holding a grudge can be exhausting and I need my energy for so many important things in life.

    Like

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