Can You Hold a Grudge?

“Forgive and forget.”
-Everyone

“Easier said, than done.”
-Also, everyone

I try not to stay angry. I think we all know how hard that is, even for those who don’t suffer from anxiety. However, I believe it can have a large impact on grudge holding.

My anxiety makes it hard to forgive.

I’ve had some pretty hurtful things said or done to me. I’ve had people come after my family or friends. Now, some battles may not be mine to fight, but I will not stand by and watch someone (especially close to me) be put down. I know a couple of folks who have hated my family for years. It’s a long story, so I will save the details. Anyway, I’ve been in so many arguments, strictly to defend my family. Through all of this hate, I find it hard to forgive.

Even the ones closest to me have said or done things that are hurtful. Dillon and I have said some pretty insulting things towards each other. I remember each statement, said. I try not to hold it against him, since we tend to say things we don’t mean when we’re angry.

We, as human beings, do hold grudges. It’s just in our nature. With anxiety, though, the feelings pretty much stay with us. You already know an anxious person might constantly be alert. We’re aware of what goes on around us. So, when we get hurt or insulted, we are on alert for it to happen again.

Say you live down the street from an old man. Now, he’s a hateful, old fart. He just doesn’t like these young folks and their strange styles and music. Say, you have to walk by his house every day to get to school. One day, you walk by his house and he starts throwing rocks at you. One hits you right between the eyes. The next day, you have to walk by his house again, only this time, you’re expecting it to happen again. You’re more careful as you walk by, staying on alert for flying rocks. You know it’ll probably happen again. For someone with anxiety, this awareness might be heightened. They might even go out of their way to avoid being hurt, even if a truce is called.

My anxiety makes it easy to forgive.

This is a contradiction, if I ever saw one. Anxiety, itself, can cause a whole lot of contradictions. However, I know this to be true because this happens to me, a lot. Somebody may hurt my feelings, but I tend to immediately forgive them. Especially, after an apology. I’ll play nice while standing behind a wall of pride. Kind of hard to explain, really.

Because of the constant need of approval by others, it’s also hard to stay angry at them. Neither do we want anyone angry at me. It’s like we rely on everyone else, so we try to stay on their good side.

Same scenario with the old man. You’re expecting the rocks to be thrown at you, but you still go that way to school because it’s the best route to take.

It makes sense if you don’t think about it, too much.

I’ll say it, again: Anxiety is confusing.

Love you!
-Courtney

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