6 Reasons Why Revenge Never Makes You Feel Better

Discover why you should not seek revenge when you have been bullied

Woman with evil look

Everyone has felt the need to get revenge. From being cut off in traffic by a rude driver to fantasizing about putting that mean girl in her place, everyone who has been wronged by someone thinks about getting even. In fact, a study published in The Journal of American Psychology, a large majority of Americans devote nearly all of their conscious lives plotting revenge.

But while the need for revenge is often understandable and even normal to consider, it is not healthy.

Like other negative emotions and thoughts, plotting revenge takes a toll the person that has been wronged. In fact, research has shown that getting revenge does not decrease feelings of anger and hostility. And in some cases it can actually make them worse.

What’s more, when it comes to bullying, it is not a long-term solution for healing, but rather just a quick fix. The feelings of satisfaction, if felt at all, are only temporary and the victim of bullying is left still feeling upset by what happened. Some people confuse revenge and justice, but they are not the same. Revenge comes from a place of self-righteousness, anger and violence. Anytime someone has a need to hurt someone else, they are the ones wounded in the end. Revenge never constitutes justice. Here are six ways revenge is harmful.

Getting revenge does not allow you to move on. You are still involved in the situation and interacting in some way with the person who hurt you.

As long as you are focused on the bully and what he did to you, you are stuck in the same place. Let go of what happened to you and focus on healing. You can still hold the bully accountable for his choices. But do so in a healthy manner. Report the bullying through the proper channels instead of focusing on revenge.

Getting revenge just leads to more anger. Contrary to popular belief, getting revenge for being wronged is not cathartic, nor does it get it out of your system. It simply makes you angrier, especially if the plot for revenge does not go according to plan. Focus on healthier behaviors like building assertiveness, ending rumination and setting goals instead of dwelling in the anger you feel.

Getting revenge allows the bully to maintain power over you. If you are still focused on what the bully did to you, then you are allowing him to have power and control in your life. Thinking about what happened excessively or plotting revenge, gives the bully more energy than he deserves. Only when you move on and focus on forgiveness does the bully lose his power over you.

Getting revenge lowers you to the bully’s level. Never stoop to the same level as the bully. Bullying is wrong no matter what the reasons are behind the choice. Make healthier choices for yourself.  Focus on healing from bullying and learning to be you again.

Getting revenge makes you feel bad. Unless you are a psychopath, hurting someone else does not feel good. While you might get a momentary bit of joy from seeing someone who wronged you get what is coming, it is only temporary.

Do things that make you feel better not worse.

Getting revenge steals your time. Think about all the time that is lost or wasted because you are focused on getting even with someone who bullied you. Why do you want to devote that much time and energy to someone that makes poor choices and hurts people? Use your time to focus on what you need to move on. Take care of yourself. Do things you enjoy. But do not waste your time plotting revenge.

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