How to Hold a Grudge
tom walsh


It seems to me that there are many skills and talents that we undervalue in life.  After all, many of us spend so much of our time on relatively few areas of ability that it seems kind of a waste to spend that much time while doing something fairly poorly.  One of those talent areas lies in the art of holding a grudge, something so common in our lives that it's amazing that we don't teach college courses in it, or at least have a unit or two on it in grade school

The first step in successfully holding a grudge is to convince yourself that you are in the right while the other person is completely wrong.  There isn't a lot of wiggle room here, either--you must be at least 99% right and the other person at least 99% wrong.  Once you start to see even the slightest bit of right in the other person's words or actions, the grudge gets more difficult to hold, and it may slip away before you know it.

Secondly, you have to constantly remind yourself of the injustice that the other person has committed.  This takes a lot of focus and energy, and it doesn't matter if most of the energy that you're expending is negative in nature--you have to keep expending that energy if your grudge is going to survive.  Most good grudge-holders find it useful to re-direct energy that might have been wasted in other more positive pursuits, such as encouraging people or doing their jobs well, in order to maintain the grudge at a high level of effectiveness.

Third, be careful not to let any teachings about the power of letting go creep into your mind, for they can seriously undermine the integrity of a good grudge.  Don't pay any attention when someone tells you that you need to let go of the negative feelings for your own sake--after all, this is your grudge, and who knows better than you what's important to your own psyche?  Letting go of the negative feelings that you feel towards another human being is a sure way to kill the ability to maintain the grudge, and once you do that, then what's the point of even having the grudge in the first place?

It's also important that you pay no attention at all to any positive things that you may hear about the grudged (yes, I just made the word up. . . ) person, or that you may see this person do.  Also, make sure that you avoid hearing any explanations about whatever the situation was, for two of the most dangerous things to any grudge are compassion and understanding.

The benefits of a good grudge are well worth the trouble.  First of all, you get to experience a strong sense of self-righteousness, and it grows even stronger the longer you hold on to the grudge.  You'll also find that your perspective grows narrower and less open to new things, which means that you'll have less to think about as time goes on.  And don't forget the amount of sympathy that other people will feel for you when they know just how badly you've been wronged.  Finally, we all know just how much the grudge affects the other person--they'll surely be unable to go on with their normal lives while we're sending all of our negative energy their way.  This type of destructiveness can only be beneficial to us in our lives.

You've got to like a good grudge!  Even the word itself makes you feel a certain sense of negative energy, a certain sense of indignation and discomfort.  Holding a good grudge is an art form, yet it does take practice and learning.  If you do get good at it, though, you can be sure that with the amount of negative energy that you're pouring out into the world, you're sure to have an effect on someone, even if it's just to make someone not want to be around you anymore.  So whenever you have the chance, make sure that your grudges are as strong as they can be so that you're sure that you're getting the full effect out of them.


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