Holding a grudge can be a seemingly exhilarating experience, as for some people it is something that adds meaning to life. The fact that you feel ignored, cheated or outraged by someone means, for example, that you have a reason to channel your efforts into showing that person that “he couldn’t handle us,” that despite what happened you have moved on as if nothing had happened. That is why those who feel this way sometimes do not realize that they have a problem.

The truth is that giving up the grudge is a much better option than continuing in that state of mind, as we’ll see. Basing a significant part of life on that, makes no sense.

How do you stop holding a grudge and move on?

Before understanding why advice on how to stop feeling resentment is useful, it is important to understand rather why it is important to leave behind that tendency to constantly evoke past experiences for which we feel resentment.

First of all, although holding a grudge against someone can provide a certain motivation in some contexts, we must also consider that while we experience this feeling, an unease also appears, which arises from the fact that we often think about something bad that happened to us in the past. This in itself is psychologically painful, and it can also contribute to our adopting a perspective on ourselves and on life that is too pessimistic to adjust to reality.

Secondly, the motivation it can provide need not be strong enough to compensate for the damage to self-esteem that often occurs when these past grievances are recalled. But also, if it finally leads us to fulfill an objective, the feeling is not usually one of triumph, since in the end it is only based on imagining that in a symbolic sense we have overcome the person who hurt us, something that does not have to mean much in more rational terms; that person was only special because of how badly he made us feel, but once his figure is demystified, what remains?

Here are some tips on how to stop holding a grudge. Keep in mind that in order for them to work, they need to be applied to everyday habits, not just thought about.

1. Take a distant perspective

Practically any life experience can be seen from a more subjective perspective, on the one hand, or more distant, calm and rational .
Of course, it is not possible to spend one’s whole life experiencing things from a bird’s eye view, as if everything happened to someone else. But sometimes, opting for this at specific moments is very useful for regulating emotions.

2. If possible, contact that person

Many times, everything is fixed with dialogue. Even if the reason we feel resentment starts from an intentional hostile action towards us, it is very possible that at the present moment, the person who hurt us regrets it .

So it is worth creating the opportunity for resentment to go away on its own by not having anything to hold onto, if there is an honest reconciliation or apology.

3. Redirect frustrations

There are those who do not feel resentment for a specific person, but for an abstract collective, or even for society in general. Therefore, in these cases it is necessary to reflect on what are the real reasons why this feeling is there and to make sure that one is not attributing one’s own discomfort to something that only exists in our imagination .

4. Manage your attention well

It’s not a question of being distracted, but of being aware that if we were constantly thinking about all the bad things that happen, we would never get out of bed, but that would not give us a deep understanding of what the world is. We have limited time and resources, so we have to know how to recognize the existence of both good and bad .

Sometimes this vital pessimism is maintained because it is believed that although it does not make us feel good, at least it gives a real picture of what is happening. Realizing that this is false is important for letting go of this dynamic of negative thinking.

5. Strengthen your friendships

If the intensity of negative thoughts towards one or more people is greater than the feelings of attachment we feel for others , it is easy to concentrate only on the former. That’s why being around friends and loved ones in general makes even less sense to hold on to a grudge. People who feel good have no time or reason to make that state of mind one of the pillars of their daily lives.