Would you rather ‘get even’ or ‘get over it’?
Getting even with someone who’s hurt you may make you feel better temporarily but will it actually help you heal and move on with your life?
Suffering emotional pain as the result of someone else’s behaviour is always difficult. One of the most common responses is to want to hurt the person back as if by doing so it will somehow even the score and lesson the pain you are suffering. If you discovered that planning revenge could actually prolong your pain and stop you from moving on would you be less inclined to want to get even?
Clearing your mind
One of the worst side effects of emotional pain is the mental torment – the thoughts that go round and round as though they’re in a washing machine. These compulsive, obsessive thoughts can keep you awake at night and affect your concentration during the day. Conversations or arguments may be replayed over and over again or you might become obsessed with what you want to say or do next time you see the person.
No matter how vengeful your thoughts are, you’re hurting no-one but yourself. The only way you’ll have peace of mind is to let go of your anger. The best way to achieve this is to change your perspective.
Turn your fury to pity
Only hurt people hurt others. There’s some part of them that’s in pain and sadly you were the one who felt the effect of their internal disturbance. Although it may seem as though some people heartlessly use and abuse others, apart from psychopaths, most people suffer badly when they’ve hurt another person, especially someone they love.
If someone knowingly and deliberately causes you pain, you can rest assured that the disturbance inside them is worse than the disturbance in you. You can sleep with a clear conscience, while they’ll be aware of the harm they’ve done, even if they try to justify it to themselves
Many people carry unhealed wounds from childhood and it stops them from being able to have healthy, lasting relationships in adulthood. Imagining that you’re dealing with a wounded child is a good way to develop compassion about the situation, which is an antidote to anger. This isn’t about condoning their behaviour but about being the bigger person who refuses to stoop to their level.
The opposite of love is indifference
If you really want to be free of a dysfunctional relationship, hatred and revenge are not the answer. Hate is the reverse of the same coin as love and still needs passion and attention to fuel it. It only keeps you locked into a relationship with that person, even if they’re no longer in your life.
To be able to move on, first you need to let go. That means letting go of the need to know who they’re seeing or what they’re doing. It means letting go of the feeling of wanting to teach them a lesson and also the feeling that if you don’t, they will have got away with their bad behaviour. Karma has a way of making sure people get their comeuppance. If you adopt this attitude you’re free to move on and enjoy a happy life with someone else, knowing that at some point in the future justice will be done.
Every day squabbles
A healthy relationship should be a partnership rather than a battleground. Every couple will have their share of disagreements and times when they hurt each other. It’s part of learning about what is, and isn’t, acceptable within the relationship. Point scoring and rivalry are blocks to intimacy.
Getting even with someone may bring temporary satisfaction but it may leave you feeling worse than you did before. If you really don’t like someone’s behaviour towards you and then you behave in the same way towards them you will probably end up even more hurt.
Remember, we teach people how to treat us. The best way to get even is to preserve your self respect and move on to a relationship where you’ll be treated well because you know that’s what you deserve.
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