I once heard something wise, and that was that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I think that is so true, and yet letting go of spiteful feelings isn’t always easy for me.
Earlier this year a friend of mine went too far with what I felt was immature and disrespectful behavior. He’s not good with any criticism, and so when I would try to tell him how the things he said were offending me, he took it as attacks and would verbally attack me right back. It got ugly, and so I did what I could to cut ties with him. The problem is that we still have mutual friends and so there are times when being in the same room is unavoidable. I try to move past all of the negativity and just ignore him as politely as possible, but recently during one of those times he still brought up topics that I feel are rude and disrespectful.
I left, but since then the frustration has really been a poison to me. When I start thinking about it, I get really tense and angry. Then I fantasize about saying horrible things that I would never actually say, things that would make him feel just as hurt and humiliated. Having a mature talk about it seems out of the question, since every prior attempt has led to really ugly arguments.
So I try to tell myself to just move on and get over it; I don’t have to see him often, and when I do and he pisses me off with the things he says, I should just remind myself that I am above that kind of behavior. I should just bask in my moral superiority and let him wither away in his racism and misogyny.
That is what I should do! My problem is that I am a really competitive person with a temper, and so thinking about him walking around all smug thinking he got the last word drives me insane. And that is really how holding a grudge is like a poison: it doesn’t do me any good, it isn’t at all productive, nor does it get me any closer to achieving the things I want in life. It is a complete waste of my time! I honestly don’t care much about what he thinks; I guess I want to feel like I’ve “won” this one.
And really, there is nothing to win. The only thing I can win in this situation is my freedom from his negativity. So, starting tomorrow: only positive thoughts!