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“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.” ― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

I never believed in holding grudges.  I forgive easily and immediately forget.  I turn the other cheek always.  But is that always the best thing to do?

I am here to tell you that it is not.  Sometimes we shouldn’t forget what is done to us, if that means keeping us open to get hurt again.  Sometimes holding a grudge is a healthy form of self preservation.

Case in point:  the co-worker that I have mentioned many times in the past and specifically in this post:

All it takes is one overgrown baby to mess up an otherwise great day.

This one person thinks he is God’s gift to the financial world.  Because he is making money for the company he thinks that everyone should bow down to him. I have nicknamed him “the only child”.  He is an only child, and I don’t think his parents ever told him “No” or reprimanded him on anything.

I am not his biggest fan, but time and time again I go out of my way to help him, as I do for any of the other brokers.  I never think back to what he has said or done to me before.   

I always thought that not remembering what was done to me, and how it made me feel was a good thing. Until now.

I never hear a thank you, only complaints. That doesn’t bother me, I am used to it.  But on Thursday this person just took it too far.  He went crazy because I gave everyone Anti-Money Laundering training to do on Monday and expected everyone to have it done by Midnight on Friday.  This training takes only 20 minutes to do, and since they do it every year, they barely need to pay attention to it.  

He confronted me on the chat that we use to communicate internally. Thanks heaven we are no longer in the same office.  He said he wanted an explanation in writing from the regulators on why he had only 5 days to do it.  He went on and on, on how he was busy, and didn’t have time to do things when I felt like he needed to.  He accused me of very poor management, and doing things out of caprice and not because it was required. 

I think what infuriated him the most was the fact that I didn’t really engage him on his level, something that I have done in the past.  I just said I was sorry and that I would not be sending any explanation. I also added that all he was saying was uncalled for and it offended me.

He hurled some more insults and then he blocked me!  That was his way of having the last word.  I am not sure what he was thinking by blocking me.  He just made my life much better, by not having to deal with him in the chat.  He is the one that needs me, and not the other way around.

But I cannot lie and not mention that his attitude offended me and it robbed me of my peace.  What came to mind were the numerous times I go out of my way to help him and his personal clients.  Above and beyond what would normally be part of my job.  How dare him talk to me with such tone?

He made me furious, and sad.  I am so glad I didn’t react. I am choosing non-reaction.  I am choosing to let time and space work. But, I decided I must not forget.  I must not allow this person to think he can talk to me in a such way time and time again, and be okay.  I am not his servant and employee.

“Maybe we forget so that we can go on.” ― John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

It is so easy for miserable people to drag us down and rob us of our peace and well being.  He did that to me.  I was left so confused on why a 45 year old man chooses to behave like a spoiled child.  His whole tone and accusations were so out of line, that I chose not to say anything to the boss/majority partner at this moment.  I saved the conversation and I will show it to him when I am less upset about it. I am also choosing not to print it here.  I don’t want to read it again and get upset all over again.  I showed it to my sister and she was so mad.  She couldn’t believe his tone and accusations over something so stupid as a 20 minute training.

And because of this one person I now believe that holding a grudge can be beneficial in certain instances.  I already forgave him.  I wish him well, but far from me.  He is a miserable person and deserving of pity, but I don’t need to forget his abuse and put myself into the firing zone again.   Why should I ever put myself in a situation to get verbally abused again?

I don’t need to be a friend to everyone. I don’t need to be always so helpful to everyone. I can choose who to let be a part of my life.  Even though he is one of the brokers. I can choose not to deal with him.  I am making this choice.  I am worth this choice.  I am deserving of doing my job without this abuse.

Everyone is a teacher and every situation is a lesson.  Sometimes the teacher is a jerk and the lesson is self preservation. I remember my mother saying once: “Be good, but don’t be dumb”.  I am being a dummy to this guy way too long.  Always turning the other cheek, always acting like nothing ever happened. I am not taking it anymore.

I now believe in grudges, not the kind that you carry with you and hate the other person, but the kind that warns you when you are letting your guard down and letting mean intended people worm their way back into your life.

Taking for letting me vent.

“Emotional self-defense… When you set healthier relationship standards in your life, some people will take it personally. That’s their issue, not yours. The distance isn’t against them; it’s for you. It’s a boundary, not a grudge.” ― Steve Maraboli