If we were all charged an additional 5% tax for holding grudges against people who hurt us in our past life, then we would have all, in most likelihood, forgiven people in a hurry.
I was researching on the reasons we love to hold grudges. I gather we love to hold grudges to make ourselves feel superior and the person who hurt us guilty and be ashamed of for being human.
Surely, we have hurt a few too, maybe more than few. We never realized and never understood the impact of hurting others. Because, most people assume they themselves are the kindest person on Earth, who could never do anything wrong.
If you think of it, holding grudges, even after many years, makes us look silly. Forgiving people, in fact makes us stronger and gives a lot of peace of mind.
Don’t we forgive our own children, when they play pranks on us or get uncontrollably naughty. Alright, adults are meant to behave themselves. But most people have no obligation to please us all our life. They have their own life. They walk out when you don’t interest them anymore. A new person, could be better, could be worse, walks in and you have a new person in life.
In my experience, the act of hurting – few hurtful words said by people – intentionally or otherwise is not the problem. The problem is that we keep thinking about it over and over again.
If a person did hurt us, then why do we never think about the good times we had with this person. The reason is our ‘negativity bias’. Even if another person has done hundred good things to you, one only remembers the one bad thing they do.
When we recognize that a lot of our problems with people is we tend to remember the negatives about others rather than the positives.
Be it parents, spouse or friends, there are positive interactions too.
If we try to recollect the positives more than negatives, we are more likely to forgive people. It’s always that particular interaction that went bad and not the person.
If we can separate the two, then we are more likely to see only the good in people.
People who are not forgiving by nature are more likely to be negative about anyone they meet, hurting their own potential of building new and better friendships or even relationships.
They tend to have conversations with people, usually talking ill about someone, which actually gives a bad impression about themselves.
When you try to re-connect with someone who hurt you, you don’t have to remind of the past bad interaction.
Life is short – Move on.
Forgiving people is for your own good. It helps you mature as person. It helps you smile a lot more than you do now.