On holding grudges

I’m curious: do you hold grugdes for any length of time or are you able to let go quite easily?

I always marvel at how people can fight like cats (especially online) and then, soon thereafter when loyalties shift, they are the best of friends.  It baffles me.  I mean, if someone does you harm surely you don’t put up with them?  I always thought that you either like someone or you don’t and that you shouldn’t give them a chance to keep hurting you?

Let me explain a scenario from my own life:

A long long time ago I had this boss.  As bosses go she scared the living bejesus out of me and caused me untold anxiety and stress. Nothing was ever good enough for her, she was terribly arrogant, critical and demeaning and she generally treated people like shit.  She was a textbook example of How Not To Manage People.  We didn’t part on good terms and I literally had nightmares about her for years after.  I still get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about her (which, thankfully, I don’t do often).  Of all the people from my past I really don’t miss, she’s number 2 on the list, only surpassed by her own boss at that time.

Needless to say, I don’t harbor many warm and fuzzy feelings toward her.  In fact, over the years tales of how things haven’t worked out well for her made me smirk and gloat a little on the inside, admittedly not my finest moments.

Until last week.

Imagine my horror when I spotted her at gym at 5:15am the other morning and every other morning thereafter.  I mean, really Karma.  What the actual friggin hell?

I’ve now gone over this in my head (Etienne says I’m obsessing about it and I should just ignore her) repeatedly and I just cannot bring myself to greet her and I feel quite aggrieved that she is encroaching on, not just the gym I go to, but also the suburb I live in.  And she uses the machines in the same area I do, so there’s no dodging her. I’m seriously contemplating changing gyms, that’s how strong I feel about her.

I know I’m a big girl now and in the end it’s been a lot of years (think the previous century).  I know that the wheel has turned and all that. I know I should simply walk past, look up, give her the evil eye I perfected since raising toddlers and then smile falsely and greet. I know that I am a bigger person than my current behavior.

But seriously.  Holding on to that grudge is so much a part of me by now that it’s really hard to let go and besides, why should I be (a) false and (b) talk to someone I really have no time for?

I’ve come to realise obsessing thinking about this the last few days that I am actually a Master Grudgeholder.  Hurt one of my friends, my family or especially one of my children?  Treat me with disrespect, lie to me or steal from me? You will find your name on my shitlist and almost impossible to have it removed.  Call it self-preservation, call it shallowness or a product of my personal history, I don’t care, but don’t mess with me or the people I care for.

Do you hold grudges? If you don’t, how do you let them go?

ps: Do I care that she might read this post?  Not in the least, maybe she needs to see how people feel about her and think about the negative impact she’s had on people’s lives.

pps: there are probably a couple of people out there that feel this way about me as a manager and if I ever made you feel bad I apologise. I’m a lot better these days, promise.