How to Avoid a Revenge Mentality and Stop Hurting Yourself

Revenge: an act or instance of retaliating in order to get even
which in turn can develop into an eternal tit for tat. (See: Hatfields & McCoys)

Written by Michael Corthell

Nobody can truly damage your self-worth but you, yourself. Your value is determined by how you see yourself, your level of self-confidence, and how you perceive your contributions to the world.

You are worth what you decide you are worth based on what and who you decide to be and nothing external can (or should) decide that for you. If you know and accept this explanation of self-worth you have no need to take revenge or even have thoughts of getting even.

Let's dig a bit deeper:

''In moments of pain, we seek revenge.''
— Ami Ayalon

''Revenge may be wicked, but it’s natural.''
— William Makepeace Thackeray

Charlotte shrugged. ''In the end, greed makes the world go round,'' she proclaimed. “Although, revenge isn’t very far behind either.'' ― Ada Adams

As understandable as it is to respond to provocation as revenge may be, there are many, many reasons not to, here are the five main reasons to actively resist it and move beyond the primitive impulse to get even with people who have hurt you:

Revenge is Primitive, Barbaric, and Savage.It's not quite civilized. And it really can’t be described as ethical, sensible or reasonable.

The material, psychological, and spiritual costs of revenge can be devastating and even tragic. Consider:

''Someone once said that nothing costs more and yields less benefit than revenge,''
― Haruki Murakami

''A society built upon a foundation of vengeance is a society doomed to destroy itself.''
 — Richelle E. Goodrich

and most damning is:

''An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.''
― Mahatma Gandhi

Seeking revenge on another person is corrupting yourself. It will degrade you, the one pursuing revenge. Fighting fire with fire certainly doesn't foster virtue in you, the avenger; it seriously undermines it.

The 'funny' thing about revenge. It could make a killer out of a nun.
― Kevis Hendrickson

''Vengeance, retaliation, retribution, revenge are deceitful brothers; vile, beguiling demons promising justifiable compensation to a pained soul for his losses. Yet in truth they craftily fester away all else of worth remaining.''
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Calculating and carrying out revenge is foolish, self-defeating, and stupid.

''Fool that I am, that I did not tear out my heart the day I resolved to avenge myself.
― Alexandre Dumas

''Revenge only begets more pain, because hurting people never has resulted in happiness or relief.''
― Bar Refaeli

''Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you.''
— Austin O'Malley

In the End, Revenge Accomplishes Nothing: It’s Both Fruitless and Futile. Revenge is hopeless ineffectual and useless:

''I've learned that from a war ignited by revenge, nothing can be born, but sorrow.''
― Ohtaka Shinobu

''Revenge doesn't stop.''
— Daniel Craig

''Blood doesn’t wash away blood.''
— Persian Proverb

''Revenge does not long remain unrevenged.''
— German proverb

Finally, God takes care of all wrongs. It's His job, not yours, mine or ours!

In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.
—Francis Bacon

Let go of all thoughts of revenge and let God take care of it. The Universe, like water, that always seeks its own level, and seeks balance and compensation. Let go and let God.

''The wings of Time are black and white,
Pied with morning and with night.
Mountain tall and ocean deep
Trembling balance duly keep...''

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


Forgiveness - The unpopular weapon

by Jean Paul Samputu

How do you cope as a survivor after your whole family has been killed in a nightmarish event? Rwandan singer-songwriter Jean Paul Samputu lost his parents and siblings in the 1994 genocide. Years later he discovered that his childhood friend had killed his father. In a moving talk, Jean Paul shares experiences from his nine-year-long journey that allowed him to get over feelings of anger, resentment and revenge to eventually forgive the murderer.