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"Bad blood" is an idiom that is common among English speakers. Typically, the term is used to refer to any situation in which relationships between two or more parties have deteriorated to the point that positive interaction is difficult, if not impossible. This type of expression may be related to difficulties that exist between family members, friends, and even between business competitors. The basis for the bad blood normally has to do with real or perceived actions that caused some type of hurt to the other party, resulting in a breakdown of the ability to communicate and interact in a cordial manner.
With its origins in the early 19th century, the idea of bad blood is often associated with a breakdown in communication between members of a family unit. For example, the surviving children of a deceased parent may be unhappy with some of the terms found in parent's will, and project that displeasure onto siblings they perceive as having manipulated the parent in some manner. At other times, the bad blood may be due to specific actions taken by one family member that anger or upset other family members, such as entering into a marriage or relationship that the others do not consider appropriate.
The incidence of bad blood in the business world is also apparent. Companies may develop bad blood between them owing to opinions on the business practices employed by the other. In some cases, a hostile takeover attempt will spawn negative feelings, even if the effort is ultimately not successful. Luring away valued employees is another a reason for poor relations to exist between businesses, as well as capturing a significant number of customers or otherwise undermining the position of a company within the marketplace.
While the presence of bad blood is often associated with an eventual cycle of violence, it is possible to carry grudges for a number of years without attempting any type of retaliation against the other party involved. For example, divorced couples may carry a great deal of animosity toward one another, but choose to not act on those negative feelings out of concern for an children they may share. In like manner, a sibling may carry a great deal of ill feeling toward a brother or sister but choose to seek counseling to learn how to deal with that animosity rather than use it to create difficulties for that relative.
Bad blood among relatives, friends, and even businesses can occur for any number of reasons. Factors such as money, other relationships, business practices or religious or philosophical beliefs may lead to a rift between people that seems impossible to repair. Until strategies are developed to reopen the lines of communication and come to some sort of terms of reconciliation, the ill feeling has the potential to poison other relationships, leaving everyone adversely affected.