Have you ever been hurt by someone? And no, the guy in the flashy car who stole your parking space doesn’t count. Neither does the mama who took up the entire taxi seat and deliberately dug her fleshy elbow into your kidneys.
I’m talking about the real deal. I’m talking about the kind of hurt where someone purposefully set out to make a fool of you. The hurt of being dumped on your birthday or finding out he/she was only with you for your money, body or as a dare.
Whatever the case may be, while you seethe in frustration and humiliation and plot his/her downfall, the voices of reason in your life will – hopefully – stop you from doing anything that will land you in jail.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been very good at listening to reason. Add to that a mean streak a mile wide and an inherent belief in just desserts, and you have a good old-fashioned recipe for disaster. My mistakes, however, should be good for a cautionary tale if nothing else. Right?
This article should, by rights, be called ‘Things I learned while trying (and failing) to get revenge.’ And what I learned is that revenge is a funny thing. Or rather, thinking about revenge is a funny thing. It starts off slow with thoughts like, “Why should he be allowed to get away with it?” No doubt you’re thinking this is a very good question.
The truth is, why should people who do bad things get away without facing the consequences? From childhood, we are taught that every action has an opposite and equal reaction; for example, if I put my hand on a hot stove, I will get burnt. Equally, if I hurt someone deliberately I should expect to be hurt in return.
Here’s the first thing I learned. Yes, there are people who set out to hurt you but most people don’t wake up in the morning with the express intention of hurting you in particular. Life is a painful thing. It is also a complex, complicated and above all, messy thing. So when you’re plotting revenge ask yourself, “How did I contribute to what happened?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the victim. On the contrary, I’m merely saying that people treat us the way we expect to be treated. And in healthy relationships, it is very rare to find one partner completely at fault and another completely blameless.
Another thing about revenge is you realise – as you’re pouring bleach on his favourite shirts (don’t ask) – you might be going a little too far because revenge, like a shack fire, is very hard to stop once it starts. You have to keep going because your wounded pride demands that you do not Read the full story