Wanting vengeance is hard to overcome when someone wrongs you, but the negative energy can be used for a positive outcome, and Axios CEO Jim VandeHei outlines the five steps to overcome it.
- Psychological and behavioral scientists have found that just the thought of revenge stimulates the same part of the brain that processes reward, writes VandeHei.
- The scientists also found that although it felt rewarding at first, later on the revenge prolongs bitterness and makes many people feel worse.
- Revenge tends to create an obsessive cycle that drags the negative feelings out, but VandeHei outlines five ways to overcome the need for revenge…
- Get an anti-vengeance counselor
- Sit on your rage
- Brush it off
- Don’t bottle it
- Vengeance in moderation
Why it’s important
Wanting revenge when someone has wronged you is a tale as old as time, but scientists have found that typically those who turn the negative energy into positive energy and don’t seek revenge tend to feel better than those who act on the impulses.
It is natural to want to hurt someone back when they hurt you, but Jim VandeHei has found ways to take the negative feeling of wanting revenge and make it positive by being the bigger person and becoming better than the person who hurt you.
He details five steps to overcome the need for vengeance, starting with getting an anti-vengeance counselor. VandeHei says his counselor is his co-author and business co-founder Mike Allen.
He says whenever he feels the need for vengeance, he discusses it with Allen, who helps talk him down and understand that the issue isn’t as pressing as he feels it is.
The next step is to sit on the rage. VandeHei says many people feel very passionately about revenge in the beginning, but if you take a few days and sit on it and think about what happened, it is likely you will cool down and realize it isn’t as important as you once thought.
Along with that, he says it is important to brush it off. Many things feel important but will not matter in a few months, and you will feel much better if you can just brush off the issue instead of sitting on it and making yourself more upset.
It is also important not to bottle the feelings. He says it is important to talk about what happened or write things down because keeping everything inside will make it much more likely to explode later on.
The last step he gives is to have vengeance in moderation. VandeHei says this might be one of the more difficult steps, and even he has problems with it, but it is important to allow yourself to think a little about vengeance and what the outcome could be and use that invigorating feeling to overcome and be a better person.