Education / Inspirational

The Most Effective Way to Let Go of a Grudge

Dr. Mark Goulston is a #1 best selling author of seven books, former hostage negotiation trainer, speaker, trainer, coach and renowned psychiatrist. He is regarded as an internationally renowned expert in the field of empathy and listening. As a result of his rich and diverse background and experiences, Dr. Goulston increases people’s ability to get through to anyone.


I have spoken to many people who have told me that they have learned to let go of grudges by either letting go of their anger, being committed to not becoming a grudge-holder like one of their parents or having the insight that it was only making them feel worse for holding onto it.

Recently in discussions with people, we have come up with the most effective way to let go of a grudge.

And that is to apologize to the person you're holding it towards.  You can even do this to people who have died.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Contact that person (or visit their grave) and tell them that you would like to grab 5 minutes of their time because you realized you owed them an apology and that you wanted to give it to them while it was still on your mind.
  2. When you're speaking with them either by phone, skype or in person say to them: "I've been holding a grudge against you and I want to apologize for doing that."
  3. Then say, "I didn't take or make the effort to understand that you were doing the best you could with what you had, who you were and with the situation you were in."
  4. Then say, "Something I am even more ashamed of is that I didn't want to and didn't even care enough to make the effort to understand where you were coming from, because I was too wrapped up in feeling hurt, upset and angry."
  5. Then say, "I am sorry for doing that and I was wrong."
  6. Finally say, "If you'll give me another chance, which you don't have to, I'd like to now understand where you were coming from, how you're doing now and to fix things between us."

Realize that you have control over what and how you say this, but you don't have any control over how they'll hear it.  The good thing is that it doesn't actually matter how they'll receive and respond to it. That's because after you have this conversation you'll think to yourself, "I can't be more gracious and classy than that," and you will feel better about yourself no matter what they do.

Now please give this a try and report back to us in the comments how it worked out.

In the meantime, take good care of yourself and don't begrudge yourself.