What is the best way to get back at those who have hurt us? Read More
You want revenge? First, find your enemies' addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Then sign them up for, like, hundreds of mailing lists.
It's so awesome.
"Perhaps the best rule is to forgive but not to forget, to use our disappointments, our humiliations, and failures to move on to the next occasion."
F' that. Revenge is a dish best served cold. There's no better feeling in my opinion. It can take many forms. I suppose the healthiest approach would be to forgive and to not remain hurt or a victim, but if you can't accomplish that humiliating or hurting the person that wronged you feels pretty good.
I've forgiven, and I've taken revenge. I must say that it is easier to move on when I know that the other person has suffered for their misdeeds.
You suggest that, "Perhaps the best rule is to forgive but not to forget, to use our disappointments, our humiliations, and failures to move on to the next occasion."
Sometimes we have no choice. But where reasonable vengeance is possible? I don't see why one should not take it. It didn't scar me in any way. In fact, it made me feel like the world was a more just place.
When a person engages in vengece they only make things
worse. If the person is deranged, they might even imagine
an affront where none was intended.
Just think of the madman Eliot Rodger who wanted "vengence"
against the women who wouldn't sleep with him.
"What are we to do about the wrongs we consider we have been subjected to as children at the hands of our parents, perhaps, wicked Mummy or Daddy...Perhaps the best rule is to forgive but not to forget..."
Some of us who are adult survivors of child abuse fall in a category well beyond the well-meaning scope of your article and are not interested in "revenge" or "forgive."
We just want RELIEF.
The best revenge is completely apathy. You have to just shrug them off. People love attention and when you fail to care about anything associated with the one you are targeting, it socks them in the ego. Follow it up by going on great vacation, sleeping with their husband and you will be good as gold. The effect will be scarring.
I have done this with no feeling or regret. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
When my husband stole from me, conned me out of money, lied and cheated on me, I was so angry and hurt,I couldn't stand it. But I knew that "payback is a bitch" so to speak and I forced myself to pray for his good health and happiness and for me to move on. The result was that nothing he turned his hand to succeeded. He lost his money, his home, you name it. This he brought on himself. He got spanked big time by the Universe so to speak. I didn't have to do anything. As far as I know, he is either on the street or living on a friend's couch. I let him know that I was through with him and didn't want any contact with him ever.
With time, I felt sorry for him, but I have moved on and am on my feet again. And I am doing very well now and he sees that. Now I see this person as coming into my life to teach me a lesson. And he got the lesson from the universe that what you do comes back to you tenfold. Hopefully, he retains the lesson so that he doesn't hurt other people.
Now, when I see him, he is just someone I used to know, and I can pass him by and not feel the urge to say anything to him, good or bad.
Why waste time on revenge. It just shackles you even tighter to the one who hurt you. And it is pointless.
Just say a prayer for the perpretator and force yourself to move on. You have to do that sooner or later, might as well be as soon as possible.
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Sheila Kohler teaches at Princeton. She is the author of many books including Dreaming for Freud, Becoming Jane Eyre, and Cracks, which was made into a film with Eva Green.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.