Can Holding a Grudge Be Good for You?
I was having a conversation with a girl recently, and she asked:
‘Do you ever hold grudges?’
I wanted to get my politician on and say:
‘Of course not! I am someone who quickly forgives and forgets.’
But that would be lying.
Thus far within the conversation, we had both been keeping it honest, so I wanted to keep the streak going.
‘Yes, I do hold grudges.’
This isn’t the type of grudge that leads to resentment from my end.
Instead, this is the type of grudge that leads to fuel for my inner world.
It allows me to work with a chip on my shoulder.
I like to call it ‘strategic grudges.’
How to Forgive Someone
For the most part, holding grudges is not smart.
It pollutes your subconscious mind and makes you resent others.
As the world progresses around you, you find yourself still having imaginary conversations with the person who did you wrong.
It’s time to forgive.
How do we forgive?
- We work to extract the lesson from the betrayal until we are HAPPY that the betrayal occurred.
If a genie came to us and asked whether we would change a thing, we’d say.
‘Nope! That betrayal taught me lessons that I could never learn in a book. I’m glad things played out the way they did.’
Once we reach that revelation, we have officially forgiven the other person.
Although I’m highlighting the steps in a simple way, do not be fooled.
Extracting the lesson may take months, years, or decades.
It’s just good to know what we are working towards.
Forgiveness is not a command, it’s a process.
Once we extract the lesson, the grudge will dissolve from our hearts.
Although I know the formula for forgiving others, every now and then, I’ll hold onto a grudge.
I specifically recall a moment like this.
A while back, I got a leadership position for a club that I was in.
When I was given that leadership position, I recall a group of guys talking shit.
They were like:
‘Armani? He’s not going to do a good job with that role.’
When I first heard those comments, I became worried.
What if they were right?
Then I became sad.
The people making these comments were people I was cool with.
Then I became furious.
The fact that they all huddled around to talk shit behind my back rather than approach me pissed me off.
Then I accepted it.
Okay, we will see who is and isn’t going to do a good job.
Working With a Chip on My Shoulder
Those 3 guys motivated me to do better.
There were a few times that I was feeling lazy with my position.
I had to attend socials that I didn’t want to go to, but I didn’t want those 3 goobers to have the last laugh.
So, I dressed up and drove to the event.
In addition to putting in the extra effort with doing tasks that I didn’t want to do…
I put in extra effort with tasks that I wanted to do.
During my position, I threw 3 of the biggest events in the club’s history.
I made the 3 goobers eat their words.
Guess what though?
I’d invite the 3 goobers to my wedding.
And I wouldn’t just invite anyone to my wedding.
I’m pretty picky with that.
‘Wait, what?? Aren’t you pissed that they were talking shit about you?’
However, our relationship never soured.
I had forgiven them while still holding a grudge.
Counterintuitive, I know.
But it’s something that worked.
I held a grudge because it added fuel to the fire.
The grudge did not lead to resentment in my heart.
Working With Dynamites
Strategic grudges are a lot like strategic anger.
This is the type of anger you unleash to speed up the process.
You desperately need your internet connection restored to close some important business, but the internet company is dragging its feet. Due to the time crunch, you yell at the employee to inject urgency into the transaction. After getting yelled at, the employee quickly restores your internet.
Should everyone unleash strategic anger?
There’s a time and place for this move.
A lot of times, it will backfire completely.
Strategic anger is a lot like playing with dynamites.
Similar to strategic grudges.
If the grudge is not leading to fuel and is only leading to resentment, then aim to drop it.
There are rare moments though when we hold a grudge despite having forgiven the individual.
Our vendetta is more so with the doubt they put on us rather than them.
This vendetta does not make us become a maniac.
Instead, the grudge leads us to become precise with our moves.
Strategic grudges are the dynamite of the inner world.
It can be used to build, or it can be used to destroy.
Use it wisely.
Contradictory Answers with Emotions
The reason this blog was difficult to write was because it feels as though I’m juggling 2 contradictory ideas.
In my book, Level Up Mentality, I talk about why it’s smart to compete with yourself and not others.
Competition with ourselves leads to the clear lane mentality while competing with others leads to the traffic jam mentality.
If that’s the case, why hold grudges?
Doesn’t that invite more traffic into our lives?
Here’s a crucial lesson I learned with emotions:
- Contradictory ideas can coexist.
We often view emotions in a very linear way.
Happy, sad, anxious, etc.
But in the real world, multiple emotions can exist.
- Hopeful while feeling sad about the change.
- Anxious while feeling excited to get it over with.
- Angry at the person while simultaneously understanding them.
It’s best to get your fuel from the inner world.
But every now and then, fuel from the external world is accepted.
Someone said we couldn’t do something.
They ruled us out.
It’s time to prove them wrong.
For more insights into emotional intelligence, be sure to check out Armani Archives: EQ Edition