If there is an ongoing feud in your life, you need to learn how to settle a grudge between adults. Putting away anger, rage and pride is never going to be easy, but you have to take stock of your life. Define your priorities for yourself. If you truly want to live in peace and forgive yourself for all the mistakes that you've made in your own life, you need to learn how to forgive others and put the past in its place. Settling a grudge is something that you may need to do for yourself, even if it means being the bigger man and extending the hand to an enemy.
- Be honest. If you're still angry, you can express the anger. That is, express it verbally and not in the heat of the moment. For example, you can contact your enemy or rival. Let him know that you want to settle the grudge. You can then express your true feelings. Perhaps it's that your truly sorry for a wrong that you did. Perhaps it's expressing feelings that are still hurt for what he did to you. More than likely, it's both. If you're going to truly settle the grudge, you must be honest, although that does take courage and strength. It's something that you can do.
Clearly express what it would take for you to settle the grudge. Perhaps you want him to hear you out on an apology. Perhaps it's by attending a counseling session together to understand why you behaved as you did. It could be any number of things. You know your own heart. Let him know what it would take for you to put bygones in the past.
- Be up front about what you want from settling the grudge. If it's just that you're working the twelve steps and feel spiritually compelled to settle the score, let your former enemy know this. If you miss him and would like to rekindle the friendship or continue the relationship, let him know this as well. Someone will be able to appropriately and honestly respond if you lay all your cards on the table from the start, so to speak. This also prevents misunderstandings and further hurt feelings. You don't want to get someone's hope that you aim to be his friend if you have no intention of doing so. You'll also want to ask what the other person wants from it as well; don't push a friendship where one's not wanted.
- Do what it takes to settle that grudge. If it's simply a long talk, a good cry together or a giving over of stolen merchandise, whatever it may be, take action. Take a positive or representative action that allows both of you to settle the grudge once and for all. Once the action is taken, don't look back.
Agree to forgive and forget. As far as the friendship is concerned, you need to get to a point where you no longer hold anger against the other person for the past offense that created the grudge. If you simply say that you forgive him, yet bring up the offense when you two quarrel over something insignificant in the future, that's not forgiving and forgetting. Although you will never forget it from your actual memory, you have to no longer hold the offense against the person, thus "forgetting" it within that relationship.
- Be clear on how you will settle future disputes after you have settled this grudge as adults. For example, you both may make a vow to not let things build up. If something small happens that hurts someone's feelings, it should be mentioned and dealt with on the spot. By establishing a clear way of communicating with one another and a promise to not do anything to intentionally hurt one another again, you may be able to settle the grudge and build up one of the healthiest relationships in your life. A relationship that has weathered storms can be the strongest kind, as long as both of you are committed to burying the grudge altogether and growing the friendship or relationship together.
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