There are times in your life when people do or say things to you that either are not appropriate or that make your outright angry. For example, when someone comes to your home and steals from you or does intentional damage (vandalism). It angers you, and well it should. It is an outrage against the kindness of other people, and a crime against upstanding people that work hard for what they have. Times such as these are difficult enough when the offenders are strangers, but when the person is someone you thought you knew well, the offense seems so much worse.
Your first emotional response to the wrong-doing is to get revenge. But before you decide to take action, there are some things that you should consider. First of all, how will your actions affect other people, besides the one you are aiming your vengeance at? Perhaps there is a spouse and children, or other relatives that may be affected by your actions. You have to remember that once you take action, it cannot be undone. In other words, you burn your bridges just to see the flames. Getting revenge for someone else’s action does not undo what they have done, either. Being a Michiganian, would you burn down the Mackinac Bridge because someone on the other side of it did you wrong? Of course you wouldn’t.
The next thing to consider is what will happen to you after the deed is done. “For every action, there is an immediate and equal reaction.” You have to carefully consider how your reaction to the situation will affect your future as well as the person on the receiving end of your vengeful act. That “equal reaction” is better off as being a “kill them with kindness” reaction, instead of a harmful act that will affect more than one life. For example, if someone spreads a harmful rumor about you, simply set the facts straight, and move on. You know who you are, and what you have done in your life. It is not what someone else says that should harm you, but instead in what you say and do.
Your reaction to anger should not be burning bridges, but instead building them. Find out why the person did what they did, and then find a solution to the problem. If you handle the situation calmly and properly, you may find that instead of standing back and watching the flames, you can extinguish them once and forever, with a new bridge intact.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT.