I don’t know how to hold a grudge. I’ve never met anyone who has done something so terrible to me (killed or seriously hurt someone I love on purpose) that it warrants harboring an extremely negative opinion of them for months or years on end. Even when a person does something that I consider rude, mean, or inconsiderate, my anger usually fades after a few weeks and my feelings are back to neutral or even positive. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever I can, and even if I meet someone whose morals and behavior aren’t in line with mine, I usually just put him or her out of my mind and move on to a person more worthy of my time.
Earlier this week, my husband and I were talking about our social life. The topic of hate came up. I could think of exactly one person in my history who hates me, and Stew could barely match that. He wasn’t sure if his person hates him or just doesn’t like his personality. Neither of us hates anyone. “I mean, come on,” said Stew. “Only five year-olds hate other people.”
There’s a reason most of us outgrow hating. It’s exhausting. Think about how much mental energy you waste seething with anger or resentment toward someone, energy that could be better spent improving your relationships, career, etc. Plus, hating someone over a long period of time implies that the reason you started hating them is still relevant, which it probably isn’t. The world has moved on, and meanwhile you are stuck in some toxic thought pattern.
Holding a grudge against someone doesn’t buy you anything. It won’t change the past or the person, and it certainly doesn’t make you any happier. You won’t like every person you meet, and occasionally a person will do something to you that you don’t appreciate, but there’s no point in dwelling on these things and blowing them out of proportion. For those of us who are continually striving to maintain a positive reputation at work, grudge-holding displays pettiness and immaturity. So do yourself a favor and let yours go.