The recent three part look at grudges was this website’s, indeed, this writer’s biggest attempt to present something different. My intention was to take a look at what it means to hold a grudge, and I used the Total Asshole’s Guide to…Holding a Grudge to explore the issue in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way.
In that guide, a long running feud, culminating in a grudge, was explored from the grudge holder’s perspective. It wasn’t a serious attempt to encourage people to manipulate a situation in order to ensure the survival of a grudge. Truth is, they need little help to thrive and survive but perhaps after reading you feel it’s high time you extended an olive branch and reached out to end your grudge, weather you be the bearer or the holder. Perhaps, reconsider how easy you find feuding with people is, compared to just getting along with them. Feuds and grudges are just a defense mechanism after all, and as mere animals, we have little control over the mental triggers that cause them.
We can, however, work at managing our emotions. The first step toward managing a situation is understanding, and the first step toward understanding is realisation. In this case, realising the mental energy consumed to maintan the grudge, the damage it can cause to those involved, and most importantly, the realisation that the cycle will never end, unless steps are taken.
My advise to anyone struggling with a grudge, whether you be the holder or the bearer, is to read up on it. Start by learning why we as humans form feuds. Follow it up by taking a look at your levels of tolerance. Are you the sort of person that easily flies off the handle? Perhaps your sense of justice, and your defense mechanisms are too highly tuned. You may need to explore what you’re defending yourself against..
Sometimes, feuds need to be played out and allowed to run their course. You must go through the different stages, and come out the other side, hopefully with a little understanding. But grudges are different. They fester away, sometimes for years until they become entrenched. When a grudge ends, nothing at all has been gained. There is only loss, the loss of time.
“Time on your hands that will never end / The most beautiful thing you could ever spend” The Kaiser Chiefs.
Time is precious. To waste it on hate is unforgivable.
Grudges are essentially a stalemate. Nobody ever benefits from a stalemate. Nobody ever wins. There are only losers. The only questions are how many losers are there, and how much have they lost? Our time on this planet is too fleeting, too special to waste on such ephemera. To anyone involved in a feud, or especially a grudge my advise is simple; take all possible steps toward ending it. Now.
Don’t let malice outlive you.
Copyright Martin Gregory 2019