I am a not exactly a grudge holder–like, I do not stew in the memories of people’s wrongdoings or replay offenses over and over in my mind over time. I do not bring up old stuff constantly (though my husband might disagree, but I will get to that in a minute). I also am not so petty that I tit for your tat–most things in life just do not rate at that level of serious to me. I release 95% of my interactions with people into the atmosphere pretty quickly. My brain power is too precious to me waste on whack information.
Yeah, I am not an active grudge holder like that. But I DO file important moments away in my mental filing cabinet for future reference.
As pagan as it may sound, I absolutely identify with the Roman idea of Janus, the deity who had two faces–one looking forward and one looking backward. This is my mental aesthetic: to review past behaviors based on a current reference to forecast future expectation. Which is a totally (and unnecessarily long) way of saying that I log people’s “fruit”.
Folks say lots of things for lots of reasons. You can be sad today and ecstatic the next–and all those hormonal shifts will change what you say and how you repsond to others. It is the pattern of words and behavior that always catch my eye. How are you acting over time? Is this a recurring issue? What is your default? When pressed, what am I guaranteed that you will do?
Going back to my husband: he hates to have passionate discussions with me. He has accused me of bringing up old stuff several times (I am really downplaying the amount of times, lol). What he has never really gotten though (in our relationship or life) is that there is a difference in bringing up old stuff and establishing a pattern of behavior. If I say that you always do something, I mean it. In fact, I can cite evidence to prove it. What I am NOT doing is throwing it in your face just to make you mad. What I AM doing is establishing the pattern so that you can see for yourself what the problem is. And where it lies. Which is usually with you.
I am a real jerk, right?
But my point is that if you look long enough, you can discern people’s reactions and responses to just about any situation–and usually, it has very little to do with you. So learn to log the fruit that people bear, and you will never be surprised at what blooms around you.