Carrying a grudge
5 Ways to Stop Holding Grudges and Move On I Psych Central
Holding a grudge can be harmful to your physical and mental health. But there are strategies you can try to help you move past your anger and hurt feelings.
Holding a grudge happens when you can’t let go of feelings of anger or resentment toward someone who wronged you.
It can be in response to something that actually happened or a perceived threat or action against you.
When you feel that someone’s hurt you, it’s difficult to move past it right away — or ever. You may constantly think about that person or the incident, playing it over and over in your mind.
Holding these negative feelings and ruminating on them can affect you physically and emotionally. But there are ways to help you let go of your grudges and move on.
Research has found that holding grudges can be harmful to your health.
A 2009 study found that holding grudges was associated with poor physical health. People who reported “bearing grudges for years” were more likely to have medical issues such as heart disease, stomach ulcers, and chronic pain.
Holding grudges can often mean holding anger and stress.
A 2021 large-scale study analyzed the daily emotional responses of over 20,000 people and found that “intense high-arousal negative emotions” such as anger and stress were associated with higher blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) reactions.
On the other hand, “low-arousal positive emotions” such as calmness and serenity were associated with decreased blood pressure and heart rate reactions.
A 2016 study suggests that BP and HR reactivity can increase a person’s chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as having lower cognitive function later in life.
Ruminating about past conversations and hurts has also been found to affect your mental health. A 2020 review found that ruminating can prolong and worsen negative moods and make you more vulnerable to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In a 2021 analysis, researchers examined why we hold grudges.
The researchers found six main components of holding a grudge, including:
- a need for validation
- moral superiority
- an inability to let go
- severing ties
- expectations of the future
If you’re having trouble moving past lingering anger and resentment, you can learn how to stop holding a grudge, heal, and move on. Here are some strategies you can try.
Meditation has many science-based benefits, such as:
- reducing stress
- managing anxiety
- improving emotional health
- increasing self-awareness
These benefits can help you regulate your anger and stress while promoting calm and relaxation.
A regular meditation practice may help you work out some of the emotions behind your grudge, and over time help make those feelings more manageable.
There are several types of meditation you can try. Apps such as Calm and Headspace can help you ease into a meditation practice.
Journaling can be a great way to work through your feelings.
Getting your feelings out on paper can help take away some of their power. Try to write down everything that comes into your head about the other person.
A journal is a safe space for you to let out your feelings, and no one gets to see it but you.
There’s no time constraint or pressure with a journal. You can write in it as often or as little as you want.
Over time, you may be able to process your feelings around the grudge and start to move past it.
Write a letter but don’t send it
This classic therapeutic exercise can help you get your anger and resentment out in a healthy way.
Consider writing a letter addressed to the person you’re holding a grudge against. Don’t hold back. Be brutally honest about your feelings — don’t worry, they won’t ever read it.
After writing this letter, many people feel like a load has been lifted off their minds. The mere act of getting these feelings out can be just as satisfying as actually sending the letter.
To really help put the grudge to rest, destroy the letter — rip it up, bury it, or soak it in water until it disintegrates. As you watch your letter disappear, imagine your grudge is disappearing with it.
Change your perspective
Sometimes, we get so obsessed with a grudge that we develop a sort of tunnel vision. Even months or years later, we’re so committed to our anger that we start to lose perspective.
Try to step out of your own feelings for a moment and think about how the other person feels.
Did they intentionally hurt you? Does your grudge stem from a pattern of feeling disrespected by this person? Is it possible their intentions were good, even if their actions had negative consequences for you?
Maybe it really was a one-time mistake.
This doesn’t help in every circumstance, of course. You’re entitled to your feelings, and you certainly don’t have to let this person back into your life. But it can be helpful to frame the situation in a new light.
Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Can you think of something cruel or thoughtless or impulsive you said or did in the past? Something you regret, that still makes you cringe and wonder why you acted that way? Is there someone in your past who holds a grudge against you?
Maybe the person you’re holding a grudge against also feels guilty and regretful. Perhaps their hurtful actions stemmed from their own issues, and they would take it back if they could.
None of this excuses their behavior, but it may help you understand and start to make peace with it.
Not forgiving the person who wronged you is the essence of holding a grudge. If you forgive, you may be able to let go of your grudge and start to move on with your life. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget what happened, or that you’ve decided it wasn’t actually that bad. It simply means that you’re choosing to move on.
