Does Getting Revenge Make You Happy?

Revenge is a dish best served cold.


If you’ve heard of that, you’ve probably wanted revenge on someone. And it’s normal. When you are angry, you go through a whole spectrum of emotions.


You will feel anger and even sadness. Most of all, you’ll have the desire and the urge to get back. For some people, thinking of ways they can get revenge helps them cope with sadness.


But does revenge make you happy?

Revenge Equals Happiness?

Science backs up the fact that revenge does make you feel happy. This is according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


The study included participants writing personal essays. Then they were told that they would be exchanging essays with other participants for feedback. What they didn’t know was that they would get pre-written ones.


These essays will trash and say bad things about their writing. Feeling bad, they were given voodoo dolls. They were told to imagine the dolls as the person who wrote the feedbacks.


They stuck pins to the voodoo dolls and were asked how it felt. The results were interesting as sticking pins did help boost their mood.


There are even more research, essays, articles, and dissertations that have the same findings.

Actual Revenge or for Convenience?

There was another notable research that was done. Since the findings in the first one were rather vague. They weren’t sure if the volunteers took revenge because they really wanted to. Or maybe it was just convenient.


This research included 154 candidates that were given pills. These pills will supposedly enhance their cognitive skills. But some of the candidates were told that it would also stabilize their mood.


What they didn’t know is that the pills were only placebos.


The volunteers were then asked to play a team-based computer game. It was programmed without their knowledge to look as if some of the players were ignoring them.


Soon after, the researchers gave the volunteers a chance to take revenge. They can send loud music via their headphones. Most of them did so, but those who didn’t were the ones who got the “stabilizing” pills.


Since they believe the revenge won’t improve their mood, they didn’t bother.


With that said, it shows that revenge doesn’t just improve your mood. In fact, people seek out revenge to be happier.

Should You Do It?

Since it helps improve your mood, should you get revenge?


We’ve all been taught since we were young to be “the better man.” Forgive and forget. Revenge is sweet, but it doesn’t make you happy for a long time.


The happiness you feel will be temporary. Soon, you’ll be back to feeling angry and sad. Most of the time, revenge only makes the matter worse. It may seem harmless, but in the end, it can be dangerous.


You may not know it, but the revenge you did may have impacted another life for the worse.

How to Avoid Revenge

There are other ways to ensure you feel better after being angry and sad. Here are some ways to avoid revenge while feeling good:


  • Talk to someone. Venting your feelings out can help take off the burden and will make you feel better.


  • The best revenge is no revenge at all. This way, the people who wronged you will worry why you’re not acting up at all.


  • Cut relationships with toxic people. Don’t be influenced by those who say you should take revenge.


Revenge will feel good at the moment. You’ll feel vindicated, and you’ll feel like the superior person. But in the end, the choices you make will not change what has happened.



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