Holding a Grudge is to Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face!

by Jayne Kopp on November 1, 2011

hold grudge, holding a grudge, grudge holding


Nothing good comes out of holding a grudge…in fact Grudges are useless emotions  and unfortunately, I have a couple of examples to prove that I DO know a thing or two about this topic as well as few other useless emotions I plan to cover in the next couple of posts.

Despite the beaming Cheshire cat grin… I hate to admit I’ve tangoed with stupidity a few times during my 29 or so years! ;-)   (29 was a poor swing at cracking a joke btw!) :-|

I am pleased to say though that despite dropping a clanger once or twice, I have always felt pretty strongly against holding grudges and truly feel It was one of those things that I  figured it out all on my own!

For this,  I  take this opportunity to pat  myself firmly on the back although I suppose it’s really nothing to do with ‘smarts’ it’s just that I have learned from first hand experience that  it feels SO good when it stops!

Since I am in typing mode tonight and  I have one or two things on my tiny mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to share in order to  give you a ‘mild’ yet meaningful example right out of my very own archives.

Because I do have a lot to discuss on this topic … I’ll let the cat out of the bag big time tomorrow… but I’m afraid if I let it all hang out tonight, I might still be here when the sun comes up…and may just complete the longest post known to man.

Grudges are “thieves”… here’s how I know:

My most memorable experience I have pertaining to grudge holding all started when I had a dispute with my friend Julie. 

It really wasn’t all that ‘horrible’ (the incident itself) if truth be told, but we both were pig headed and dug in our heels and this resulted in a ten year parting of the ways!

It really sucked big time right from the start and nothing really good came out of it … that was…until years later and I will explain further down.

The thing that really saddens me though is the fact that we previously had a great relationship.

We grew up together, and during our childhood were both ‘cowgirls’… avid animal lovers… and really knew how to have a good laugh… you know the kind where you roll around in hysterics, gasping for air and almost leaving a puddle where you sit.  :-)
I was also friends with her mom… as was ‘my mom’.

I was her bridesmaid, her neighbour, her confidont … and I was there for her when she welcomed  her first daughter into the world.

Then one fine day, we had this petty ‘disagreement’ and it was game over.

During the ten year estrangement,  I missed out on the birth of her second daughter and eventually the birth of her son.

She missed out on the birth of my daughter and the birth of my son.

So many things changed during those years and it was all because we were both stubborn and I suppose, held a grudge to the degree that  neither one of us had the sense to simply back down.

I will say, I did miss her terribly and can even remember occasionally dialing her number…. and then like the biggest chicken on the planet… hanging up before the phone rang on the other end!

I later learned she did the same…. but for some reason I guess pride or fear of rejection got in the way.
Come 2006, I quite by accident ran into her mom.  Unfortunately I was at the hospital waiting for a chest x-ray for my daughter who had a slight touch of pneumonia at the time.

When her  mom “Vera” came out of the x-ray room and I was sitting there, in the  waiting room with my daughter asleep on my lap.  I will admit I looked like death warmed over as back then I was also facing a few additional  harsh life changes… and my daughter’s pneumonia to obviously added to the stress level.

When Vera saw me, she came over to me and said “oh honey, what’s up?  You look like hell!”

At this point I burst into floods of tears.  I told her that Rose had pneumonia (we thought) and I was waiting for an X-Ray to confirm.

On top of that two weeks prior my faithful companion “Limbo” (my horse) who I had loved for 32 years… had just passed away from old age… and a few months before that I had separated from my husband.

As Vera sat there she started pulling Kleenex out of her purse like a cat scratching in in a litter box, then proceeded to dab the waterfall of crocodile tears as they plashed down my cheeks.

After I had pulled myself together, she informed me she was on her way over to Julie’s house to celebrate the birthday of ‘the daughter I had never met”

As she left, she told me she was going to tell Julie she had seen me, but we both raised our eyebrows ‘knowing’ that it would be all for naught!

After my daughter had her X-Ray and was prescribed her meds, I arrived home feeling much better.  Almost
immediately (within an hour for sure, Rose was feeling like a brand new little girl!)