A 2021 study concluded that a greater level of forgiveness is associated with lower stress and better mental health.
But forgiveness isn’t always possible in every situation. If you’re a survivor of abuse or trauma, the concept of forgiveness can be a complex topic to discuss.
Consider reaching out to a mental health professional for guidance on forgiveness as it relates to you and your unique situation.
Holding grudges is a common human phenomenon. It’s OK to be upset, angry, or sad when you feel that someone has hurt you.
If you’re holding a grudge and it’s affecting your mental or physical health, you’re not alone.
By devoting a little time and effort to letting go of your grudge, you can let go of these painful feelings and start to feel better.
If you need additional help, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. They can provide you with helpful tools to manage your emotions and even resolve conflict if possible.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can check out Psych Central’s hub on finding mental health and support.
Signs You're Holding a Grudge Even If You Don't Think You Are
- Holding a grudge likely doesn't make you feel any better about what transpired, but sometimes it just happens.
- And you may be holding a grudge even if you don't think that you are.
- Feeling bitter, ignoring that person, getting angry about unrelated things, and thinking about them negatively are all signs you could still be holding a grudge.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
Thanks for signing up!
Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go.
Despite your best efforts, it's impossible not to be hurt or disappointed by loved ones at some point in your life.
But often the most challenging aspect of getting hurt is letting go of any lingering resentment after you forgive them. Sometimes, you may find that you're holding a grudge — even if you're doing so unintentionally.
Knowing what sorts of things might mean that you're holding a grudge, even if you don't think you are, can help you figure out a way to move forward.
You lost your cool over something unrelated
When you're holding a grudge, all sorts of things can cause you to get frustrated. Not only that, but you can find yourself taking advantage of any opportunity to let your voice be heard. And that means that sometimes you might get upset over things that really aren't related to what you're actually upset about.
"We may have a grudge towards someone but pretend like things are fine; until an unrelated issue sets us off," Connie L. Habash, a licensed marriage and family therapist and interfaith minister, told INSIDER. "Putting too much cream in the coffee or fighting over the TV remote can turn into a major blow-up due to the backlog of unresolved feelings in the relationship. "
Thinking about what you're actually upset about — or why you had that reaction to something that's seemingly minor — can help you figure out what's actually at the root of the issue.
You're avoiding themAvoidance could be a sign that you're holding a grudge. Shutterstock
"Often, we'll find ourselves avoiding someone that we have resentment or an unresolved issue with," Habash said. "We find great excuses to do a task in another room from our partner, become slow to return phone calls from a friend, or feel that we're just too busy to get together."
If you're upset with someone, even if you're not fully aware that you are, you may not want to spend a ton of time with them. It's understandable. But recognizing what's going on and talking things through with them can help you move on.
"If you find yourself avoiding someone you have previously been close to, reflect on what happened the last time you were together, or even further into the past," Habash said. "Consider talking about the problem so that you can feel comfortable with them again."
You still feel bitter
Holding onto feelings of resentment is a surefire way to tell that you're not over an issue. If you're unable to move forward without feeling embittered or angry when you think about the incident, then you're probably harboring a grudge.
"Moving on means choosing not to let the hurt and anger have power over you," Kevon Owen, M.S., LPC, a clinical psychotherapist, told INSIDER. "When the resentment persists, the grudge is still going strong."
When you think about them, your feelings are negativeIf you think about that person and have a negative reaction, you probably still feel resentful. Shutterstock
"The best way to tell if you're holding a grudge is to use your memory," Sal Raichbach, doctor of psychology at Ambrosia Treatment Center, told INSIDER. "Take a look at the feelings that arise immediately after you think about an old friend, a past co-worker or an ex. If your first reaction is negative, it's likely that there is an underlying reason that you feel that way, even if you can't recall what that reason is."
You might not always think that you're still upset with someone over a certain thing, but you very well could be. Thinking about what sorts of feelings a person or situation brings up can help you figure out what's really going on.
You're all about fairness or want to make sure that they see your side of things
If you're mostly concerned with the other person understanding where you were coming from and ensuring that they see your side of things, that's another potential sign that you might be holding a grudge.
"Resentment is the feeling we have been wronged by someone else and holding a grudge is the belief that we will feel better when we have shown the other person how angry we are," Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Troy, Michigan, told INSIDER. "If we can hurt them like they have hurt us."
