Almost three quarters of Australians bear a grudge towards a person or business a new study by online reviews platform Trustpilot has found, yet 61 percent believe it is possible to ‘forgive and forget’.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 Australians, found that 72 percent have a lingering resentment of some sort, such as a poor customer service experience, a negative relationship experience (being dumped or cheated on), and occasions such as missing out on a job.
On average, Australians harbour five grudges at any given time with the average duration being six years, while 17 percent admit to having maintained a grudge for 11 years or more.
Almost half (47 percent) admitted holding a grudge had made them less trusting of others, which could partly explain why more than a third of respondents regret holding a grudge.
The same number of respondents (33 percent) admitted that their mental health had suffered because of ongoing feuds, and 68 percent agreed or strongly agreed that holding a grudge is bad for your health, particularly mental wellness, anxiety, and depressive issues.
Clinical psychologist Dr Melissa Keogh supported this finding saying, “Ongoing feelings of anger, resentment and blame that commonly arise from interpersonal conflict – both in person and online – can be incredibly stressful. A useful strategy to curb hostilities is the art of forgiveness.
“A wide body of psychological literature indicates that being able to make peace with mistreatment and transform negative feelings into positive ones is incredibly beneficial. It can lead to an increase in positive feelings as well as a reduction in fear, depression, anger, and anxiety.
“Forgiving also contributes to a decrease in the desire or motivation for vindictiveness toward the transgressor and is therefore an important concept to keep in mind as we go about our daily interactions with others” Dr Keogh said.
The study also found that four in ten respondents admit to making quick and potentially unfair judgements about people, businesses, and situations. For some, the impact of holding a grudge appears to be greater online with 26 percent revealing they can be less considerate when posting messages, comments, or reviews online than in person.
Many respondents (68 percent) have thought about the impact a negative online review could have on a business and consequently, a quarter (26 percent) admitted to forgetting there are real people running businesses. This could explain why some (7 percent) who have left a negative review about a business, product or service, regret it later on.
This study comes as part of Trustpilot’s new Helping Hands campaign, which aims to remind both consumers and businesses to pause, take a moment and have constructive and useful conversations, particularly online.
Cameron Buckley, Country Manager, Trustpilot Australia & New Zealand said “As many Australians have spent the last two years researching and buying online it is important to remember that if a business gets it wrong, you should tell them with constructive and useful feedback. This not only allows other consumers to see and digest other, more positive, purchasing experiences but allows businesses to understand the good and the bad and act on it.
“In contrast to other parts of the internet, reviews on Trustpilot allow for a structured conversation that is open for everyone to see. Consumers also have the option to go back at any time and update their review, should their experience with the business have changed – whether positively or negatively.”
The research also found that almost half of those surveyed (46 percent), changed their opinion from bad to good after a business went the extra mile to make good following a negative experience.
For more information and advice on how to let go of grudges and get the most out of the purchase journey online, visit http://au.trustpilot.com/helpinghands
Source – Medianet