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Psychology

Why do people take revenge and is it as life-enhancing as is commonly believed

What is revenge and why do we crave it?
According to dictionaries, revenge is the intentional infliction of evil, unpleasantness in order to repay an insult, offense or suffering; retaliation for something.

According to psychologists, revenge is an action born out of resentment, pain, humiliation, and insult that a person’s ego cannot bear.
This is usually taught in childhood by parents who say: you were hit, pushed, insulted – hit, push, insult in return. Thus children do not try to consider the situation, to discuss the problem in order to solve it, but they learn to take revenge. And for the same reason, the child gets used to remembering the offense. Because he came home, he told the adults, he was offered a solution – revenge. He has to reproduce it the next time in front of the offender, that is memorized.
For the one who wants revenge, it becomes a tool to restore justice. And everyone understands this process in his own way: someone immediately responds to the offender and calms down, and someone for a long time invents an elaborate reprisal. In fact, this justice is just one of the cognitive distortions.

What happens to the body when a person takes revenge
Psychologists note: In the short term, anger increases the pleasure of revenge. It affects areas of the brain associated with reward-the same areas activated by drug use. And the hormones responsible for this feeling evoke joy not only after some action is taken, but also in the process of waiting, in anticipation. So a person may feel better when they simply plan to punish the abuser.

However, at the end, many people note mixed emotions. And at the turn of the day, revenge is not sweet, but rather sweet and bitter. Over time, the scale may tip in the direction of bitterness, because a person cools down and looks at the situation more rationally.

In addition, the process of vindictive behavior in the body produces a lot of cortisol. And in the long run, this can lead to depression, for example.

Can revenge help to cope with the problem
In addition to the risk of depression already mentioned, there are other downsides to seeking revenge.

Revenge does not help to resolve conflict
It does not have such a goal, it is meant to restore justice. But such actions obviously cannot eliminate the causes and consequences of conflict. For example, in kindergarten, when one child accidentally steps on the foot of another child, the other child responds in the same way, it seems that everything is fair. But in fact we have two children with broken toes.

In addition, the avenger administers justice according to his notions of good and evil. But they are not as universal as is commonly believed.

Revenge gives only the illusion of a just world. Man hastily draws irrational conclusions from wrong or biased attitudes in his head. He is sure that by committing an act of vengeance, he will feel relief and justice will be restored. But this is not entirely true. The first desire is to compensate for his suffering and relieve the emotional charge, but the effect is greatly exaggerated.

It prolongs the traumatic experience.
Revenge can prolong suffering instead of resolving the situation and helping to restore balance. After all, violence begets violence, and the other person may also begin to retaliate.

 

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