A grudge is defined as “deep-seated animosity or ill-feeling toward someone or something.” We can develop this feeling when someone says or does something that hurts us or they receive something we feel we should have gotten.

That happens to us almost every day in the workplace.

At work we’re each trying to get our needs met – for approval, for achievement, for social interaction – while also working to accomplish the goals of the business. When we accept a job and the role of employee we accept that the goals of the business are more important than our personal goals during the time we’re at work. That’s the nature of teamwork – that we all agree to pull in the same direction.

But sometimes our pride gets in the way.

A grudge is a complex emotion. It’s wrapped up in anger, frustration, and resentment; but it grows out of a wound to our pride.

Our ego is bruised when a person makes a comment that hurts our feelings. Our ego is injured when someone gets praise we feel we deserve.

How do we know when we’re holding a grudge?
A grudge is based in resentment and is expressed in different ways. Do you find it hard to be happy for someone who’s achieving success? This can simply be envy but it may be that you’re holding a grudge if you also don’t give the person credit they’re due, avoid contact with that person, or you actually wish them harm.

Holding a grudge at work goes beyond merely avoiding someone who regularly treats us disrespectfully or is mean to us. If we’re holding a grudge we may not give our all to a project or task that involves the other person. We may blame them for things that happen to us or blame their accomplishments on simply luck or their relationships with powerful people in the office.

Holding a grudge damages our reputation. You’ve recognized when one person at work held a grudge against another person. Others can recognize the same thing in you. When we hold a grudge we come across as petty and immature. We certainly don’t come across as Christ-like.

Holding a grudge keeps us from living in sync with the second great commandment we’re given – To love our neighbors as ourselves. Christ challenges us to love even our enemies. “For if you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?” He said in Matthew (NLT Matthew 5:43-48).

It also means we’re placing too much focus on ourselves and not focusing on giving glory to God through our work performance and our behavior.

How do you let go of a grudge?
Ask yourself why you’re carrying this grudge around. What inside of you was wounded by what happened? How can you address that issue within yourself?

Make improvements necessary within yourself. If someone got a promotion or award you felt should be yours what skills do they have that you don’t? Work to improve your skills or recognize you don’t have the core talent necessary. There’s no shame there. Each of us was given abilities by God. While it’s important to learn new skills and grow there are some skills we’re not capable of getting good at.

Find the positive and focus on it. The old saying “The grass is always greener on the other side” is true. We always believe things are better somewhere else or that someone else has a great life and we don’t. If you resent someone for getting a job you wish you had gotten think about the negatives associated with it and the positives associated with remaining where you are.

Stop replaying the negative. Sometimes we hold a grudge because someone has hurt our feelings. We think about what they said or did over and over. We anticipate them saying or doing something that would hurt us again. Just as we learn to avoid a hot stove once we’ve been burned we certainly don’t want to expose ourselves to people who continually treat us badly. But if we continue to think about negative things that were said or done to us that hyper vigilance for negativity seems to cause us to see it everywhere. We control our own state of being by what we continue to tell ourselves over and over.

At work we’ve made a commitment to be part of something larger than ourselves. Accomplishing those goals calls for recognizing that we’re not the most important person and our goals are not the top priority. Holding a grudge against those we work with or work for keeps us mired in negativity and moves us farther away from the Father when our true focus should be on Him.

Author's Bio: 

A serious car accident left me with brain damage and other injuries that forced me to leave my job as director of human resources for the local chapter of a national nonprofit in order to concentrate on my recovery.

I was certainly thankful to be alive. I wanted to make sure I did not waste this second chance I had been given and I realized my life had gotten very out of alignment with my stated beliefs. I have worked hard to create a life that is more in sync with my faith and I knew I had to share that message with the world.

My focus now is to help others grow and to continue growing myself.

I am an independent marketing consultant and I work out of my house. I help brick and mortar businesses grow and serve their customers better. I stay focused on serving others, being a good steward of the environment, and most of all, living every moment as aligned with my faith as I possibly can be.