How to Get the Best Revenge

For young professionals (YPs), experiencing unfair hardships due to the actions of others is an unfortunate part of life. Whether scorned in a romantic relationship or treated unjustly on the job, we’ve all been hurt or humiliated in ways that make us ravenous for revenge. But while getting back at someone in an equally hurtful way may feel good in the moment, we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right. Part of growing as an adult and as a professional is learning how to get even in more positive and productive ways. Here are a few notable examples of mature and constructive forms of seeking vengeance: 

As the saying goes, “success is the best revenge.” By far the most advantageous way to get back at someone is to simply thrive. If you’ve been cheated on, unfairly fired, or brutally betrayed, take those intense, resulting emotions and channel them into something productive. Use that hurt or rage to motivate yourself to take on a new project, start a new workout program, sign up for a new course, or go on that solo trip you’ve always talked about. Take the opportunity to improve yourself in some way, to do better, to become better, and to look better than the one who screwed you over. Don’t waste any more energy on the negatives of the past, but rather direct your efforts toward the possibilities of the future.   

Be aware, however, that success takes time. To really reap the rewards of this sweet revenge tactic you must be patient, focused, and ready to work. Take our word for it: it’s so worth it!

Our need for revenge results from being jilted, rejected, hurt, or embarrassed by someone else and from our desire to cause them the same pain. A more productive and enriching reaction to being wronged, though, is to take the situation as an opportunity to learn. Look at your circumstance from a variety of angles, including from your adversary’s shoes. Being treated poorly by others is not always just a one-sided situation. Instead of blaming, finger pointing, and emoting, take a moment to look in the mirror. Ask yourself if there is something you could have done differently and make a plan to improve or prepare better for next time. Remember, all we can really control are our own actions and attitudes.      

When it comes to our emotional well-being, the best form of revenge is, arguably, no revenge at all. The “power of forgiveness” may sound cliché, but the concept should not be discounted. Forgiving, rather than avenging, grants us the power to release negative thoughts, emotions, and desires, and, again, to only worry about our own self and attitude. In this way, forgiving may sound like the simplest option, but in fact, true forgiveness is the most challenging. Look to your favourite philosophers, authors, or religious leaders for their take on forgiveness and create your own reasoning and methods for incorporating it into your life.