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Forgive and forget? How to let go of a grudge

Forgiveness is a tricky subject. Anger and bitterness are sometimes easier than accepting you were wrong or apologising. But holding a grudge not only drains your energy, it can also affect your health. Often we can lose friends, loved ones or even family members over a lack of forgiveness. Is holding a grudge wasting your time? Here are five tips to help you let go.

Two women talking

Forgiving doesn’t always mean forgetting

Often people will avoid forgiving others because they “deserve to suffer.” Whether it is stealing a client at work or being betrayed personally, the effects of someone in your life doing you wrong can often make you want them to suffer. But forgiving someone doesn’t erase what they have done. Usually in these cases the person’s guilt will be enough of a punishment, so don’t fill yourself with retribution as well. Forgive them and move on – you will feel happier for it.

Be compassionate

No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. So next time someone needs your forgiveness, consider whether you could have wound up in the same position? It is more than likely that you too have asked for forgiveness at some point in your life and may want it later down the line.

Put it in perspective

Often it is hard not to get drawn into squabbles and everyday petty arguments. But when you are faced with a problem, consider if it is going to affect your life next year, next month or even next week. If the problem is nothing in comparison to the wider picture in life, like your health and happiness, then brush it off — you won’t even remember why you were angry soon.

Don’t waste time

If you know you will forgive in the long run, make that first step sooner rather than later. Cutting someone out of your life deprives you just as much of them as them of you. Don’t waste years of bitterness that you will regret and instead be the bigger person — it will make you happier in the long run.

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