How To: Get Revenge
7 ways to ruin someone. Cause sometimes forgiving and forgetting isn’t enough.
“Revenge is sweet and not fattening “ — Alfred Hitchcock
“Look, I get it. You’re really angry right now. But listen to me — that feeling will fade. Don’t do anything rash, you don’t want to look back on this and regret acting out.”
My mum said that to me after I told her I hated someone in 2014*. She was wrong. I still hate him, and truthfully I know I always will. What’s worse, is the only thing I regret is not seeking red hot revenge**. Sure, sometimes your emotions can flare up temporarily, but there are times when it’s more than a flare. It’s a call to action to defend yourself against the fool who wronged you.
I realise that “How To’s” should be about helping you becoming the best person, but sometimes, the best people get hurt. That’s why I decided to go against type. As a girl who just cannot lose her temper***, this post is all about the secretly dreamed of, if never realised, ways we all would like seek REVENGE.
1. Go low.
It isn’t big and it isn’t clever, but my God, it does the job. Here are some examples from my ‘friends’ (no really, they are my friends, not my ‘friends’).
“Oh, just spread rumours. I once made sure that my ex’s next girlfriend thought he had crabs. I got my friend to help. It started pretty slyly, just y’know, whispering around the place, but by the end of the night, I stuck my head around the door to the girls’ toilets and shouted, “Does anyone know [NAME]?” There were a few muffled agreeing noises, so I just yelled, “Yeah well, he came back from holiday absolutely riddled with crabs.””
2. Make sure they know what you’re capable of, deliver a vague threat and fill the rest of their life with the imminent fear of reprisal.
I love this one. Usually, for someone to truly betray you, they needed to have been close to you at some stage. While they might know how to hurt you, that’s a two-way threat.
So whether you have some dirt on them, will be more professionally powerful than them or just know they are truly horrendous in bed — there’s a certain power in calmly accepting their behaviour and looking them dead in the eye to communicate that they will pay. Then, just forget about them and live your life. Or, rain down your revenge at an unknown point in the future. Who knows what you’ll do? They certainly don’t.
3. Immortalise them.
Let’s talk culture. If someone has messed you around, why not use your skills to make sure everyone knows about it? If all stories and songs are thinly-veiled autobiographical expressions anyway, this means behind every great villain is some absolute arsehole of a human being.
So while you become famous, they are stuck in a conundrum. Do they react to the (clear-to-them) damning indictment of their character, and therefore reveal themselves as the must dreadful of dreadfuls (hello, Adele!), or do they silently absorb it, protecting the true extent of their awfulness from the general public, but knowing that their shittiness has brought you fame and adoration? Either way, they lose.
4. Send a bag of dicks to their office.
From an anonymous sender, it’s clearly not the act of a fan, and will leave others wondering what you did to anger someone like this.
5. Get even.
The flat-out, eye-for-an-eye revenge. A bit more mature than going low, it is out-and-out war. This is for when your acts of revenge cannot really damage you, and so often is reserved for moments when you have truly been wronged, and by society’s standards, are due a revenge.
You will go for the jugular. They will know it, you will know it. They crossed you professionally, you will repay in kind. They cheated on you? You will make sure everyone knows about it.
6. Get successful.
This is what I most often think, as I wave off arseholes from my life. As someone who actively avoids confrontation, the dream of becoming so wildly successful that the other party regrets being a dick is utterly delicious to me.
My thinking is as follows:
- Person wrongs you. You are hurt.
- Instead of lashing out and dipping to their level, you absorb their rubbish behaviour with the zen calm of the enlightened.
- You eliminate them from your life (often phasing them out, so it’s not too harsh and your reputation can remain in tact).
- You go on to do something of note. They will see it, and hopefully, contact you, so you can ignore it.
Much to my insurmountable joy, female comic Sarah Millican has lived out my fantasy. As part of her “Outsider” show, she spoke about her husband, her hairy toes and her rescue dog. The best bit however, was when a former bully emailed her.
The bully emailed a long message, vaguely showing off, but also clearly trying to connect with Sarah in order to show off to her sons that , “Look, Mummy went to school with that comedian on the telly.” Sarah Millican dutifully read out the email, but then revealed that this woman (she used her name as well) was one of her bullies (sorry kids, but Mummy was a bully!) and said she replied simply to the email that she didn’t remember her “in a favourable light”. BAM! Integrity intact, but revenge nonetheless.
7. Plot and execute their downfall.
Mean Girls was a great movie for many reasons, but primarily for the military-precision life destruction of Regina George. