When someone does something to you, your first instinct might be to get back at them. To make them feel the kind of anger that you felt. While this might give you temporary satisfaction, you won’t feel good when you remember it later. Some people might say, “I feel better now that they know what I felt like”. This is not true. You will only feel worse if you “get even” with the person that made you angry. It is more likely that that person will want to “get even” with you, and make the problem a million times worse.
Taking revenge isn’t a good way to go. It’s like the phrase “fight fire with fire”. When you combine fire with fire, it only makes the problem bigger. Sometimes you have to take the higher road, and be the better person. This can be a hard thing to do. If someone slams a door in my face, I automatically want to slam a door in their face. I try not to think like this, because it doesn’t make me feel better. It just makes me more frustrated.
While you might feel momentary satisfaction when you get revenge on someone, when you think back on it later, you won’t like to remember it. You’ll regret losing control and making it even. It won’t make the problem better, and will likely only increase the tension between you and the person you’re fighting with.
Life is short, and grudges are long. The actual definition of grudge is to feel “a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury”. I think the most important word in that definition is past. The injury or insult happened in the past. Holding a grudge on what happened in the past only hurts you. If you don’t move on, you are just clinging to the unnecessary feelings of anger, and you won’t be happy until you let it go.
If you can’t seem to let it go easily, there’s another way to fix the problem. You can talk to whoever upset you. It’s possible that they don’t know that they made you mad, and if you talk to them about it, they will apologize. Often, the things that you hold grudges on are merely misunderstandings. If you talk, instead of sulking, it will solve the problem, and end the need for revenge.
Revenge is not a solution to a fight. It’s the beginning of a new one. Let go of the grudge you are holding against people, and maybe you’ll find that you’re much happier. Above all else, forget your need for revenge. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”