Conflict can arise is many areas and in many forms. This can be in the form of a fight with a coworker, a disagreement with a relative, or just a dumb argument with a spouse. Conflicts come and go, it’s a natural part of life and, sometimes, can be the best thing for the situation. Arguing with others, especially over an underlying issue, can solve problems and be cathartic. I know when I’ve had a terrible day, sometimes just arguing with another person can release the negativity. However, disagreement and conflict doesn’t always end with an explosive argument. In fact, this can sometimes make the conflict grow and mutate into something worse. When a conflict grows into something worse, we can develop deep resentment and anger towards the other person. This anger continues to grow overtime without failing and can change your perspective on others. This, in short, is what a grudge is. We get into conflict with another person, the conflict is not resolved, and we continue to hold anger against that person indefinitely. However, holding onto grudges and not letting go of anger can destroy relationships and can negatively affect our health.
Anger tends to dissipate overtime, even when we don’t want it to. I will get into a disagreement with a relative, for example, and continue to stay mad. I sometimes want the anger to stay, letting the grudge take over and manipulate my actions. But then, over a few days, I will talk to that relative again and realize that the anger disappeared on its own. I realize that the reason I was angry no longer applies, and my grudge is over. This happens naturally as time and space can be the best remedy for a disagreement. However, when grudges and anger take their own path, and grow into something bigger, time and space won’t be the quick fix. When this is the case, we as individuals must take the first step and stand up against our own anger. We must be the first to listen to reason, let the anger go, and simply live and let live.
For example, my older sister can drive me insane, and when we get together, we argue a lot. However, we once had an argument so great that we stopped speaking. Even months after the argument, I would think back to her and find myself getting angry all over again. My mother got wind of the fact that we are not speaking and called us separately on the phone. I am not sure what my sister and my mother spoke about, but I heard they were on the phone for hours. When it was my turn, I explained to my mother that she was the bigger sister, so she should not be so quick to judge me and put me down. When we were young, I idolized her and followed her around the house. For some reason, now she seems to resent me. My mother informed me that this was all in my head, and now we are adults, and should both behave like adult sister who love each other. I told my mother, that sometimes I wonder if she does love me. My mother suggested to me that I make the first move and call her and iron things out – “you will feel much better if you call your big sister”. Knowing my hot-head sister, my mother probably told her to call me and she refused; and this was why my mother was telling me to call her. Again, I must make the first move! Not this time. I did not call her. After a while, the argument became meaningless, and the anger for her itself drove the conflict further. It was, in fact, my sister who came to me first and apologized. She didn’t apologize for the conflict, but for the anger that was left behind after.
After we patched things up, my biggest regret was not coming forward first. I regret holding onto the toxic anger for so long and allowing it to dictate my decisions. While it can be hard to let go of what makes us angry, it’s sometimes necessary. Anger is a choice, and we have the power to just let it go.
1 : Conflicts can happen with anyone in your life and for all sorts of reasons
2 : Don’t let a conflict turn into toxic anger
3 : Ever forget the reason for a conflict, but hold on just because of the anger towards the person?Category: Emotions / Subcategory: Anger
Tags: conflict, fight, argument, negativity, resentment, grudge, disagreement, regret, toxic