We have all been injured emotionally at one time or another, in one way or another — and the bitter urge to strike back becomes our first reaction.
By Bob Mueller

There is a better, more productive route, although it can be emotionally difficult. The instructions are simple: Move on. Figure that this, too, shall pass.

Put things behind you. Forget about replacing lost money, ignore a competitor’s below-the-belt blow, and never try to second-guess anything. Accept what has transpired and move ahead in a positive and dignified way.

Grudges are physically, emotionally, and mentally draining, if not unhealthy. Being driven by revenge affects our hearts and blood pressure. Unproductive emotions are potholes in the road to progress. They limit one’s ability to move forward, to focus, to think positively, and to act creatively. Time and productivity are wasted.

To not have a reaction to low blows, slights, and petty name-calling may be more than humans can master. Don’t hold back when it comes to emotions. Let your feelings come out. Getting mad for a brief time is far better than a long and costly plan to get even. Make your reaction fast, furious, and finite. Vent your hurt, your anger, and your frustrations. Let emotions rip. Then say to yourself, “There, I feel better. It’s over.”

If you are like me, you need to come to grips with a keen sensitivity to criticism. We have a subsequent need to justify, to explain, and to righteously deny in the face of accusations.

Doing better is the healthy response to most anything. In any walk of life, a positive, upbeat outlook trumps any adversarial act. Overlook trivial annoyances and imperfections of others. Hopefully, they will do the same with you.

There are times when it is prudent to turn the other cheek, especially when it comes to spouses, family members, and friends. Courtesy and love are contagious and are far more effective over the long haul than trying to ruin the reputation and well-being of another.

It pays to be positive and upbeat around your opposition. Attempting to get even or waging a campaign of nastiness frequently backfires. Those who plant mean, vengeful, and unjust seeds will reap what they sow. We tend to become what we degrade.

In reality, getting even is a form of self-pity. I view self-pity as one of the worst human weaknesses, a virus that can incapacitate otherwise decent, effective people.

Prayer to whomever or whatever you perceive to be your deity is good therapy. It is a source of renewal and strength. Besides, it’s impossible for me to remain angry when I pray. Talk through your anger and move on without rancor, for bitterness ruins all of life’s beauty.

We assume that successful or revered people do not carry around demons like the rest of us. They do. When it comes to grudges, we all have held on to some too long. What separates winners from losers is how fast we banish these demons.

Pay attention to that voice inside you saying, “Life is short. Move on.”

Bob Mueller is the vice president of Hosparus.