When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair… How to Get Past Feelings of Anger and Revenge.

The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. – Marcus Aurelius.

Img credit: Visual Panic, Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualpanic

(This is a post by Alden Tan)

This was the first time in life where I actually felt my thoughts were being materialized in real-time.

And the feelings I had back then weren’t as great as I thought they would be.

I remember it very clearly.

I was at a club with a good friend of mine when he was ambushed by a couple kids. One of them managed to land a couple of punches on his face.

Soon after, the security department of the club took over the situation by dragging all of us out of the club. The kids were subsequently banned from the club.

Now the thing is, it didn’t end there. 

My friend wanted revenge. 

He’s a typical hot-headed guy with an ego, and for someone to be punched in the face like that, it wasn’t something he could easily let go. 

He asked me to follow him to find the kids outside the club. I didn’t do anything to stop him because I felt it would’ve been futile (I should have).

We found the kids…

After a small altercation, my friend gave an extremely skilful and precise punch on the face of his attacker.

The result?

- The kid was flat out on the ground for a while.
- My friend lost his job at the club (we actually both worked there together) as the father of the kid called in to pursue the manner and wanted to press charges.
- From what the father said, the kid suffered a fracture and required surgery.

Now, this may sound like a rather detailed story of a fight. It may be just another kind of drama to you or even just a bad case of immaturity.

But it’s a lot more to me.

You see, I too am quite an angry person.

I’ve never been in a fight before in my life and sometimes I actually feel I got to be in one to really become a “man”. 

I feel so wronged in life so many times that “life is an unfair” is like a dogma to me, where my wrongdoers always “win”.

I actually thought it would’ve been great to see justice being meted out by my friend. 

But it wasn’t.

Instead I felt a series of heightened emotions and uneasiness that made me reflect on my life.

This is a little guide and reflection post for those out there who feel they’ve always been dealt a shorter hand in life, where being a good person doesn’t seem to be all that great.

1) It doesn’t feel as great as you think it would be.

Has your mind ever overtaken by an array of negative, revenge-fantasy style thoughts because you felt wronged and felt you need to carry them out to make yourself feel better? 

Of course, at the time, it seems justified to you. You “didn’t do anything wrong” and others are just out to “make your life miserable”… so they “deserve” it.

But you know better. It really doesn’t feel that great even though it seems like it would at the time.

When I witnessed my friend hit the kid, at first I felt happy for my friend.

Then, I didn’t feel good. It wasn’t because of the possible consequences, but a surreal kind of discomfort. 

The media today may glamorize violence or acting out your thoughts to the extreme, but when it actually happens for real, it may not be what you expect. Far from it, in fact.

2) It takes a certain kind to act out what you think.

That being said, I believe it takes a certain kind to really act out your thoughts, to carry out whatever measures you need to do to make yourself feel better.

I’m talking about getting into fights, telling off your boss or confronting a friend. Anything extreme

Now, I’m not saying you aren’t brave to really walk the talk, but for that matter, I actually think it’s good you know how to act properly even when the situation gets heated up. 

It’s this tipping point that can make a lot of difference in your own life.

So at this crucial point, would you want to cross over and possibly create irreversible damage? 

Don’t do it.

3) Consequences will ALWAYS follow like a law.

Whatever it is you do in life, there will be consequences.

And you need to face up to it.

Maybe you didn’t “get caught” or someone isn’t out there to exact revenge on you, but everything you do can have an effect on you emotionally, immediately or in the long run.

Now, the important thing is, do you think you can handle the consequences? Can you handle the possible guilt involved? Can you live with yourself for the rest of your life knowing that you have it in you to act a certain way? 

Accepting the way life works, even when we can’t seem to understand…

This incident with my friend affected me a lot. 

And after much reflection, deep down I knew I was just afraid to lose a fight if I was caught in one.

I dealt with a limiting belief that I’ve not graduated from manliness because I’ve never “taken someone down” before. 

This is fear, a little low self-esteem and insecurity inside of me. 

I know sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want, and that makes us feel frustrated or even sad with everything. But, if you think about it, things actually happen for that very reason for you to live a life of peace and happiness that you may otherwise not have experienced.

Have you ever felt like this or taken ‘revenge’ only to realize it didn’t feel all that great after all? Let me know in the comments! 

Alden Tan is a blogger, bouncer and breakdancer, and he pulls it all off with style by not caring what others think about him. He quit his job last year to pursue his dream of being a writer.

