Why Holding a Grudge Can Actually Be a Good Thing

1 minute read

Too often, we’re told that to start fresh in the new year, we first need to find closure. Instead, British writer Sophie Hannah argues, we should embrace some healthy stubbornness.

Hannah, author of How to Hold a Grudge, wants you to start keeping a grudge budget — she’s called it a “grudget” — wherein you can decide which grudges are valuable to you and invest in them accordingly. “A grudge doesn’t have to be vengeful, all-consuming and bitter,” Hannah writes — so start thinking about grudges as a way to find power in bad memories.

Throughout chapters chronicling grudges from history, pop culture and her own life, Hannah offers sage advice on how to classify and intensely analyze grudges. She wants to make you better equipped to assess the significance of the person who imposes on you, the person whose politics don’t align with yours and the person who constantly underestimates your abilities, among others — so when someone tells you that you’re overreacting and should move on, you can push back. It may be all the wiser not to simply forgive and forget.

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Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com