When self-care started to encompass mental health, I was fully on board. After giving myself one too many stress headaches, I knew I had to cut out anything that made my mental health worse. One thing I couldn’t seem to get rid of though was holding grudges.
As much as I hate to admit it, I can hold a damn good grudge. Anytime a friend would cancel on me or jokingly make a side comment, I’d hold on to that memory. Then, at random times of my day, I’d over analyze it, assuming that my friends or family did that action on purpose to make me mad.
Overdramatic? Totally. But I couldn’t help it.
I have a habit of taking the most innocent, mundane situation and turning it into something it wasn’t. I can’t tell you how many bad moods I put myself in by holding these grudges that, in all honesty, were just in my head.
Not only was this not healthy for me mentally, but it impacted my relationships too. I’d become passive aggressive towards the people I’m closest with. I knew I couldn’t continue doing this if I wanted to be happy and have good relationships.
To try and combat this, I’m trying to be more understanding. It all comes down to intention for me. If my friend was cancelling plans because she was sick or had to spend time with family, that’s valid. She wasn’t cancelling because she didn’t want to hang out or to make me mad. That changed the game.
Within this whole self-care movement, we’re told to realize we’re just human and can only do so much. But so are the people in our lives and we forget that.
My friends and family don’t owe me anything. They’re not these super-humans put on earth solely to hang out with me. They have their own wants and desires too.
On the other side of the coin, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t spend your time with people who don’t care about you. Toxic relationships are just as bad for you as holding grudges. If you truly think someone in your life isn’t there for the right reasons, doesn’t care for you, or is using you, then cut ties and dust your hands off.
You and your time are so valuable. You shouldn’t spend it over analyzing situations and making yourself upset. You shouldn’t spend your time maintaining a grudge because it’s so draining.
It’s all about your mindset.
If you’re used to holding grudges all the time, you can’t change that overnight. It’s a daily struggle you have to deal with it. For me, remembering that my friends and family aren’t doing something to hurt me on purpose is helpful. Remembering that we’re all human, prone to mistakes, is helpful.
I can’t say that this path is foolproof or that it’s easy. Because it isn’t. You have to take this day by day. But as each day goes by, you should notice yourself becoming happier, holding few if any grudges.
Also published on Medium.