5 Reasons Revenge Doesn’t Work

I work with a lot of different types of personalities, and one of the ones that really is interesting to me are people who want to make someone else “pay”.  Whether it’s for revenge, to right a “wrong” or some other reason, there are no end of reasons for it.  I’m sure that there are some people at work who really deserve tacks in their chairs, or hot sauce in the ketchup. or superglue on the toilet seat.  I’m sure each of us can think of at least a couple of people who need to learn a lesson, and who really NEED it.

5 Reasons Revenge Doesn’t Work

  1. You almost never get the results or outcome you’re looking for.  In a wonderful world, we’d be able to take revenge on bullies -like my daughter getting her hands on the kid who is picking on her and bullying her in school.  I’m pretty sure she could mop the floor with the kid, given the opportunity.  On the other hand, she’d probably get expelled.  And the little rotter probably wouldn’t learn anything anyways, no matter how many times she repeated the process.
  2. Revenge eats your soul.  Think about it.  How much time are you going to spend sitting around plotting ways to get even with someone?  And how do you really feel when you end up getting it?  I would argue that it really eats your soul from the inside out, and will destroy you over time.
  3. Revenge destroys your pocketbook.  Chances are, if you break something, you’re going to get caught, and made to pay for it.  So, you’ll be lawyering up, and paying for that expense, plus any other expenses that go with it.  Leaving you broke.  Think of couples you’ve known who have gotten into super nasty divorces.  The lawyers are perfectly happy to keep taking your money until you don’t have any more of it left.  That doesn’t mean that the problem is solved, just that you get to argue about it longer.
  4. You’re going to develop a reputation.  Remember that it is very easy to develop a reputation for something, even something trivial or stupid, and that can follow you around for years.  There was one guy in my negotiation class who had a high rate of “no deals” and was really difficult.  Comments about that class are still following him around a year later.  And that was just a single class, and a relatively harmless set of incidents.  So, think about it, if reputations are easy to develop, and you get a reputation for being a revenge seeking person, how many people are going to want to work with you?  Or hire you?  Remember that the world is a very small place.  Things go around, and come around in the weirdest ways.  What may be sweet now, may come back to you tomorrow to bite you in the tail.
  5. We have a limited amount of time.  How are you going to spend it? Bitter?  Getting back at someone?  Or moving on with your life, and dealing with whatever is handed to you?  I have found that just shaking it off, and moving forward and not dwelling on past slights or annoyances is far better than dwelling in the past, and wallowing in it.  Sure, we have all had to deal with things in our lifetime.  Life is too short, to spend it dwelling on ways to make other people miserable, because you will just make  yourself miserable and unhappy.

Think about it.  Is that “sweet” revenge really worth it?  I’d argue that it’s not.  Not for your soul, not for long-term happiness, and not for your pocketbook.



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