What is your definition of a grudge? Can a grudge be simply smart wariness of a lesson learned with some form of forgiveness, or does it always have to be petty or over-blown anger? To me a grudge can be justified in self-defense, and involves decisions that may or may not include some type of forgiveness yet draws lines of conduct.
The dictionary does say “Grudge = resentful unyielding grumbling malice”
Grudge gets murky in between: judgements of lesson learned from ill will; and judgements learned but still harboring resentment against the ill will or harm. Yet we must not let go of such feelings in order to remember certain traumatic events to reinforce a decision to be safer, even if slightly paranoid or prejudice… say against someone that robbed you repeatedly. Of course Jesus preached about not holding grudges and giving to those that take from you, but im not convinced that holding a grudge is always wrong… semantic issues im sure…. because a grudge can be the only resolution for many bad relationships or situations, because it provides a determined conclusion to a problem. Granted, often our judgements can be wrong, or change, but ‘negativity’ is natural and often important part of our lives, even though we do not like to view it as negative. For example Yen /Yang are opposites, Darkness is the opposite of Light, however Darkness is not always negative, and sometimes Light can be negative… each relative to the subjects, situations, and perspectives.
I do not consider all grudges to be bad or cancerous, I think that people may deny they feel deep-rooted resentment about issues in order to get on with life, but i feel that small or large grudges may be totally righteous, just as stubborn pride can be. Now whether it becomes cancerous or you allow it to eat you from within to no end is another issue, because certain amounts of anxiety, hate, anger, are natural and they come and go during periods, even during the length of a grudge. The point of feeling anger and hate or malice can be for a very good reason, and can be the factor that teaches a lesson that then becomes less harmful to ourselves.
In other words, i think that letting go of a “grudge” can be less important than learning why we might chose to have one in the first place. To me letting go of a grudge is foolish if abuse patterns are allowed to continue. So the abuse of a grudge can be less than abuse brought on by the reason to have one, and to have no grudge can result in no judgements against anything, which sounds great but is terrible for self-defense. Callous self-talk and stubborn pride can cause someone to say they do not hold grudges, just as easy as someone who admits to having a grudge.
Batman having a grudge or prejudice against violent criminals like the one that killed his parents is a good thing overall, despite the fact that it may cause him some harm, he is able to manage it and direct his anger with overall good results. While it may be harder to manage anger in reality, the fictional story does provide an extreme example of having a good grudge.
Yes we were all taught that having grudges is bad, and we have to let them all go if we get them; but i think it is an unnatural New Testament and Buddhist black or white way of thinking, and not true to the Pagan grey reality of human nature and nature in general. So the problem seems to be in the semantic definition of ‘grudge’; is a grudgelet better than a large grudge, not always since a mass murderer deserves a large grudge.
So even in cases where people say grudges are bad, it seems they can serve a good function, just as negative emotions can. Grudge certainly has a negative connotation in society, i just think there needs to be a word for a healthy grudge well managed, and well used not always dwelled upon to the point of self-destruction but rather self-preservation. Im saying we have no word for the ‘good or useful grudge’; but since it clearly exists as a ‘lesson learned’ ‘behavior changed’ ‘condition of reconciliation’ or what ever; i guess i have to make one up: Mudge. i dont know.
To me a grudge can deal with a problem issue, as a judgement held against someone for negative reasons; because the reasons are really positive for the holder as self-defense. What is negative for the holder of the grudge can be negative for the recipient and vice versa… or for both of course; or neither. i understand that the most common definition is all negative; just seems we have few words to deal with the importance of holding some grudges or prejudices, and what the differences are. I hold a grudge against something that hurts me, and i may forgive them but not forget because i do not allow certain things to repeat which may hurt them somehow… yeah it can get complicated is what im saying… yeah i got some serious grudges, and they do well to help keep me on the path of peace actually. There is simply no better word for a prejudice of wariness against those that i can be hurt by, intentionally or unintentionally. No offense, but i honestly think people do not fully understand the logical purpose of having a grudge, we are taught they are all bad, and they simply are not.
Beowulf has a grudge against the monster for killing his kin and trying to kill him, and that is good for Beowulf and bad for the monster Grendel.
I think most people hold grudges, but few admit to them.
True, grudges are not good for anyone; and also not always true. Fear and hate are our enemies, However there are many things in life that are not good for anyone, but are desired or even necessary evils. Many foods and medicines are toxic to some degree, and yet often we choose to take and ingest them. Some drugs or medicines are so strong, that they hurt us more than help us sometimes, like tobacco. Yet there are functional and psychological reasons that we do and take things that are ‘not good for us’, as catalysts for change, or to help another part of ourselves, aspects of our lives that are not always certain. Fear can stop us from burning our hands, just as a good grudge can keep us from making the same stupid mistakes in relationships.
What im saying is that it is a semantics issue, since ‘parting ways’ can be interpreted as holding a grudge since it is holding a judgement against someone, so what im saying is these decisions we make do not always destroy us from within, but sometimes make us what we are. I am saying im not going to just define grudge as petty prejudice, but it can be intentional decision making for quality of life that does not have to be what most people think it is, because it honestly is part of a life process of determining what we want, whether you want to call it a grudge or not. It is what it is.
Basically petty grudges are petty, and big grudges are bad when unmanaged and unbalanced with good will and kindness; but a good grudge can keep us from being harmed, and we do not have to worry about the grudge all the time, so they do not poison us any more than drinking a bit of alcohol or smoking herb does. Again, most people will not use this definition, im just pointing out what is obvious to me.
Peace. Try not to hold grudges that do not do you any good, but by all means keep the ones that keep you safe.