I can remember distinctly tucking her in after reading her bed time story and as I left her bedroom and entered the hallway, the phone rang.

When I answered it, the voice at the other end said “hello Jayne… It’s Julie”… in the most casual manner you could imagine!

I responded by saying “hi Julie, how’s it going”… (Equally as casual!) :-)

I responded by saying “hi Julie, how’s it going”… (Equally as casual!) :-)
She said, “great… but can we get over this grudge holding thing… or whatever it is and move forward and never look back?”

I said “absolutely!”

Within about 30 minutes we had given one and other the ‘Coles notes’ version of many of the important milestones we’d both experienced during that ten year separation period.

We arranged to meet for dinner the next night and since then, we have never looked back.  I’m blessed that she is once again the best friend every girl should have.

She has my back, I have hers.  We have been on trips together, we have our etched-in-stone routines, such as ‘all night Christmas shopping excursions’.  I tell her things I would never tell a soul and she tells me the same.

She’s always “right’ in my eyes, even if she’s wrong!… (And vice versa!)

I am so grateful to have her back in my life… and she feels the same about me.

Every once in a while we might say (speaking really quickly)… that we will never miss out on spending time together again the way we did when we let all that time pass in between.

All because of a pinch of stupidity, pride or … I guess when it boils right down to it, because we both chose to hold a grudge even though it hurt, we allowed ourselves to miss out on landmark experiences instead of both sucking it up and exercising the power of apology.

I can tell you that the moment we spoke after such a long time, we both hung up feeling much lighter than we had in years.

My takeaway… where “grudges” are concerned:

If you are currently holding a grudge against someone who was part of your life and feel badly … GET OVER YOURSELF!!!

All you’re doing is detracting from the joy and happiness you should be feeling instead.

If I had a penny for the number of people I’ve coached who are empty, depressed and like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders all because of ‘grudge holding’ I’d be able to build a tower.

Sadly they stay stuck… all because they haven’t grasped the concept of forgiving others or didn’t have the ‘goolies’ to be the bigger person!

Life is too short to let time fly by only to spend it sweating the small stuff

I’ve lost my share of friends who have departed this cool planet, just as my dear friend Dan the Man did in January well before his time.

We’re only on this earth for a short performance … we should nurture it, enjoy life and keep it simple

We must practice the power of love and nurture our relationships, not prevent ourselves from enjoying the experience.

(Phew… letting off a bit-o-steam feels good already!)

Tomorrow, I’ll share another very personal ‘grudge holding’ example.

Thankfully this time around I’m not the nim-rod who can’t see the forest for the trees but I’ll show you how holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Until then… stay tuned!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Avenger November 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Yet another pathetic attempt at scratching the surface of a grudge. You and so many others with blogs post paragraphs pertaining to your hurt little feelings over the most trivial of arguments with your best friend. These are the things that you should be able to get over within a day… But when you are blindsided into a wall with a body slam while putting your books into your locker, chip your tooth and receive a concussion, which put you into a seizure in front of 30+ of your high school peers… Then grudges can be legitimately held. I highly doubt anyone here walked a life similar to mine. And to think that grudges like this would be nothing but detrimental to health, you couldn’t be more wrong. What has this grudge done for me? I am much stronger physically & mentally. The grudge drove me to sharpen my wits and become the strongest I could ever be. I am now highly proficient in close quarter combat, and should I ever come across the person that did that to me, I guarantee at least one bone in his body will be broken before he leaves my sight.

With the help of this grudge, my mind and body were tempered, leaving a more resilient man. How have these small-time grudges with your close friends affected YOU?


Jayne Kopp November 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Wow, well I am certainly glad you were able to get that off your chest and frankly have to agree on you on a few of your feelings.

First of all a ‘trivial’ argument (well… mine wasn’t an argument… but trivial non the less) should be gotten over with within a day… or better… even a half day.

The trouble is, so many of us do hold stupid trivial grudges over tiny little things that certainly don’t measure up to being physically tortured such as yourself.

