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Holding grudges?


I’ve never considered myself someone who holds grudges.In fact, I’ve always viewed holding grudges as unhealthy, pointless, and even immature. I typically give people second (and often third) chances even when they have done something to hurt me or disappoint me and even when my better judgement tells me not to.



Most of the time I think this is a good quality that I possess. I think that not holidng on to grudges allows me to feel less stressed and allows me to experience more happiness. I think that for the most part I am quite laid-back. I try (even moreso as of  lately) to let go of the little things that bother me and think about all of the things I have to be happy for in my life.




Lately, however, I have been troubled over a conflict with a friend, and I have started to wonder if not letting go of grudges can ever be the right thing to do. I have been wondering if I should keep trying at this friendship despite feeling like I’m constantly giving and not getting much in return. I am constantly questioning why this is and what I can do to ensure things go differently. Is this type of friendship worth it? Is it healthy? Does this friendship make me feel good about myself?


I always advise clients that I work with that a relationship/friendship should be reciprocal. You shouldn’t feel like you are always giving and it’s not being reciprocated from the other person. It’s difficult, though, to follow my own advice when it comes to my current situation. Friendships have often been difficult for me, and I’m not quite sure why this is. I try hard to show people in my life how much I care about them, but there are times when this just doesn’t turn out to be enough. There are so many times when I feel like I say and do the right things, but it turns out wrong. I hate the fact that worrying about this friendship is making me doubt myself. I am troubling with what I should do in my current situation.




***Please tell me about your experiences: Do you typically hold grudges or do you let things go easily? Have you ever been in a friendship where you feel like you’re giving so much and not receiving as much in return? Provide me with any advice!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Connie permalink
    10/01/2011 8:25 pm

    Amanda, I am a grudge holder—not the nicest thing to admit, but I have a hard time letting go of stuff. Sometimes it is immature and petty, but other times I think it is justified.
    It sounds though in your case that it isn’t a matter of holding a grudge, but deciding if a friendship is worthwhile. Sadly not every friendship is forever. Some last a lifetime, some fade in and out of life and other burn bright and then die out. No one wants a friendship to end, but sometimes it just happens. it’s painful to acknowledge this when it happens, especially if you have invested more emotionally into the relationship than the other person. You somehow feel it is your fault.
    To give you an example of what I mean, I’ll share a very painful friendship. I met my friend Maura when we were 8 years old and in scouts. We became immediate best friends and were so for many years. She was the maid of honor at my wedding and my sons’s godmother. If she asked for my right arm, I would have cut it off for her without question.
    During our adult lives, we grew a bit distant. I was married with a family and she was not, but we still talked on the phone an occasionally got together. It never really bothered me because I knew we were always there for each other. The one day she called me to tell me “some good news and some bad news.” The good news was that she was getting married. The bad news is that I couldn’t come to the wedding. When I asked why, she told me that she was planning to invite some of her work colleagues and that since I was married to a truck driver, I just wouldn’t fit in. You can imagine how much this hurt. I loved er like a sister, but clearly she didn’t feel the same about me.
    To shorten this long story, that was the last conversation we ever had. Years later, I sent her a Christmas card, simply signed “I forgive you.” But the forgiveness was not for her—it was for me, so that I could get past feelings of insecurity that came from this and get on with my life. I accepted that this is just the way it is—I had invested more in the friendship than she and rather than waste any more time bearing myself up over whether I could have been a better friend, let is all go.
    You are a wonderful person who is loved by so many people. you don’t need to stress over this. Try to accept that this is just one of those transitory friendships—not bad or good, it’s just what it is—and channel your energies into those relationships which reciprocate your feelings. You’ll feel better in the long run.

    • 10/02/2011 11:11 am

      Thanks for your insight, Connie. I miss our talks…it’s too bad we don’t live closer to one another!

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