Revenge. There is rarely a sweeter word when you are looking to get even with someone. It fuels your emotions and makes it hard to think of little else. It can be wickedly sweet – even sometimes teaches a person a lesson. It can also take a turn for the worse. In this week’s Which Way Wednesday column we will discuss the topic of revenge. Meghan’s focus will be on what happens when revenge goes wrong and mine will be on when revenge can make a difference.
Revenge is an action fueled by an emotional trigger (often times this is the plan for pay back). Our society is fairly civilized and we have advanced from the animalistic nature of our inner brain – the part that controls instinct, fight or flight, and autonomic reactions like breathing. We have advanced in technology and are learning to master machines. In medical science the body is considered more of a machine and human part of us (our soul) is separate from the body.
But aside from our advances we have not learned to separate our emotional feelings from the logical thoughts our brain tries to deliver. That is why relationships get messy AND why relationships are so wonderful. The closest example of a human without emotional reactions would be the Star Trek character ‘Mr. Spock’. While he makes for great entertainment; we humans are not capable of looking at everything void of emotions. Honestly, this is perfectly fine with me. What would our world be like without emotions? Imagine; no hugs or kisses, no tears of joy (or sadness), no cleansing of the soul, no head over heels falling in love. Without these factors and many more; life would be uninteresting.
But with anything in the world – there must be a good to the bad, a positive to the negative… otherwise known as cosmic balance. Revenge can often take a negative turn in relationships. It can hurt the people involved and can add up negative karma points. Meghan talks more on the negative effects of revenge. But I have also learned that revenge can sometimes have positive results.
As many readers know I request examples from you on topics every week from my facebook page. (You can always join me there and contribute to new topics as they come along.) Last week I asked readers to tell me about an act of revenge that they have been involved with or have heard of from others. The responses were fantastic but the two below prove my point the best. They show that regardless of where the act came from (emotional outburst) that the result ended in something positive. But it is also important to note that either of these examples could have had terrible consequences as well.
*Julianne told me about a friend she had that was in an abusive relationship. This friend was told by many people to leave him. She wasn’t ready to make that decision. So instead of leaving him she decided to teach him a lesson. Her friend’s husband went out every week for drinks with the boys. When he came home he almost always passed out cold. One night she decided to wait for him to get home, wrap him up in a blanket and proceed to give him a taste of his own medicine. She took a broom to his backside. She then went next door to the neighbors and called for help. Her husband to this day believes that he was attacked by robbers. The positive outcome to this story is that he entered AA (alcoholics anonymous) the following week and has been the perfect husband since.
This relationship columnist would advise any woman (or man) in an abusive relationship to get out or seek help. Abuse is not a funny thing. Now I wouldn’t tell anyone to do what Julianne’s friend did in this example but the lesson was learned and she is happily married to him without the fear of being abused again.
For help with domestic violence in Phoenix . National help in domestic violence can be found here.
How to find local help with Alcoholics Anonymous help in Phoenix.
*Anna was involved with a male friend who led her to believe that there was more to their relationship than he was willing to give. When he started dating someone else she was devastated. She remembered his password to email and in a down and out moment she accessed this email and found some interesting photos. Needless to say; once a person has access to your email password they can do a ton of damage. Luckily for her, the guy and her remained friends and each person involved learned a valuable lesson. But this type of outcome is not a common occurrence. A more common outcome has even more devastating effects on the relationship.
While I do not necessarily condone revenge; I am a realist and know it happens. The best you can hope for is a positive outcome. And with any relationship lesson, you will hopefully learn something that will help you in future relationships. The best advice I can give is ‘when one door closes, often there is another that opens’. It doesn’t make the pain feel better but it does give you a small light of hope for the future. As we continue to ring in the new decade, perhaps a little focus can be on moving forward and not seeking revenge for our broken hearts.
For other Which Way Wednesday topics visit here.
For Meghan’s take on revenge gone bad check out her page.
For my regular readers I appologize that this is a few days late.
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