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charliecompany34's avatar

How do you get people to break grudges?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7775 points ) June 26th, 2008

you really care for this close person, but for some reason they get off on being stubborn, silent and unwilling to resolve.

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14 Answers

hollym's avatar

I think a lot of people who hold on to grudges do so for selfish reasons like perhaps to feel like they have the upper hand in the relationship (i.e.: holding something over your head) or maybe just for attention. I think the best thing to do in a situation where a person is holding an irrational grudge (as opposed to say, being angry at someone for running over their grandmother with a hummer) is just to let the situation be. If you don’t feed in to it, the person won’t get any satisfaction from their grudge.

Babo's avatar

They have to decide they’re ready to.

marinelife's avatar

First answer, and sad to accept, I know, is that we cannot make anyone change their behavior or do anything. That said, the only thing that you control is your own reaction. You might want to do some reading or speak with a counselor about ways for you to react differently to the grudge/silent treatment (same person, n’est ce pas?). When you react differently, the other person’s reaction will also have to change.

If this is a serious relationship you want to have for the long term, you guys need to resolve this. That is not a job for amateurs. You might want to consider joint counseling.

Good luck.

Knotmyday's avatar

Of course, the ultimate resolution depends on what you did in the first place.

susanc's avatar

These are the four best answers I’ve ever read on Fluther uninterrupted by stupid ones.
Such a treat.
Good luck Charlie and remember the Serenity Prayer while you’re at it.

Trustinglife's avatar

One could say that I’m “holding a grudge” against my former best friend. (He started a relationship with the love of my life shortly after we broke up. And the way he did it was insensitive.) I’ve spoken with him several times over the last year about it, but am not interested in being friends with him at this point. I doubt he thinks of it as me holding a grudge, but I’m sure you could make a case for it.

In my shoes, I just still feel angry at him for doing what he did – and how he did it. If he were to occasionally reach out to me, apologizing and checking to see if I’m interested in renewing the friendship, that would make a difference. Just letting me be forces me to do all the work.

Back to you: You haven’t said what the grudge is about, or what you did. What are we dealing with here?

marinelife's avatar

@TL That sounds like an awful situation. I think you are perfectly within your rights to not call him a friend. From the outside looking in though, there may be other reasons he isn’t contacting you.

You don’t say if they are still together. If so, awkward! He may feel that would be rubbing it in. She may be opposed to him hanging with you. Even if they are not together still, he may feel guilty, especially since you let him know his actions hurt and angered you.

If you want his friendship in future, an air-clearing (possibly dutch courage-fueled) talk is in order so nothing is left to guesswork. Do guys have those?

Trustinglife's avatar

Thanks for your support, Marina. We have had several air-clearing talks, but those were all while they were still together. After almost a year, I hear they are now broken up, and I haven’t heard from him since. I think you’re right – he’s probably feeling guilty. I haven’t wanted to reach out and call him to this point. I miss him a lot, still, but I’m not sure if I want to be friends with him after what he did. What is “Dutch courage-fueled”?

marinelife's avatar

Usually I avoid quoting the wiki, but it’s a people phrase, so . . .

charliecompany34's avatar

she holds a grudge—been a week now—because i pitched my cell phone to the ground and smashed it completely. saturday was the last straw! i get fussed at for not answering the cell phone, but my argument is “i didn’t even know you were calling me.” blame it on cell phone availability factor i guess. cell phones are invading our precious moments of normal everyday life. i could be washing my hands, taking a dump, cooking, mowing the lawn, resting my cell on the passenger side as i drive, listening to my fave song on 10 decibels… etc…

marinelife's avatar

On the face of it, and realizing that I am only hearing your side of it, that seems a little bit controlling to expect you to be always available. Perhaps you want to just check out for a bit. What then?

Trustinglife's avatar

Is this a friend? Girlfriend?

If you’re interested in another possibility… My challenge to you is to set aside your own side of it temporarily and get curious about where she’s coming from. Why might she feel so strongly that she would hold a grudge? Does she really want to talk to you? Does she think you were wrong to do what you did? Why? Really get curious. That’s how I think you can get people to break grudges. And tell us what happens.

susanc's avatar

“Really get curious.” That’s brilliant. It’s the opposite of having a closed mind.
I have to try that.
Can Charlie do it? I’m really curious.

charliecompany34's avatar

i’m digging that susanc. u 2, trustinglife. it does work to be curious…

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