If your brother said something hurtful to you, how would you respond? If your best friend betrayed you, what would you do? If your neighbor damaged your property and failed to make restitution, how would you handle it?

Some seek revenge. They subscribe to the adage, "Don't get mad. Get even!" After all, "an eye for an eye" is fair, right? Even Donald Trump said that, in business, if someone cheats you cheat ‘em back.

Why would one believe that revenge is an appropriate response? I have found three basic reasons why people choose to get even.

First: when we have been wronged we feel compelled to teach the other a lesson. Giving them a dose of their own medicine will surely teach them not to mess with me.

Secondly, we want them to know how it feels to be hurt, disrespected or betrayed. Maybe they'll think twice before doing it again.

Thirdly, when someone offends us we are in pain. Whether physical, emotional or psychological, the inconsiderate things others do hurt us. We mistakenly believe the way to alleviate our suffering is by inflicting it back upon the other party. (I'll feel better if I hurt them.)

The problem with seeking revenge is that it is a negative behavior and negatives cannot resolve other negatives. They can only be neutralized by a positive.

First, understand that it is not our responsibility to teach anyone anything. It is our responsibility to learn life's lessons. Perhaps, I need to learn to be assertive and address the issue. I can firmly state how I feel and how I expect to be treated.

Secondly, is there anyone who does not know what it feels like to be hurt? None of us are immune to suffering. Instead of causing more pain, try to evoke compassion in the offender by asking if they have ever been hurt or had a similar experience. This can act as a gentle reminder to be more sensitive to others. Also, inquire as to why they did what they did. Perhaps, they were unaware of how you would feel or maybe it was just a misunderstanding.

And finally, know that the way to heal pain is through forgiveness. Choose to resolve your internal anger and put the incident behind you. Which of us has not acted badly at times? To inflict additional pain on another only perpetuates suffering for all and sets a poor example for others to follow.

"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the world blind and toothless." And that, my friend, is an atrocity.

Author's Bio: 

Internationally known motivational and inspirational speaker, Janet is a graduate of Englewood Cliffs College (now St. Peter’s) and is a leader in the field of anger management and conflict resolution.

She serves as a consultant to such companies at the U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, Hoffman-La Roche, Carnival Cruise Lines, AT&T, United Way, YWCA, and more.

Janet is a registered trainer for the N.J. Education Association, training teachers and students throughout the state.

As a survivor of domestic violence, she also works as an instructor at a battered women’s shelter.

Janet hosts her own TV show, Discovering Your Personal Power and is a frequent quest on television and radio. She recently appeared on Fox TV, Steve Adubato’s One-On-One, was highlighted by NBC News and appeared on many others. She has also co-hosted her own talk radio show as well.

An award-winning author and freelance writer, Janet writes a column for the Daily Record as well as articles for such magazines as Woman’s World, N.J. Family, Prime Woman and Living Solo.

She has co-authored a book with Mark Victor Hanson (of Chicken Soup For the Soul) entitled “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol. 3”, wrote “The Secret Side of Anger” (currently available on CD), and has four published children’s books. Janet is listed in “Who’s Who in Authors”.

Additionally, Janet has spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, is a member of the National Police Suicide Foundation and a board member for the World Addiction Foundation. She has been a committee member and keynote speaker for the YWCA’s National Week Without Violence Campaign.

In 2001, Janet founded the nation’s first support group of its kind for families struggling with issues of estrangement. The group, Reunion of Hearts: Reconciling and Reconnecting Estranged Families, was dedicated to the emotional and spiritual healing of family members and very successfully reunited more than 90% of the families.

Janet is also a member of NJAWBO and A Vision In Motion Speaker’s Bureau.

She has been nominated for many prestigious awards including the Russ Berrie “Make a Difference Award”, and has received many others.

Added to her credentials are numerous awards for her nature photography. And in 1994 – 95, Janet was one of the nation’s top female marathon race walkers, winning gold medals at the state level and gold, silver and bronze medals for national marathon competitions. No one has yet broken her record of power walking every single day for more than 26 years.

In her spare time, Janet rescues abandoned and abused dogs (she currently has 3 beautiful mutts), hikes, and spends time with her family.