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How and why you should give up a grudge

Kait is an enthusiast of all things writer-ly. She studies creative writing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and derives inspiration from her work at the Women's Health Collective, city exploration, and talking to strangers. She a...

Learn to let it go

From SheKnows Canada
Behind every heartbreak — no matter how painful — is an opportunity to grow. Choose to see the situation as a learning experience, and your love life will benefit.

couple fighting and thinking

Harbouring feelings of resentment is a surefire way to crumble your self-esteem, hurt your present relationships and keep future ones at bay. It can also take a toll on your mental and physical health. If you want to live your best life and move on to have more fulfilling relationships, you've got to give up your grudge. It takes strength and some self-exploration, but it might be the crucial step you need to take to invite true love into your life.

Why give up a grudge?

Holding a grudge stunts your emotional growth. It prevents you from learning from a negative experience and instead makes you torture yourself with toxic thoughts — not an effective way to deal with the pain. The longer you keep up the grudge, the longer the person who inflicted the pain is in control. Reclaim your life. Put a stop to the draining of energy the grudge is causing, and let it go. Remember that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Only when you're free of a grudge will you be able to give of yourself in all your relationships. Here are some helpful pointers for getting over it.

Get it out

If you're angry, scream. If you're hurt, cry. Feel all those feelings you've been stifling underneath resentment. The painful memories may be scary to delve into again, but just remember that feelings paper padare just feelings, and they can't hurt you. Be strong. You have to feel them so they can go away once and for all. Give yourself a designated amount of time to do it. Write it all down, or call a close friend, and vent.

Make a pros-and-cons list

After you've vented, it's time to be rational. How do you benefit from holding the grudge? Are you effectively punishing the person who hurt you by torturing yourself with negative thoughts, or are you just hurting yourself more? After you see that the cons of the grudge outweigh the pros, make a vow to yourself to give it up. Keep the list in your journal or somewhere you can refer to it when you're tempted toward the grudge again.

Challenge your thinking

Change your memory of the situation, and rewrite it in a way that will benefit you. Literally take a pen to paper, and list the ways in which you were true to yourself in your handling of the situation and how you are better and stronger for it today. Turn the memory into something you can be proud of. Rest assured that you will never let the same thing happen again, because you now know the telltale signs of what a toxic relationship looks like.

Commit yourself to constant improvement

It won't be easy to resist the temptation to fall into the same toxic thought patterns you had about the situation before, so keep a close monitor on your thoughts. Don't allow yourself to finish any negative thought associated with the grudge. When one pops up, replace it with a positive one. Refuse to live in the past, and devote yourself to living your best life.

More on giving up a grudge

15 Ways to get over him
3 Ways to help you get over being dumped
Post-breakup changes to help you cope

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