Grudges: Learn To Let Go

Last week, I had a conversation with a woman who worships at the same Church as I do. We know each other pretty well, and she wanted to let me know that I wouldn’t be seeing her at this Church any longer. I asked why, and here’s what happened: Her son was recently married at this Church. The ceremony went well, but the planning steps leading up to the “big day” didn’t sit well with her at all. She found the Church’s wedding coordinator to be boorish and at times, insulting.

grudgeShe wrote letters to both the pastor and the wedding coordinator to express her outrage. She didn’t receive a reply from either of them – nothing, nada, not a word.

Her decision, given this shabby treatment, is to boycott the Church, a house of worship at which she has been integrally involved and attending Mass for over 30 years. “I have a grudge against them,” she said.

Here’s the thing about holding grudges. We take action in such a way that we want the offender to notice. In this instance, the woman’s action is her absence from Church. But her absence hasn’t made an impact. It’s business as usual at this Church, as far as I can see, the aforementioned players (pastor, wedding coordinator) are still there, and this woman is not. Mission unaccomplished, nothing has changed.

When we hold grudges, we’re the big losers, not those who slighted us. If you want to be done with a grudge do this: Make contact with the wrongdoer, preferably in writing. Make the case for how you feel and why, assertively, but without malice.

Then be done with it; that’s the extent of the power and control you have over the situation. Getting a response is considerably less important than unburdening yourself, and life’s way too short to hold onto something – at your expense.

Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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