It’s tempting to want revenge on someone who’s hurt you. It’s even more tempting when you’ve reached the end of a relationship and you’re feeling pretty low. When someone has wronged you in the land of love, it’s sometimes natural to be angry — but there comes a point when you have to let it go. Here’s why revenge is never worth it:
- Anger can easily turn to hatred. Hatred’s fine… for a while, at least. But the dangerous part about hatred is how hard it is to let it go. It becomes an all-consuming force that slowly but surely takes over parts of you that would be better left alone. Anger is healthy at times, but if you let it fester too long, hatred’s much harder to get rid of.
- If you hold on to it, they never lose their power over you. It was their choice to hurt you in the first place. They could’ve treated you better. It’s not your fault that they were awful, but if you let the anger stay, you’re giving them real estate in your brain and your heart that they don’t deserve. You don’t need to give them that amount of lasting power and influence in your life.
- It can hurt your future relationships. Spending too much time and energy on an ex is a mistake for more than one reason. If you’re still caught up in the ways that ex did you wrong, it can prevent you from being able to move on and find someone new. No one wants to be on the other side of the table from a first date who spends an hour ragging on their ex. It may be valid, but it’s not helpful to your future dating endeavors.
- You’re wasting precious brain power. Seriously. Let yourself be angry for a while. Anger is useful in the same way that physical pain is — pain lets you know there’s something wrong in your body. Anger lets you know there’s something wrong with the way you’re being treated. But after you’ve used it as fuel to get up and get gone, your energy is better devoted to things that help you in the present.
- It’s okay to be mad, but don’t stoop to their level. They’re the ones who let you down, but you may be tempted to step onto their side of the street for a little bit of revenge. Don’t call their mother and tattle or Facebook stalk their new relationships and let them know exactly what they’re signing up for. You’ll have let them make you into a petty revenge-seeker, and you’re better than that.
- Your energy is better spent on you. Use that fire to take steps for yourself. Do you want a career change? Want to try a new exercise craze? Take the art lessons you never had time to take? These are all things that are better to spend your energy on than revenge.
- If they’re gone, they’re gone. Nothing you say or do now can make them undo what they did. It doesn’t help to hold on to the hurt – it’ll only weigh you down. It can’t make them decide to be a better person, and it can’t time travel back to the past to let you know to avoid them. There’s no use in it.
- It will hurt you more than it hurts them. That’s what they always say about forgiveness, right? It’s more for your own sake than for the person you’re forgiving. Anger is kind of like that but in reverse – it’s only going to hurt you, not them. Let it go and take a deep breath and then decide to move on. You’ll feel a whole lot better.