Is It Useful to Get Revenge?

Before you begin to think critically about the question the title poses, let’s suspend our religious beliefs and values for this particular discourse.  Of course, the bible informs us to let God fight our battles.  However, let’s remove ourselves from the teachings of the bible for at least this discourse to explore whether getting revenge is useful.  Even if you have difficulty with temporarily suspending your religious beliefs and values to enter this discourse, you may find that you would arrive at how you feel about revenge without the teachings you have received in your religious sects.  It can be quite beneficial to explore whether or not we gain any true benefits from seeking revenge on those who have wronged us.

Although some may see it as childish for adults to seek revenge, it’s vital to consider that many wars throughout history have been fought to obtain revenge.  Therefore, unless you’re prepared to offer a serious argument for why many wars that have been fought throughout history have been childish, then don’t just call an adult childish for desiring to seek revenge.  While we have to brush many things off of our shoulders in life, considering we cannot fight every battle, there are times when we need to make people pay for the terrible things they’ve done to us.

If someone just walks up and slaps you in the face, do you let him or her get away with this?  If you catch someone in the act of destroying your property, do you simply let him or her get away with this?

Are there times when seeking revenge is justified?

You cannot allow people to do everything to you and not make them suffer some consequences.  While you may have been taught to be the better person and not to try to seek revenge on another person, this teaching can cause you to get trampled on by many people.  If people are out there attacking you, then you need to defend yourself against their attacks.  At some point, you have to respond to serious attacks.  Don’t think constant attacks will not have their impact on you—they will.

When you’re engaged in a battle with someone, use all legal things at your disposal to defeat him or her.  Never come away from a battle talking about what you could have done to win that battle—do it while you’re in the battle.  Don’t feel sorry for those who are out there trying to destroy you.  Do you think they are concerned about you?  Why be concerned about them?

There may come a time when you have to get revenge on a family member or close friend.  You have to be willing to make a family member or close friend who has intentionally sought to harm you pay for intentional wrongs.  Don’t concern yourself with taking it easy on a family member or close friend who has not demonstrated a true concern for you through their words and/or actions.  Would a true close friend or family member intentionally and maliciously attempt to hurt you?  If the answer is yes, then you have to be willing to show him or her that you’re not going to sit around and allow him or her to destroy you.  Fight back!

Some people think everything is okay when they are doing the attacking, but they really think you have done them viciously wrong when you strike back at them.  When some people are out there doing and saying horrible things about you, they need to think more deeply about what power, talents, influence, and etc. you possess before they intentionally do and say things to hurt you.

If you feel the need to get revenge on someone, don’t let anyone deter you—go for it!

Do you think it’s useful to get revenge on someone who has wronged you?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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12 comments

  1. I think it depends on the situation. Growing up, I used to be spiteful but now that I am older I won’t even think twice. I’m not about to waste my time on someone trying to one up them. I have heard about bullying the bully so if it gets to that point I have no problem standing up for myself. I don’t think we should teach everyone to attack because someone did something to them.

    1. I agree with you that it depends on the situation. For me, revenge is not about the “one up” on someone, but more about making a person feel the consequences for intentionally and maliciously doing harm to you. There are times that we simply have to stand up for ourselves and not just brush things off our shoulders.

  2. I’m with Mr. Drew Shane, it depends on that situation. Someone people need to learn that hard way. So I would say it depends on it I would seek revenge!

  3. You are so spot-on with this that it’s beautiful. When wicked men know that you are a pacifist to a fault they will kill you, destroy everyone you love and you will be dishonored even beyond the afterlife. People take the turning the other cheek thing a bit too serious in my opinion. When a man does you wrong you ought to let him know with much prejudice.

    Wars have always been fought out of revenge, hell the terror that was World War II on the Nazi end was based on what Europe largely took from the Germans and the thirst for revenge gave rise to a fuhrer of their people who damn near burned the world down with his hate. It is human to want revenge, to hurt more than you’ve been hurt and irregardless of what an idealist will tell you (take it from a fighter) it can feel oh so good.

    What did Conan the Barbarian say? Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women.

    They are enemies for a reason but there is a larger picture in hand here let the ancient Samurai tell it….

    “The way of revenge lies in simply forcing one’s way into a place and being cut down. There is no shame in this. By thinking that you must complete the job you will run out of time. By considering things like how many men the enemy has, time piles up; in the end you will give up. No matter if
    the enemy has thousands of men, there is fulfillment in simply standing them off and being determined to cut them all down, starting from one end. You will finish the greater part of it”
    – Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure)

    See what master Tsunetomo is saying is that revenge is about the act of revenge, it’s about doing something, anything! Self preservation isn’t a factor, how it will look isn’t a factor it’s about finding those sons of bitches who touched your daughter and cutting them down irregardless of prison time, irregardless of getting shot, it’s all about ACTION. If you are that driven for revenge then by all means do it and you damn sure deserve to get it. But even if you don’t your enemies and others will see the point and your intent will have served it’s purpose.

    If you aren’t this hardcore about getting it then revenge may not be the way for you but at the same time I don’t believe it’s your place to judge those who choose to bring it when it’s needed.

    Awesome article as always Antonio, I’m fired up – gonna go punch something.

    1. Outstanding response, Greg! I was starting to think that I just have anger problems or something that I need to address from the numerous people who I’ve talked with in person about this article. Most of the people who I have talked with in person about this article have said that seeking revenge is never a good thing. Your response is so reassuring. While I am not a person who wants to make every person pay who wrongs me, I do think there are those times when you just have to make a person who has severely wronged you feel some pain. I think sometimes people get too caught up in traditional moral teachings and forget about the fact that we live in a real world where you have to learn to survive. One will not do much surviving if he does not defend himself against vicious attacks. Some people who I talked to in person have said that my desire to seek revenge on people is childish, but I see their unwillingness to seek revenge on people as a tragic flaw, a tragic flaw that will ultimately lead to their undoing. Again, I very much appreciate your great feedback. Thanks!

  4. Revenge is SWEET! If you feel like revenging Maurice….go ahead! You DO NOT need to justify your grounds for others! Live your life on your own terms.

    #Occupy Revenge on Mothereffers!

  5. I’m a firm believer of karma Antonio and I just wait no matter how long to see the person who inflicted pain on me get what they deserve. This is why revenge is never in my thought process anymore, but when I was a teen I needed to get even. Again, like others have stated it depends on the situation. If someone slaps me, you best believe the revenge will be fast and swift. In other instances where a quick reaction is not needed, karma always comes into play. I have watched countless people over the years who has done some unethical things to people pay the price down the line. I always tell people you rather have karma enter your world fast and swift than slow over time. Great post yet again, you are on a roll!

    1. Yes, Karma does not play with people. I do think that revenge is much more than getting even, though. You have to make people become aware of the harm they’ve done to you to help them to see that their actions have consequences. Revenge, therefore, can be a true teachable moment for people. Thanks so much for your feedback. I always look forward to your feedback. As always, thanks for reading!

  6. Finally! So glad I found this. When I look up revenge online, all I get is ” forgive” and other lame things. I agree it depends on things but I also agree that if someone is a horrible person to you and hurts you, be it mentally or psychically they deserve to be shown you won’t take it lying down.
    My best friend of many years lied to me and secretly hated me behind my back. She was fake to me and then just left me in silence. I will make sure she knows that she cannot treat people this way, no one has let her know it seems and it’s my job to do so.

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