why do people seek revenge

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people seek revenge

Why do people seek revenge?
Why do you sometimes feel eager to break the neck of that person who cut you off on the road?
Why do some people find it easier to let go than others?

In order to understand why some people become eager to seek revenge you need to find out what happens inside their brains before they make that decision.

People collect information through their senses then give them a meaning based on their interpretation. If a person took your turn in a queue then you can either assume that he didn't notice you or you can either believe that he did it on intention because he thinks he is more important than you. (see also How incorrect perception affects self confidence)

The way daily events are interpreted can be one of the reasons people try to seek revenge even if others meant no harm to them. But what about the cases when harm is really intended?

All people strive to feel superior in way or another. When someone finds that he was not acknowledged, socially humiliated or harmed in any other way he will feel helpless.

These feelings of helpless might result in low self esteem, imagined weakness and even an identity crisis.

Under the pressure of such powerful emotions many people find great satisfaction in revenge.

The kind of people who seek revenge

While all people might feel like seeking revenge during one point in their lives still there are some people who are more likley to seek revenge than others.

It was found that those who are motivated to seek power, authority or status are more vengeful. In the Solid Self confidence program i said that people seek the things that they believe they lack and the last thing a power seeker would want to feel is helplessness that's why he might respond aggressively to those who make him feel helpless.

Narcissists are among the most vengeful people simply because their believed exaggerated self importance makes them perceive small mistakes as deadly sins.

Because a narcissist thinks that he is more important than others he will consider tiny acts such as ignoring him or bad mouthing him unforgivable mistakes. Narcissists are also more likley to go far when they punish others if they were given the chance.

Do people feel good after getting revenge?

One popular study, which i strongly disagree with, has shown that people feel worse after seeking revenge instead of feeling better. During the study participants were given the chance to punish those who broke the rules to earn more money during the game they played.

At the end of the study they found that those who took revenge felt worse but the researchers missed out a very important question, was the punishment equal in magnitude to the harm done to those people?

Lets suppose that someone bullied you and humiliated you in front of others most probably you will feel good if you punched him once and saw him running away but how will you feel like if you broke his neck and got away away it?

Most probably you will end up feeling worse because of guilt. In other words when you don't get your rights back, provided that you are right, you will feel helpless and even worthless but if you went far and made more damage to the person who violated your rights then you will end up feeling guilty.

This is one reason why most of those who do mass shootings commit suicide. Simply because they believe that they have done something terrible. Had they done mass punching instead they would have went home feeling better about themselves because of the self esteem boost.

This explains why do you sometimes feel great after taking revenge and why in other times you feel really bad. If you found no other way but to take revenge then make sure your punishment is equal in magnitude to the harm that was done to you, however, if you managed to be strong enough to forgive others then this would be even better.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

The Solid confidence program was launched by 2knowmyself.com; the program will either help you become more confident or give you your money back.

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