To be honest, I probably would feel the same you do in your situation. That must have been mortifying on many levels and I am truly sorry for what you must have gone through. Nobody deserves the things you have suffered and I, frankly feel you have the right to be angry as long as you need to be. (I am quite sure I would feel the same so I’m certainly not trying to be Mother Theresa here).

It’s quite obvious that there are different levels of seriousness and yours is definitely one that is up towards the top.

Fact is, we’ve all experienced different things. I haven’t experienced anything near the same severity as you… and I am sure hundreds of of others.. so your comment made me realize I had capsulized the circumstances that ran through my mind when sharing my own experiences pertaining to this topic.

I think anger does have it’s place when you have been wronged. Just don’t let it cloud the fact that ‘most’ people are generally decent and I’d hate to let you allow bitterness get the better of you where you can’t see the line.

How long ago did this happen to you?

I truly do wish you rapid healing and I am sorry for what you have gone through.

Most grudges ARE petty. I understand yours isn’t.




Jasper November 17, 2011 at 7:38 am

Holding grudges is same with holding your hatred. It will only feel you carrying heavy loads. Asking and giving forgiveness is the only way to feel lighter. I know this is not easy to do, but once you already did it, your life would be much brighter and happier. And who knows? Keeping your grudges in your heart might lead you to heart attack.. lol
Thanks for your advises, i hope many can relate to your post.


Jayne Kopp January 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

Hi Jasper, sorry for the loooong lag before responding, I am playing catch up today as I have not had a lot of time these last couple of months.

I do appreciate you stopping by to share your comment and join the conversation. I agree, grudges can definitely lead to health issues. They are a useless form of emotion and do nobody any good.

Lovely to see you



edmond0925 November 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

You are 100% correct! Grudges is nothing but a senseless feeling that we have. But honestly, we can’t can’t help it if it happens.


Jayne Kopp January 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hi Edmond, sorry for the long time it took me to respond to your thoughtful comment.

You are right, we as humans sometimes can’t help hard feelings but it’s best to recognize them and nip them in the bud before they fester and you miss out on the good things in life that we should focus on instead. I don’t know about you but I have better things to do with my energy.

Lovely to see you and thanks again,



Ryan Biddulph November 4, 2011 at 12:20 am

Wise words Jayne! Grudges are purely ego-based creations coming from a right/wrong place. Pure fantasy, really, and when you see the immense damage holding onto the negative energy does to you, you would rarely hold a grudge.

I’ve seen certain families torn apart by grudges, missing the lives – and deaths – of certain members. All because of an ego gone wild.

I hold grudges these days, for like, a few seconds or minutes. Seriously. I meditate quite a bit each day so I get better at letting go and preventing my ego from calling the shots.

Thanks for sharing Jayne!



Jayne Kopp November 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

HI Ryan, well it does not surprise me that you have such a great handle on controlling your emotions.

Grudges really are damaging and can ruin the life now only of the ‘grudge’ holder but also the grudge recipient. Not only that but they drain all the positive energy and keep up captive.

Thanks for taking time out to stop by. You are a breath of fresh air!


Karlene November 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Hi Jayne,

Your post is jam packed full of the greatest advise any human being ever needs!! If the whole world would practice the art of forgiveness then it might feel like heaven!!lol But seriously, not forgiving someone is like becoming a prisoner to that person then all you have done is stooped to their level anyway!

For me, life is too full, interesting and exciting to spend it in not forgiving people! But I think most of us have at some point been there done that and trust me I don’t like being “there” at all, its a waste of time as I am sure you would agree to!

Thanks for sharing such a great post Jayne!



Jayne Kopp November 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

Hello Karlene, how lovely to see you! I agree, feeling angry and negative just keeps us prisoner. Its horrible.

I have a story following this post of ‘someone’ I know who must live in hell… and manage to make mine feel that way sometime.

Thankfully, I have a handle on my emotions! ;-)

Thanks for your kind words. I am glad you agree with the advice I shared.



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