Do you find it difficult to let go? Right after we experience intense emotions, such as disappointment, we may develop thoughts or behaviors that seem helpful, but in reality they are actually counterproductive.

Some personality types, such as the INFJ, are more likely to hold grudges than others, although everyone can fall into the same trap. Here is a brief explanation of why we tend to hold grudges, and why we shouldn’t, as well as a collection of thirty quotes that will help you to forgive and let go.

Why we hold grudges

Ultimately, when someone wrongs us, we hold a grudge against them as a natural reaction. We think that the more pain we experience, the more intense our reaction should be. This is especially true when we know that the other person caused us pain on purpose (or at least it was part of their intention), or when their actions were avoidable.

Interestingly enough, we now know that other species are capable of holding grudges as well, both against human beings and other animals, although it’s not clear whether they are capable of doing so for months or years; this probably depends on their memory.

By holding a grudge, our mind links what happened to us to great pain. So at least technically, holding grudges can be useful in the sense that it makes it easier for us to remember what happened in the past and who caused our pain, so that hopefully we’ll be able to avoid the same situation in future, even when we are dealing with a different person in a different environment.

Sometimes we may also hold a grudge against someone as a revenge — a way to punish them for what they have done to us. Subconsciously, we think that by feeling anger and bitterness toward them, they will suffer, and learn from their mistake. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.

Forgiveness is an act of self love

Don’t hold grudges — it’s counterproductive

The problem with holding grudges is that it hurts us more than anyone else. This is why forgiveness is an act of self love. By forgiving, and by letting go, we free our mind from all the negativity that’s going to poison us.

Ask yourself: what do you want to use your mental energy and vitality for? Does it really make sense to consume your energy so you can feel anger and resentment? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to use your mind to live your life to the fullest, and feel positive emotions rather than negative ones?

Obviously, if you have experienced pain, it can be hard to let go. If you are holding a grudge against someone whose actions have been immoral, that’s understandable; and as I mentioned earlier, it’s nothing but a natural reaction.

However, for the sake of your own happiness and mental health, you want to be as objective as possible. You want to detach from your own intense emotions and realize that although holding grudges may make you feel safer temporarily, it’s not the best approach, and ultimately, it’s going to cause you even more pain in the long run.

Also, don’t assume that you have to react in any particular way if someone wrongs you. You can choose how to react — and the best reaction will almost always be to learn from what happened, but ignore it, and focus all your energy on your own happiness.

30 quotes about holding grudges

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.

— Charlotte Bronte

When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.

— Anonymous

I cannot hold onto grudges. It’s a waste of energy, a waste of time.

— Phil Anselmo

Old grudges and bitterness always hurt the individual more than the one whom he believes injured them.

— Elizabeth Chandler

We cannot embrace God’s forgiveness if we are so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges.

— T. D. Jakes

It’s counterproductive and self-destructive to bear grudges with people that are negative.

— Carl Froch

It all begins with forgiveness because to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves.

— Michael Jackson

Life is too short to hold grudges.

— Kane Brown

Most people are only doing the best that they know how to do. Blaming and holding grudges only brings more pain.

— Maggie Cox

I believe that life is short, and there is too much time wasted bearing grudges, and I like to move on.

— Sam Taylor-Johnson

Grudges are like hand grenades: it is wise to release them before they destroy you.

— Barbara Johnson

There’s no time to hold grudges when you’ve seen how fragile things can really be.

— Allison Winn Scotch

Holding grudges is like letting someone live rent free in your mind.

— J. L. Beck

Don’t hold grudges; it’s pointless. Jealousy too is a non-cathartic, negative emotion.

— John Milton

Grudges are bridges with faulty spans. Falling off one is a lot more rewarding than getting stuck on the other side.

— Nora Roberts

Forgiveness isn’t approving what happened. It’s choosing to rise above it.

— Robin Sharma

Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.

— Criss Jami

Grudges seldom hurt anyone except the one bearing them.

— Sherrilyn Kenyon

Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.

— Steve Maraboli

Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh, apologize, let go of what you can’t change.

— George Carlin

I’ve always hated the idea of carrying grudges and resentments around like a load of mouldy suitcases.

— Victoria Coren Mitchell

People say that forgiving is my flaw, but I really believe that holding grudges and anger is a waste of energy.

— Mayte Garcia

There’s enormous energy required to carry grudges – enormous energy! And I’m getting too old to expend my energy that way, because I think every person has a limited amount of energy. So I have given up all grudges.

— Ed Koch

Resentments and grudges are two of the main culprits that perpetuate cycles of self-abuse and victimhood. Stowed away inside you like parasites, they deplete you of your God-given life force and separate you from your inherent worth, your joy, and the love in your heart.

— Debbie Ford

A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.

— William Arthur Ward

We should learn not to hold grudges and be positive all the time because life is too short and unpredictable.

— Saba Qamar

To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and realize the prisoner was you.

— Lewis B. Smedes

To be fair, life is too short. There is no point holding grudges or anything like that.

— Ant McPartlin

Forget your sadness, anger, grudges and hatred. Let them pass like smoke caught in a breeze. Do not indulge yourself in such feelings.

— Masaaki Hatsumi

The first to apologize is the bravest; the first to forgive is the strongest; and the first to forget is the happiest.

— Anonymous