What does holding a grudge do to me? (+How to stop it)

This article will explain what are the effects of holding a grudge. It will show the negative impacts it can have, and the positive ones. The article will also show what are ways to help you stop holding a grudge.

What does holding a grudge do to me? 

Holding a grudge can impact you in many ways. Let’s discuss what they are.

How holding a grudge affects your mental health 

Holding a grudge can be extremely detrimental to your mental health. If you are angry with someone, or at something, and you are not letting the emotion flow, likely, you will only become angrier. That is because you will be stuck in this cycle of negative thinking, instead of finding a way to deal with what is happening.

And negative thinking, and emotions tend to be things that take over you. If you don’t work towards putting yourself in a more positive mindset chances are that with time holding a grudge will impair your sense of well-being.

It can make you more hopeless, bitter, or even feel empty. And as you go over and over again about the situation that has been affecting you, you can deepen your sense of frustration, and feel even more drained. In that way holding a grudge will often lead you to something that is called rumination. 

That can make you obsess about what has happened, and it can give you the false impression that it was more serious than it was, or even more recent. It is also known that rumination can be extremely detrimental to a person’s mental health, and it is often associated with depression and anxiety.

Besides the two mental health conditions, holding a grudge can also affect how you behave, and it can make you more aggressive. It can also lead to other forms of mood disorder, emotional dysregulation, in which you can find it difficult to handle your emotions, self-harm, or even suicidal thoughts.

How holding a grudge affects your body 

Holding a grudge can also be extremely bad for your physical health. That is related to the stress you put your body through when you are holding a grudge. It is scientifically proven that prolonged exposure to stress can lead to heart problems, digestive issues, decrease functions of the immune system, as well as sleep, and reproductive problems.

It is common for people that hold grudges to have headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, and so on. It gets even worse for people that don’t deal well with stress, or changes. To prevent that from harming your physical health, it is important to find a way to cope with the grudge you harbor inside you.

Holding a grudge can also make you angrier, and that is also proven to cause many issues with your cognitive system. In that, you can have a harder time making decisions, and your memory and perception of reality can also change.

How holding a grudge affects your social life 

Holding a grudge can also have a huge negative impact on your social life. When you hold a grudge you can become bitter, and that can sometimes make it difficult for people to be around you. If people think you are constantly holding a grudge, they can begin to avoid you, or even not trust you.

They can also have trouble dealing with you since they may consider that you holding a grudge doesn’t take into consideration what they were going through when they failed, which may have been unintentional.

How holding a grudge may be positive

In some cases, holding a grudge can be a positive thing. It can be something that can remove you from a negative, or toxic relationship. But if you know you have a pattern of holding a grudge, it is important to give yourself some time to assess what happens in this relationship, before you start cutting people out of your life.

Aside from that, holding a grudge has a positive side that allows you to express how you feel. When you hold a grudge it is unlikely that you will be someone to suppress your feelings, or just swipe them under the rug, and that is positive.

It is possible that a person that is just allowing themselves to assess their feelings to hold a grudge when they first do so. That is a step toward owning up to what you feel, and then learning how to cope with it. 

In cases in which people find it difficult to talk about their emotions, having someone that holds a grudge can offer the possibility of facing the problem head-on and discussing the matter. 

How can I stop holding a grudge? 

If you feel that you are a person that holds grudges, and it has been harming you, here is what you can do.

Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes

If you are holding a grudge for something someone has done to you, it may be important to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand what happened when they failed you, or let you down. 

Make yourself consider that what they did may not have been intentional, and try to reevaluate the situation to determine if it was something that bad, or if your habit of holding a grudge is making it worse.

Talk to a professional

If holding a grudge has been taking over your life, it may be time to talk to a professional. To discuss this matter you can go to a therapist. With them, you can talk about everything, and share what are your thoughts about the situation.

Together the two of you can have a better view of what happened, have some insights about it, and why you are a person that holds grudges, along with considering other ways to deal with the situation.

Develop more positive coping abilities

To stop holding grudges is important that you are still able to assess your feelings, but also find more positive ways to cope. You can do that by embracing how you feel, understanding what your role is in the matter, and what can be done to fix the situation.

It may also be important to develop the ability of feeling empathy for others. Having a more fulfilling life in which you exercise, and practice yoga can sleep well, meditate, and work on breathing exercises can help.

Aside from that, having other things in your life that you can think about instead of holding a grudge can also be important. Working on building a more positive, and present mindset, learning how to manage your anger, and how to listen to the other person can be essential.

You can also try to be less judgemental of your feelings, and other people’s feelings. Having healthy boundaries, and having people that you can count on are also positive ways to deal with holding grudges. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What does holding a grudge do to me?  

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

Although sometimes it can be difficult to do it, forgiving someone can come with a lot of benefits. First of all, it allows you to set apart what are the things you are responsible for, and what you are not. It is also something that will help you deal with fear, and make you more emotionally mature.

Since holding a grudge seems to have such a negative effect on your body, and mental health, being able to forgive the person can improve your overall sense of well-being. Aside from that, not forgiving can even affect the relationship you have with other people in your life.

So being able to forgive can also have a positive impact on that. Finally, forgiving can be an act of kindness towards yourself, as you are setting boundaries and refusing to be controlled by what other people have done to you.

How can I forgive someone I hate?

It may not be easy to forgive someone you hate, but caring about their weight around can have a huge toll on you. So to not be controlled by it, you can try to focus your energy on other things.

Aside from that, try to focus on not getting too caught on the victim role. Know that the person you hate is hurting you based on who they are, and it may not be intentional, so letting go can be a great relief to you, since it can be that resentment will slowly begin to poison you, and eat you up from. the inside.

Is it necessary that I forgive a person to move on?

No, it is not essential for you too. forgive the person to move on from what they have done to you. You can heal from situations even though you have not forgiven the person. As it will always be, healing can take time.

But be aware that forcing yourself to forgive someone for what they have done to you can be extremely negative to your healing process. Take it slow, and don’t ask too much of yourself in the process.

What is unforgivable in a relationship?

Some things are unforgivable in a relationship. For example, you should never forgive a lie that was told to mislead you or someone that has never returned your calls. Canceling plans without ever trying to make up for them should also be unforgivable.

Having a simple encounter with another person can be forgiven, but maintaining an affair with someone for a long period shouldn’t. Finally, it is possible that the person is confused, but be sure to not forgive someone that is acting hypocritically towards you.

How can hate affect me?

Hate can affect you in multiple ways. It seems it can decrease your sense of overall well-being, and make you more accepting of emotions such as fear, shame, or even anger. It can also be extremely detrimental to your mental health, and make it easier for you to develop conditions such as depression, anxiety, or even post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Because of all that, you must deal with the hate you feel, and the bottled-up emotions inside you. When you don’t address that matter, hate can become so intense that it can go as far as leading people to suicide attempts. 


This article showed what are the positive and negative ways holding a grudge may impact you. It also explained what you can do to let go when you are holding a grudge.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.



Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!