Too Good at Holding Grudges? Get Better at Letting Them Go

It’s easy to take rejection personally. But this often leads to holding a grudge or to frustration toward the person that turned you down—especially for salespeople, who’ll inevitably be told “no” from time to time. Holding a grudge can damage an otherwise positive relationship, but even worse, it can have negative effects on your own health. A study published in Psychological Science showed grudges increase heart rate, blood pressure and negative emotions.

Kevin Johnson, author of The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs, shares three practical tips for letting go of grudges:

• Give it time. Wait a few days after the rejection before deciding the next step. You will usually realize that the rejection isn’t the end of the world, and the grudge will become less intense. And by walking away for a bit, you may see the situation in a different light.

• Focus on something enjoyable and positive. Johnson dances to salsa music to let go of frustration after a rejection. Listening to music (dancing not required, but perhaps encouraged!) may do the trick for you as well. If you’re not feeling the rhythm of the islands today, take a few minutes to call a close friend or read through positive emails.

• Be kind. Instead of cutting off communication or talking trash about the person who rejected you, put your efforts into treating her with respect. By showing kindness, even if you don’t initially feel so benevolent, you will most likely find that your grudge lessens considerably.

Still mad? Check out 10 tips that will help you keep your cool.

Jennifer Goforth Gregory

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