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Self Care With Mari

How and why you should hold a grudge

Mariana Suchodolski
Mariana SuchodolskiPublished on April 21, 2021

I've steadily been reading a few pages here and there from a book called How to Hold a Grudge, written by Sophie Hannah. I wouldn't call it a great read, far from it. But it has made me reflect on my grudges in a different way. Hannah thinks we should all be holding on to our grudges, mindfully. Not in a way that causes us anger and resentment, but as if they were bookmarks or lessons that are part of our personal story. Something that happened to you that taught you your boundaries, or reflected how morally incompatible you with someone else. Whatever the case may be, she believes we should keep our grudges in a cabinet so they are not forgotten. This can be a physical space with handwritten notes, a digital file, or even a mental space.

Hannah has gone as far as to create a taxonomy for grudges. A collection of categories that seem to erupt into that same angry and irritated feeling when they first occur. The moment someone invalidated you, the time someone you trusted lied to you, the incident when a friend said something political which you found absolutely abhorrent. We collect these little moments and sometimes they affect our relationships, other times we file them in our memory and disregard who did the deed.

Whether you're the person who's letting go of people in your life because of the little things, or whether you're the person who's holding on to the wrong people while suppressing your grudges now is a good time to reflect on what were those little or big incidents that made a mark on your psyche? What lessons have they taught you?

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