The old saying, “Don’t get mad, get even,” has been bandied about for years as a way of exacting quiet revenge.
We love revenge movies where justice is meted out in a seemingly unjust world.
For the fifth time, I recently watched the movie “Peppermint,” starring Jennifer Garner.
Watching Jennifer’s character exact revenge on the people responsible for murdering her husband and daughter never gets old.
So why would a law-abiding person like myself cheer for lawlessness and vigilante justice?
After all, what would society look like if everyone took matters into their own hands?
And unless you are a sociopath, vigilante justice might not bring you the joy you think it does in real life.
But it does feel good to see aggressors and bullies get their just deserts cinematically.
This feeling is especially true if you are a hypersensitive introvert.
How would life be if you could get mad and even simultaneously?
Researchers Schumann and Ross (2010), in their report, “The Benefits, Costs, and Paradox of Revenge,” said:
Although revenge can deter future harm, promote cooperation, and restore avengers’ self-worth and power, it can also contribute to conflict escalation and adverse psychological outcomes for avengers, such as depression and reduced life satisfaction.
Marissa Higgins, a writer for online magazine Bustle, said:
…While getting revenge might help you feel validated in the moment, it ultimately doesn’t change your life or circumstances. And, while some acts of getting revenge may seem “harmless,” they can also be dangerous and cause serious damage to someone’s life or livelihood (para. 8).
In exacting any form of revenge, it is crucial to evaluate your mental wellness. In other words, you are weighing the pros and cons of your actions from every conceivable angle.
Revenge isn’t for the faint of heart. But, like any process with long-term effects, it is important to be logical.
After all, you desire to restore your peace and tranquility instead of adding new layers of malaise to the equation.
As such, revenge should be served with cold logic.
Up to this point, we have discussed the movie type of revenge, which the average person will rarely face.
But there are the everyday nuisances of people bringing their problems and insecurities into your personal space that produce friction.
In this context, actions should be Machiavellian or appropriate for the occasion.
Instead of naked violence, we utilize local codes, city ordinances, and policies and procedures to neutralize individuals.
In this vein, we are surgically removing people from our lives through sanctions, reprimands, and firings to reestablish order and tranquility.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways of getting revenge without physically harming people.
There are enough legal tools in our social arsenal for strategic thinking introverts to gain justice.
Often, anti-intellectuals lack the knowledge and discipline to use legal methods to inflict financial, psychological, and physical harm on transgressors.
Here are three opportunities you can pursue to get revenge strategically:
Weaponizing corporate policies and procedures
Generally, efficiently run organizations have policies and procedures to remedy past infractions by employees. However, some corporate managers rule by custom rather than by policy. Individuals who take the time to review organizational charts and read policies and procedures are using corporate mandates to arm themselves against mistreatment. The financial fallout for companies not anticipating current and foreseeable challenges can be astronomical.
Even managers who are adept at standard operating procedures get lackadaisical due to the numerous responsibilities carried within their position. No matter how taxing the corporate obligations may become, having precise and up-to-date knowledge of corporate policies is like having a loaded pistol by your bed if there is ever a home invasion.
Exercising the strong arm of the law
City codes, ordinances, and state and federal laws exist to perpetuate and maintain civilization. In addition, jurisprudence around the globe is in place to protect citizens against the selfish interest of human nature.
The best way of taking the law into your hands is using your hands to activate the law.
Much like being proficient in corporate policies and procedures, law enforcement for retribution rests on knowing what rules apply to addressing specific infractions.
Direct and covert attacks against aggressors can lead to financial upheaval.
Hefty fines, compensatory damages, and legal fees can inflict more harm than physical attacks.
And the effects can be long-term.
Instead of direct physical confrontations, document the infraction, cite the law and forward it to the appropriate enforcement agency.
Leveraging the power of letter writing to the media and corporate heads
For many, letter writing is a lost art form. However, you will get better results when writing a targeted letter to the right people.
An adage suggests that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Writing a letter to a corporate head and copying it to a media representative generally garners results.
The last thing a reputable company wants is negative press.
The idea is that people who have not been legitimately victimized do not lodge letter-writing campaigns.
And most reasonable qualms are generally settled in favor of the aggrieved party.
Strategic thinking introverts use their anger as fuel for revenge. The lasting effect of a well-placed attack can cause irreparable damage. The bigger the transgression, the larger the fallout.
In a world that acts merely on emotions, introverts that use cold, calculating, and strategic methods of revenge usually win in the end.
They have the time and patience to use the legal tools available.
Author George R.R. Martin wrote in, A Clash of Kings:
“I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
These are words to live by.
Higgins, M. (2017, Jan. 6). Thinking about “Getting Revenge?” Read this. Bustle. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3pkOxx8.
Revenge quotes (n.d.). Goodreads. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3w4eqoJ.
Schumann, K. and Ross, M. (2010, April 12). The benefits, costs, and paradox of revenge. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3jANAiL.