We are all going to be wronged by someone in the course of our lifetime. Whether it’s a friend that dismissed what you said or a colleague that threw you under the bus, you are bound to feel hurt and angry, and even go as far as wanting payback. Often, these negative feelings disappear on their own, but sometimes, they can grow more and more, becoming toxic. You may know that letting go is the healthiest option, but wanting revenge is often much more appealing.
In all the novels and movies, revenge turns out to be this great cleansing moment. There is something so satisfying about an eye-to-eye payback because our world is so often unfair. However, real-life is not a movie. In reality, not only is the revenge short-lived, but it also achieves the opposite outcome.
While we want revenge to wash the failed relationship off of us, it usually only makes the incident much harder to get over. Instead of leaving the person who wronged you in the past, retribution only brings you closer to them. By choosing to go down the path of revenge, you maintain focus on the mistreatment you experienced, preventing yourself from moving forward and redirecting your life.
Writing about this now, I look back at one of my previous relationships. This ex of mine wronged me and hurt me in ways no one ever has. Soon enough, all I could think about was getting even with him. I became obsessed – plotting my revenge at him at any giving moment. I didn’t see it back then, but what I was doing was reliving what he had done to me, not letting it slip my mind.
So, while revenge can be satisfying for a moment or two, it is not necessarily the answer we are looking for. While the anger and wish of revenge understandable, it doesn’t mean it would do us any good. In reality, they’re more likely to just make things worse. That feeling of motivation to “get even” can tie you closer to the past in a way that overshadows any potential positive outcome. Channel this motivation to leave this experience behind you. Channel it to move on.