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Revenge and Why You Shouldn't Do It

Updated on January 10, 2017

Revenge, what is it really? Revenge in it's most basic form is a punishment. We take revenge by punishing or hurting someone because they have first hurt us.

When we have someone personally attack us in any way at all it hurts. Our reaction as a person is usually to react. I'm sure there's some type of psychological reasoning behind it all that I'm not aware of. Maybe some fight or flight reaction kicks in, I'm really not sure about all the technical terms. What I do know about is what it feels like when someone wrongs you. From a tiny cut when a coworker says something hateful behind your back, to a huge fracture when a partner cheats on you. We've all experienced some type of pain that's been equivalent and probably all the slashes in between the two. When it happens of course you are hurt. You're in pain and you're sad and for most of us we also get mad. We get so mad that we start to plan a way to get back at the other person. Many of us never take much action in that department, but every now and then, we do.

In our minds we create elaborate plans and schemes that we act out and imagine how we will feel, and also how those who hurt us will react when we 'put them in their place.' We feel vindicated and we feel like it is our right to hurt them like they hurt us. It feels good. For about 5 minutes.

Do you regret taking revenge on someone in your past?

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You Will Regret It

For most of us after we enact some form of revenge, the pleasure we feel at seeing someone else suffer by our own hand lasts for a few minutes and then other feelings start to kick in. Immediately we regret what we've done. Here's a few reasons why revenge is not the best medicine and how to combat that urge to really stick it to someone who has done you wrong.

The Guilt Factor: At the top of my list for reasons not to commit any act of revenge is the guilt factor. While that initial feeling of relief and contentment lasts for a few minutes after the wrong doer is suffering from your act of revenge, the guilt that follows that can last forever if you aren't careful. I still remember little things, tiny things, that at this point in life may not even be on someones radar any longer, but it still bothers me. It makes me regret actions that I've taken, even as a child. Be vary wary of causing someone embarrassment or pain if for no other reason than the guilt you may personally feel after the deed is done.

Why: This is a simple reason but one that a lot of people never consider. When you see red because someone has hurt you force yourself to stop and ask why they may be doing it. Is it really you that they are even trying to hurt? The old saying 'walk a mile in someone else's shoes' is an old saying for a reason. You will really never know what is going on in someone else's world or mind. Their personal life may be a mess and for whatever reason lashing out in your direction makes them feel better, if only briefly. It is not an excuse and does not make it right but it may be a reason that it is happening. Empathy is a battle and sometimes it feels like this world is losing the fight. Keep an open mind before wreaking havoc.

Own Your Role: This does not apply to everyone or every situation at all. Sometimes someone strikes you for a million different reason that has nothing to do with you at all. At times though, before we were the victim we were their villain. Before taking the revenge course find your sound mind through the madness and really ask yourself, 'what did I do'? Be truthful with yourself. If you did wrong them in some way the best and simplest course of action to the end the cycle is to try and make amends. People want to be heard and understood. Most people do not set out to make someone else miserable day to day. If you played a part in hurting someone then own that. If it still continues, at least you will be able to sleep at night knowing that you have made every effort to rectify the situation and play peacemaker. Nine times out of ten if you have hurt someone and you go directly to them and apologize and try to fix that situation then it will all work out for the better and the cycle of revenge will be stopped.

Hold Your Temper: In my family, tempers run high and fast. Most of us say what we feel when we feel it. The older I've gotten the more I've realized that acting that way is the quickest way to not only hurt someone else, but to hurt myself too. Whenever somebody slices up my pride I am the first one to fire back with dripping sarcasm and cut them off at the knees. In those few moments it feels wonderful to hurt them as they have hurt me. I've found my best weapon is truth. I used to always think if whatever I said was true then it wasn't so hurtful. Sometimes the truth is something that hurts the very most. Even if you're speaking solid truth to someone if you are using it as a dagger you are using it incorrectly. I have thrown many things in the faces of my loved ones over the years that I so badly wish I could take back. I didn't always have the hold on my temper that I now have and it did take practice believe it or not. It's the easy road and response to lash out when you've been cut up by someone else. Hold your temper as best you can. A general rule of thumb for me personally is this: If I would not be willing to say these things to a stranger on the street, why am I about to say them to someone I know and probably even love?

Love To Hate, Hate To Love

Revenge is a dish best served cold. We've all heard that saying. I'm of the belief revenge is a dish best served, not at all. When you're hurting take real time to lick your wounds and get to the root of the problem the best that you can. Revenge can be a fun mind game past time. Thinking of all the wrath you will incur to the ones who have wronged you can help soothe the hurt at that moment. Give the real anger time to pass and try to approach every situation with a little bit of understanding. Someone attacks you on social media? Kill em with kindness. A family member personally attacks you? Ask them why. Try to show love in response to hate and I assure you, you will at the very least sleep better at night. Walking away from revenge is definitely not the easy thing to do. It's always going to take a stronger person to do the right thing, and if the right thing was always the easy thing to do, then everyone would do it.


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