Let’s admit it, the Grinch is iconic but for all of the wrong reasons. Unlike your typical cheesy holiday film villain, the Grinch has a legitimate bone to pick with Christmas. Haven survived childhood trauma – he was orphaned on Christmas and bullied because he was different – the Grinch formed deep-seated anger toward the holiday obsessed Whoville community and vowed to destroy their celebration. If you’ve made it this far and thought “wow, this guy is kind of relatable” or “I could see myself doing something similar” then you may have an inner Grinch you need to contend with.
While there’s nothing wrong with being resentful of people that did you wrong in the past, your old grudges should never get in the way of your new relationships! If this is something you struggle with then you and the Grinch may be one in the same, check out these 5 signs to know for sure.
1. You hold grudges
Though several of the Who’s are extremely welcoming and kind to the Grinch, he rejects their goodwill choosing to hold onto his grudge instead. Grudge holding can feel good, even empowering in the moment, giving you a false sense of superiority, but it doesn’t last long. Experts say when people live with suppressed anger, resentment, and bitterness they often experience anxiety and feelings of hostility as result. In long-term relationships, grudge-holding can come as a result of scorekeeping, or tracking how much you give versus how much your partner takes. You don’t have to pretend your deep emotions don’t exist. In fact, holding on to resentment can be a sign that you aren’t comfortable being open and honest about your feelings.
2. You feel unaccepted for the way you look
Not everyone is Cindy-Lou Who. We don’t all have blonde hair, blue eyes, and a button nose. So why are people so often ostracized for not fitting that bill? People are struggling with their self-image more than ever now that narrow beauty standards have spilled over from social media and into our real lives. Whether you’re dealing with acne, issues with your self-image, or any number of insecurities, practicing acts of self-love is essential. Even small habits like cleaning up your living space, positive affirmations, and getting in some exercise can all boost your self-confidence while aiding mentally and physically. Be kind to yourself.
3. You try to sabotage situations when things don’t go your way
Whether you’re planning on crashing an entire town’s Christmas party or setting your friend up for failure, if you find yourself projecting your anger onto others, take a step back. Sabotaging your partner’s success out of jealousy or resentment is not only malicious, but it’s also dangerous. If you’re feeling upset with someone, try removing yourself from the situation to see it from a different perspective. Empathy, while often overlooked, is such an essential trait to have in any relationship, and finding it facilitates healthy discussions instead of explosive arguments.
4. You belittle those who have it “easier” than you
Whenever we operate from a me-centered point of you we have a tendency to minimize other people’s problems in comparison to our own. When the Grinch sees Cindy-Lou Who frantically delivering a letter to the North Pole he immediately mocks and belittles her. To him, delivering a list of Christmas wishes is childish and self-absorbed. For Cindy-Lou Who, the letter is her last chance to alleviate some of the burdens her mom faces as a single parent. Although it may feel like the world is on your shoulders it’s not healthy to constantly downplay the experience of others. This can make your partner feel misunderstood or that they have to experience something traumatic in order for their problems to stand up to your own.
5. You put on a cold exterior to “protect yourself” from being hurt
You’ve had the worst day ever. Yet, upon questioning “How are you?” you reply, “I’m fine.” You don’t have to pretend you’re okay when you aren’t.
In fact, realizing it’s okay to not be okay is an important part of self-care, and knowing not just when, but how to ask for help comes after. If you feel yourself struggling, find someone you can trust — such as a parent, friend, coach, or teacher — and have the courage to say “I’m not okay. I need help.” You might find that the weight you’ve been carrying becomes a little more manageable when you aren’t carrying it alone.
Here’s the thing, we’re not saying the Grinch — or you for that matter — don’t have legitimate reasons to feel angry towards people who mistreated you in the past. However, being wronged by someone in the past is never an excuse to mistreat people in your life currently. In the end, even the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he learned to forgive and leave his petty behavior aside. We believe you can do the same. Learn more about how you can learn to love better and stop unhealthy behaviors before they become abuse by checking out our resources here.