RSS Forgive and Forget: Tips on Letting Go of Grudges

Admit it – at one time or another you’ve held a grudge against someone you felt “wronged” you in some way. I’m no psychologist, but I think it is a human nature to feel resentment at times, and even spite, depending on how betrayed we felt at the time. I’m writing about this topic today because I have seen many individuals, teams and organizations wither as a result of long-held grudges.

What is a Grudge?

A grudge results from a lack of communication and perception of a breach of trust. It is made up of strong, lingering feelings of ill will, and can take the form of jealousy, dislike or envy. Grudges tend to last a long time, which makes me wonder: why do they have such a power over us that make it difficult to forgive and forget?

As I get older, my capacity to show compassion in the face of adversity seems to get stronger. I don’t know if it’s simply part of the maturation process, or whether I’ve simply learned that I have a stronger preference to be at peace than to harbor negative feelings toward someone. While forgiveness doesn’t always result in reconciliation, it can bring closure for the person who lets go of these feelings.

I believe our ability to maintain a positive demeanor has a lot to do with our ability to adapt to circumstances outside our control. Feelings of resentment may be justified in our minds, but, in the end, we become more close-minded to constructive thoughts and ideas.

Grudges in the Workplace

So, how do you deal with feelings of resentment or envy at work? My first suggestion is to not hold a grudge in the first place, of course. You should recognize that holding a grudge can, and likely will, stifle your ability to achieve peak performance and may impact future career opportunities. At work, it’s likely that your grudges are affecting your entire team, and thereby, the organization as a whole.

Just like at home, it is important to create a positive environment in the workplace, some place free of resentment, envy and jealousy. If every team member embraced the idea of positive collaboration rather than harboring negative emotion, the entire organization would win.

Letting Go Is the Best Policy

If you are currently holding a grudge, either personally or professionally, consider the positives of letting it go. You can’t move forward if you continue to look back. Let go of the grudge and see where your dreams and ambitions take you!

We probably all have some experience both in holding a grudge and also in learning how to let it go. How did you feel after walking away from negative feelings? Did it positively impact your relationship or outlook on life? These stories would make for a nice supplement to this post - share yours today in the comment section below.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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