It's never anyone's intention to hold onto a friendship grudge and the toxic energy associated with it. But at a certain point, enough time passes and it can feel extra challenging to move on from things that were said…or, in some cases, not said.
As it turns out, there’s actually a satisfaction factor—and a feeling of self-righteousness and moral superiority—that comes from holding onto a grudge, according to New York City-based psychotherapist Sarah Saffian, L.C.S.W. M.F.A. But that feeling of satisfaction is also the reason grudges are so tough to let go of: “If you allow yourself to release the grudge, that can give the impression that you’re letting someone off the hook,” Saffian explains. “Holding onto a grudge is a form of self-protection. Because anger is a more powerful feeling than vulnerability and acknowledging that you’re hurt.”
Still, there is a way to navigate these emotions and—better yet—finally move on. Saffian gives us the step-by-step guide for how to let go of a grudge.