By Isabelle Perello |
I love to hold grudges. It’s probably the unhealthiest habit I have because it puts a strain on many of my relationships, as well as my own mental health.
Don’t worry though, I’m in therapy.
For the past 3 years, I’ve held the worst grudge of my life against someone I used to consider my best friend. The events that led to the grudge aren’t really important, but they involve an insecure girlfriend of his that really didn’t like my place in his life.
High school can be so melodramatic.
Until recently, I was obsessed with him. I constantly reached out to any friends or family that might be able to give me an inkling about his life. I badmouthed him all the time and I dreamed about the day where I could hurt him as much as he hurt me. Whenever I heard that he was actually doing well in life, I felt crushed, like he was just getting away with what he did to me.
Talking about this now, I realize I sound just as insane as a lot of people told me I was acting, but at the time I didn’t care enough to listen.
Eventually, I realized how much energy I was wasting on this person that probably hasn’t given me a single thought since we stopped talking. I was driving myself crazy, as well as anyone that was tired of hearing me rant about my old friend.
After a deep reflection into my own life and how happy I was despite losing that childhood friendship, I finally chose to move on.
Holding grudges is an issue that I feel college students are commonly faced with. If we don’t like a teacher, we can get into the habit of writing as many bad reviews as we can, as well as telling other students to steer clear. College is full of fleeting romances, and I’m sure there are a lot of grudges still being held against former flames that didn’t work out.
Unsurprisingly, grudges tend to do more harm to the grudge-holder, rather than the person they are upset with. Dwelling on hurtful situations can lead to resentment, vengeance and hostility taking root in any relationship. When you get too wrapped up thinking about something in the past, you may forget to enjoy your present, as I did.
Continuing to dwell on a grudge can actually amplify feelings of depression or anxiety. It can also cause hostile relationships, feeling at odds with personal beliefs or cause some people to feel like their life has no greater purpose than to fix whatever odds they feel remain. This is why it’s important for people to learn how to forgive and forget.
Forgiveness is a learned talent, although some people are just naturally more forgiving than others. I’m the latter, if that wasn’t obvious already. Just as grudges have a negative effect on someone’s health, forgiveness works in the opposite way. Truly forgiving someone and moving on from a grudge can lower blood pressure, improve mental health, and even help support a stronger immune and heart system.
Life is too short to hold grudges. There are a million better things you can be doing with your time, so why not go out and try them.