You might not think that's what you're doing, but it very well could be.
You feel nothingBecoming emotionally detached is another sign that you're holding a grudge. martin-dm / Getty
Feeling indifferent to a person is another way that you might be able to tell that you're secretly harboring a grudge.
"Preventing yourself from feeling anything requires a lot of effort," Owen said. "Choosing to become emotionally detached and uninterested in someone you're trying to forgive. Why spend that much time and energy ... it's because there's still a grudge."
You cancel plans at the last minute
There are days that you just want to stay in rather than go anywhere — that's true for just about everyone. But if you feel like you need to (or want to) cancel plans with someone, you might want to reflect a bit more on the reason why.
"You might plan to get together with a friend or go out with your boyfriend, but then decide to cancel at the last minute, just because you don't feel right about it or aren't "up to it," Habash said. "The feeling that causes you to want to back out is likely a resentment lurking beneath the surface."
Thinking a bit more about what's going on can help you figure out if you're canceling plans because you truly want to stay in or because there's something else going on.
It's easy for you to get irritated with themTalking through it can help you squash feelings of bitterness. Fizkes/Shutterstock
"Think about how much emotional threshold you have towards most people ... even annoying ones," Owen said. "Now compare that to how much emotional reserve you have towards someone you feel wronged you. It's less. It's a wound that's barely healed. Irritability towards someone you're working to forgive is a barrier to overcoming a grudge."
Talking through things with the person in question or working through things with the assistance of a trained professional can help you move forward, once and for all.
Holding a grudge is letting someone live in your head without rent? - DiscussHolding a grudge is letting someone live in your head without rent? — Discuss
Fighter With Enemies
Holding a grudge is letting someone live in your head without rent? head resentment pay
Resentment is a negative feeling that is detrimental to human health, both mental and physical. Hidden resentment can generally destroy health in such a way that you will not recover after. I asked: "Do you need it?" and answered: "No!" After that, she removed this feeling completely. I already forgot the last time I was offended.
Fighter With Enemies
That's right! But sometimes this rule is difficult to follow
Yes. It won't work out of the blue. You must first understand that you are alone at home, that you will not take care of yourself - no one will take care of you. A sense of self-preservation is given to a person from birth, it is enough to preserve what is given by nature, and many troubles in life can already be avoided. Wasting yourself on negative feelings for people who do not even suspect what kind of sacrifice you are laying at their feet, I consider the height of stupidity. And somehow I don't want to be a fool. nine0003
One must be able to forgive insults, and not dwell on them. This makes life easier later on.
Fighter With Enemies
Why not, just cumulatively, on credit, and then I’ll collect kaaak
A Won't Tell
nevertheless . .offense does not ask our permission
there's nothing to hide... they carry water to the offended....
My cockroaches live well in my head. Obedient.
Why hide it, fight back immediately and out of my head!
Fighter With Enemies
It is possible together with the head!. ))
It's as you wish.
Fighter With Enemies
Of course me. Not for you
My head is always with me.
Fighter With Enemies
Take care of her! But who needs it?
I need it while I'm alive.
grievances should be spit out. and not kept behind the cheek
Ritter Ohne Furcht Und Tadel
but the revenge plan will mature and then hold on!
Really... not a practical occupation)))
good wording ) must be remembered )
Wow! Cool metaphor!
Love. .love! Z
Hello! An interesting hypothesis.....
Fighter With Enemies
Yes...it's better to let go...life itself will punish...take care of your nerves and heart)))
Artemy Matsnev Z
That's right! Svetlana Kopylova has a song "Novice and Monk", which illustrates this in all colors.
Postpone it, an excuse for revenge! nine0003
Right. You shouldn't hurt yourself.
I don't think anyone is worth it
so no offense to anything!!!
Fighter With Enemies
Well, musicians are positive people
I like the expression!!
Fighter With Enemies
Glad to try!
but how sweet is revenge. ....
Alexander Vladimirovich Chegodaev
Will pay with interest.
Translation %83 in Finnish
How appropriate, because graduates were assigned to serve in 20 countries of the world!
Nämä sanat sopivatkin tilanteeseen mainiosti, sillä oppilaat lähetetään 20 maahan!jw2019
I knew how much God values man and his body, but even that didn't stop me. Jennifer, 20 years
Tiedän, miten arvokkaana Jumala pitää ihmisruumista, mutta edes se ei ole saanut minua lopettamaan.” (Jennifer, 20)jw2019
God subsequently enacted this order in the covenant of the Law that he made with the people of Israel through Moses.
