Opinion: Life is way too short to hold grudges

Megan Keane, Columnist

People will do you wrong. They’ll treat you poorly and move on with their lives. They’ll hate on your favorite show, movie or band and carry on. They might insult your major or your life choices. Where does that leave you?

We’re talking about pretty petty resentments building here. Some wisdom I learned recently is that resentment comes from a place of expectation. You may expect your friends to like your favorite shows, but instead they can’t stand it, and you’re left wondering, “How?” I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty upset about silly stuff like that.

On the flip, I also hate when people really hype something up and try to get me to watch/listen to it.

But, grudges, right? Grudges do terrible, terrible things to your health. It causes stress, which leads to a higher level of cortisol and cortisol makes us gain weight, among other things. Plus, it’s not fun to hold on to negative energy.

I happen to have a very easy time forgiving and/or forgetting things that people have done or said to me that I’ve taken personal offense to. It’s not the same for everyone, and I completely understand that.

Depending on what’s been done or said—it can really weigh on you. Whether your best friend has insulted your favorite TV show, or your potential love interest has chosen somebody else over you, the results can be exponential.

In both scenarios, you can be severely hurt. With a TV show, you may think, “well, if they hate this TV show, do they even like me?” Or something equally neurotic. And with a love interest choosing someone else, you may be plagued with, “what do they have that I don’t?” Those trains of thought are super damaging.

I’m not saying you need to forgive everyone for every misdeed—although, that would be ideal. We need to let it go, at the very least. Especially if we think of grudges originating in resentments that originate from our own expectations. Expectations aren’t fair to us and they’re not fair to the people we put them on. We’re setting ourselves up to be disappointed.

Sadness and anger are healthy to feel in increments, but when you can’t let go of a grudge, it builds stress, you get anxious and depressed and digestive problems and maybe heart disease. It’s scary.

We’re not equipped to deal with chronic stress. Stress shortens our life spans, and life is too short as it is. It feels like yesterday I was 10, and I blinked into being 22. I don’t want to blink, and ten years later be upset about the same stuff I’m upset about now. Do you?

Megan Keane is a senior English and psychology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]