He has no regrets, as he’s constantly growing and evolving. Want to care less about what others think of you? Click here.
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** Want MORE BLISS and less stress in your life? Inner Sparkle: The 21 Day eCourse is made for you. Click here to get inspired. Happy. Sparkly. **

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  1. says

    I am also prone to fits of rage. They have not resulted in physical violence, but I can get aggressive and very angry. I recognize it and it’s not something I am proud of. I need to find my own “zen” somewhere and find a way to make my anger dissipate.
    Kiran

    • says

      Checked out your blog, love your clever style of writing and sense of humour, Kiran! When I was younger my dad’s biggest worry for me was that my anger would lead me to destruction one day. I’ve since tempered down a LOT and rarely get angry, when I do I know it’s a clear sign I have some deep internal work to do. I find that I am angriest when I am feeling let down or scared so I dig into those feelings. Anger is just a cover for something deeper.. have you found that too? Great to connect, thanks for reading & commenting. Tia.

  2. says

    Absolutely!

    I think most of us would have taken revenge, either when we were younger or may be even now when we are mature enough to understand.

    Revenge as we all know isn’t something that’s good, yet we take it because it satisfies us and gives us that momentary pleasure. However, it’s the after affects, just as you mentioned that take the toll on us lifelong.

    I guess it works best to either resolve things by talks, and if that doesn’t work, then it’s best to forgive, forget, and move on, wherever possible. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but if we really want to be at peace with ourselves, nothing else really works.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

    BTW- Congratulations for the nomination at Holly’s blog Tia, that’s from where I headed over to your blog to connect. :)

    • says

      Yes it’s all about letting go!

      Revenge somehow has been given good “media” attention, when actually the underlying message is to simply let go.

      The bitter sweet feeling of getting even doesn’t really help!

    • says

      Thanks so much Harleena, that was a lovely surprise and on my 2 year blog anniversary too :) Will check out the rest of the blogs when I have some time although yours was one of the 3 that I already checked out, being a fellow Ms Singh and all. Look forward to connecting further with you! Tia.

      • says

        Oh – then that calls for a double congratulations Tia!

        Aha…I didn’t know you too are a Singh, which makes you from India, is it? Nice to know your Dad’s from the Air Force, because mine was in the Army too. Nice to connect indeed :)

        • says

          Yep! I grew up all over India thanks to dad being posted all over every couple of years :) Left India in 2000 and have since lived in the US, New Zealand, and Canada! Ha, service brats – love it!

  3. says

    I wasn’t there, so I can’t pass judgement on the case of your friend seeking his revenge.

    However, I believe from observations over a long life (mainly spent in Africa where violence is endemic) that much of societies problems today, sense of entitlement, school bullying,sense of futility, spread of big government etc. stems from too little action against the bad guys and of increasing tolerance for the erosion of individual rights.

    You mention consequences, you are absolutely correct, consequences do follow like the law. Regrettably, the consequences of not taking action or standing up for principles, allow the bad guys to get more brazen and escalate their anti-social behaviour.

    People with no sense of right from wrong only understand strength, they see compassion or tolerance for their bad acts as weakness and will continue to exploit the decent majority.

    • says

      Hey Peter,

      Nicely said, about the part on people who only understand strength.

      I think true strength and heroics emerge from being able to let go, take in whatever the world throws at you, and YET still pick yourself up and move on with life.

  4. Rohan says

    I liked the way this story was told, the emotions can be felt.

    I suppose the basic idea is that when others do something evil, it is because of how they are and not really anything to do with you. They are just acting on their subconscious; they are just acting on their own weakness. Think about it yourself, when we are at our best, when we are our conscious self the thought of doing something evil never arises as we have no enemy within or outside. So why let someone else’s dysfunctioned mind affect you and change your vision for yourself?

    I can understand physical violent behavior to you may indeed cause a degree of rage. That is acceptable. But an equivalent revenge will create a crazy cycle which will have consequences as you mentioned. However, psychologically harmful violent behavior should ideally not hamper us.

    Once these realizations are achieved the thought of revenge never arises. But what happens is that we start being compassionate to every situation and everyone :)

    I have never lived in an extreme environment where people have been violent to me unexplainably and hence would not be able to relate exactly. However the best thing that can happen to this world is for more people to become awakened. For that I appreciate this article by Alden, this blog http://www.yourlifeyourway.net, I appreciate Tia :) for giving her daily inspirations without fail & with full energy and everyone who has posted here with their versatile articles/experiences/thoughts.

  5. Chrissie says

    Thank you for this. I needed it. I’ve recently had a falling out with my housemates and we are practically ignoring each other now, because of a misunderstanding regarding my habit of keeping a straight face. Since then, it has been a tough ride managing my anger. I felt so angry at them for what they did, and so angry at myself because things could have been different if I acted differently back then. It has been a week now and the anger isn’t that deep anymore. But still.. I do keep having fantasies of violence, of slapping them or just doing very bad things to them. It makes me feel like a psychotic person…

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