Myöhemmin Jumala vahvisti sapatin oikeudelliseksi säädökseksi lakiliittoon, joka annettiin Israelin kansalle Mooseksen välityksellä (2Mo 20 :8–11; 5Mo 5:12–15). nine0003 jw2019
I bet 20 bucks you can't spend a whole day alone.
Lyön 20 taalaa vetoa ettet voi olla yhtä päivää ihan yksinäsi.OpenSubtitles2018.v3
When we help others, we ourselves experience some measure of happiness and satisfaction, and our own burden becomes lighter (Acts 20 :35).
Tehdessämme jotain toisten hyväksi emme ainoastaan auta heitä vaan myös tunnemme onnellisuutta ja tyytyväisyyttä, mikä tekee omien taakkojemme kantamisen siedettävämmäksi0408 20 :35).jw2019
20 Jesus' words at Matthew 28:19, 20 show that those who have become His disciples should be baptized.
20 Jeesuksen sanat Matteuksen 28:19, 20jw2019
Talk and discussion with listeners based on The Watchtower, July 15, 2003, p. 20 .
Puhe ja keskustelu kuulijoiden kanssa Vartiotornin 15.7.2003 sivun 20 pohjalta.jw2019
Nearly 40 years later, by the time of the second census, the number of men in the tribe of Manasseh had risen to 52,700, 90,408,20,,200 more than the tribe of Ephraim.—Nu 26:28-34, 37.
Kun noin 40 vuotta myöhemmin suoritettiin toinen väestönlaskenta, havaittiin heimon luetteloitujen miesten määrän kasvaneen 52700:aan, joten heitä oli 20200 enemmän kuin efraimilaisia (4:2–3).jw2019
I was married 20 years.
Olen ollut naimisissa 20 vuotta.OpenSubtitles2018.v3
20 Abandoned by her parents, but loved by God
20 Vanhempien hylkäämä, Jumalan rakastamajw2019
She passed away20 minutes ago.
Hän lähti 20 minuuttia sitten.OpenSubtitles2018.v3
This is what Alma prophesied to the people of Gideon about 83 BC:
Alma profetoi seuraavaa Gideonin kansalle noin vuonna 83 eKr. :
Genuinely concerned for Paul, who was imprisoned in Rome, they helped him cope with difficulties by supporting him financially.
20 Even persecution or imprisonment cannot close the mouths of devoted Jehovah's Witnesses. nine0003
20 Vaino tai vankeuskaan eivät voi sulkea Jehovan antaumuksellisten todistajien suuta.jw2019
You were blacked out for 20 minutes.
Olit tajuttomana 20 minuuttia.OpenSubtitles2018.v3
b) What do we learn from the words recorded in Acts 4:18- 20 and Acts 5:29?
b) Mitä Apostolien tekojen 4:18– 20 ja 5:29 opettavat meille?jw2019
Matthias was numbered “among the eleven apostles” to serve with them (Acts 1: 20 , 24-26).
Mattias nimitettiin ”niiden yhdentoista ohella apostolien joukkoon”. - Apostolien teot 1: 20 , 24-26.jw2019
Current level - 20 tons 686 kilograms.
Nykyinen määrä :20686 tonnia.OpenSubtitles2018.v3
Robert Coems, assistant professor at the University of Toronto, summarizes their views: “Lung cancer in 20 years.
Apulaisprofessorina Toronton yliopistossa toimiva Robert Coambs esittää tiivistelmän heidän asenteestaan: ”Keuhkosyöpä on 20 vuoden päässä.jw2019
This is what leads to happiness, as King Solomon said, “He who trusts in the Lord is blessed [happy, NM]” (Proverbs 16: 20 ).
Tämä edistää onnellisuutta, kuten kuningas Salomo selitti: ”Onnellinen on se, joka luottaa Jehovaan.” (Sananlaskut 16: 20 , UM.)jw2019
Be generous and consider the welfare of others (Acts 20:35).
Ole antelias ja toimi toisten onnellisuuden hyväksi. (Apostolien teot 20 :35)jw2019
And this prompted Isaiah to call his countrymen, “O house of Jacob! Come, and let us walk in the light of Jehovah” (Isaiah 2:5, PAM; 5: 20 ).