Experiencing resentment for something that happened long ago can be a very damaging trap.
Holding a grudge can be a seemingly exhilarating experience, as for some people it is something that adds meaning to life. The fact of feeling neglected, deceived or outraged by someone makes, for example, that there is a reason to channel efforts to show that person that “he has not been able to with us”, that despite what happened he has continued forward like nothing. So those who feel this way sometimes don’t realize they have a problem.
The truth is that stopping feeling resentment is a much better option than continuing in that state of mind, as we will see. Basing a significant part of life on that does not make sense.
How to stop feeling resentment and turn the page?
Before understanding why advice on how to stop holding a grudge is useful, it is important to understand rather why it is important to leave behind that tendency to constantly recall past experiences that we feel resentful about.
In the first place, although the fact of holding a grudge against someone can provide a certain motivation in some contexts, it must also be considered that at the same time that this feeling is experienced, there also appears a discomfort that arises from the fact of often thinking about something bad that happened to us in the past. This is already psychologically painful in itself, and it can also help us to adopt a perspective on ourselves and on life that is too pessimistic to adjust to reality.
Second, the motivation you can provide need not be powerful enough to offset the damage to self-esteem that often occurs when you look back on past grievances. But also, if it finally leads us to achieve a goal, the feeling is not usually that of triumph, since in the end it is only based on imagining that in a symbolic sense we have overcome the one who hurt us, something that does not mean what to mean a lot in more rational terms; That person was only special because of how bad he made us feel, but once his figure is demystified, what is left?
Here are some tips on how to stop holding a grudge. Keep in mind that for them to work you have to apply them to your day-to-day habits, not just think about them.
1. Take a distant perspective
Practically any life experience can be seen from a more subjective perspective, on the one hand, or more distant, calm and rational. Of course, it is not possible to spend a lifetime experiencing things from a bird’s eye view, as if everything happened to someone else person. But sometimes, opting for this at specific times is very useful to regulate emotions.
2. If possible, get in touch with that person
Many times, everything is fixed with dialogue. Even if the reason for our resentment stems from an intentionally hostile action towards us, it is quite possible that in the present moment, the person who harmed us will repent.
So it pays to create the opportunity for resentment to go away on its own by having nothing to hold onto, if there is a reconciliation or an honest apology.
3. Redirect frustrations
There are those who do not hold a grudge for a specific person, but for an abstract group, or even for society in general. For this reason, in these cases it is necessary to reflect on what are the real reasons why this feeling is there and make sure that the discomfort itself is not being attributed to something that exists only in our imagination.
4. Manage your attention well
It is not about being distracted, but about becoming aware that if we were constantly thinking about everything bad that happens, we would never get out of bed, but that would not make us have a deep understanding of what the world is. We have limited time and resources, so you have to know how to recognize the existence of both good and bad.
Sometimes this vital pessimism is maintained because it is believed that although it does not make us feel good, it at least gives a real vision of what is happening. Realizing that this is false is important to letting go of this negative thought dynamic.
5. Strengthen your friendships
If the intensity of negative thoughts towards one or more people is greater than the feelings of attachment we feel for others, it is easy to focus only on the former. So being around friends and loved ones in general makes it even less meaningful to hold onto a grudge. Feeling good people have no time or reason to make that state of mind one of the pillars of their daily lives.