How many grudges are you holding?

by | Feb 8, 2016 | Emotional Intelligence, Relationships (Self and Others), Time Management

How many grudges are you holding?

It’s easier said than done to let the past be the past. When we experience resentment or anger because someone did or said something that offended or hurt us, we’re holding a grudge. Often we hold on very tightly, and for a very long time. This keeps us from dealing with whatever happened and moving on with our life. Holding grudges holds us back, saps our energy, damages our health and taints the relationships we have today with old hurts. So let’s put the past in the past and take Key Steps together to...

Let go and really live

  1. Realise that forgiving does not equal condoning or reconciling. Many people deplore the idea of forgiveness because they see it as a weakness or an agreement to forget what happened. This is not the case. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay”. It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever”. As noted by Dr Katherine Piderman, the Mayo Clinic’s staff chaplain, to forgive is not to condone, to relieve responsibility or to excuse the behaviour; forgiveness is a personal act that can transfer emotional control back into your hands.

    So, although letting go of a grudge can help restore a relationship (if that is your aim), reconciliation is not a requirement. Some people don’t deserve it; some grudges come out of conflicts significant enough to make you realise that you don’t want to deal with that person anymore or be in a relationship with them any longer. You can still forgive, if you recognise and realise that it does not mean condoning or reconciling. It simply means letting go, finding peace and liberating yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just about forgiving other people, it’s for you too. Notice where you feel guilty about something in the past… you’re probably holding a grudge against yourself. It’s time to get the lesson, forgive yourself, move on and make every effort to do better next time. Don’t live your life holding grudges. In the end, the person you hurt is… YOU!

  2. Forgiveness is a process not an event. It’s better to recognise and perhaps even say to yourself and others, “I am doing my best to forgive”, rather than, “I forgive”. Doing your best to forgive means a conscious and continuous effort to let go of your negative thinking and replace it with empowering thoughts. You could see the other person’s behaviour in a better light or – if that is not possible – remind yourself that you are choosing to drop the negativity to take your power back from the offender. You are doing it for YOU and not for them. To really let go of a grudge, you have to honour and respect your intentions of putting it behind you and not let it infect your thoughts, feelings or actions. Although it’s easier said than done, it can be done. Remind yourself that holding on to a grudge is actually more a sign of weakness than strength; it often just reinforces your insecurities and gives the offender an enormous amount of control over you. Take your power back today and…

“be the difference that makes the difference




NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’