For What It's Worth: It's a new year, and everyone seems to be talking about a fresh start. Today I'm going to give you a tutorial, but not the kind you're used to. I am going to tell you how to move on from a GRUDGE with a friend. How do I have this information? Well, let's just say that a large part of dealing with my depression has been to take out the emotional garbage so-to-speak, and grudges have been the last to go. Why is it so hard to let go? People go on and on about letting go of your past so you can embrace your future, but no one really tells you how to get there. Since I've had lots of practice lately I'm going to tell you what worked for me. I hope it can work for you.
1. Admit it. As with just about everything, admitting you have a problem is your first step. I used to tell myself "I'm not holding a grudge, I'm just mad because blah blah blah blah." Uh-uh. The difference in being angry at someone and holding a grudge against them is time. Is it because of something they just did or has this been festering for some time? Is this a one time disagreement or is this the straw that broke the camel's back? Have you done something to passive-aggressively hurt them?
2. Why are you really mad? You must figure out the root of your problem with this person. How do you feel they wronged you? Is this a continuous issue you have with them? You have to find the root of the problem. This step is crucial for step 4.
3. Take ownership. I bet if you look deep down inside yourself you can find something you did to contribute to your current situation. You must acknowledge your part in it. If you don't you cannot move forward.
4. Do the work. This is the hardest step. I know it sucks, but write the person a letter. It can be an email, a facebook message, snail mail, however you want to do it. Tell them why you're hurting. Tell them how you feel they've wronged you. Admit and apologize for your part in it (ouch! I know it hurts! Do it anyway.) Tell them you want to fix this. Give them an opportunity to make it right. Guess what? People don't know how you feel unless you actually tell them. This person may not know you have a grudge against them at all! Or they may know, but not know what to do to fix it. The only way to fix it is to talk about it.
5. Set it free. No matter what the other person's response is, you know you've done your part. If you've done all you can do there is no reason to let this take up space in your mind and heart any longer. Take a deep breath and let it go.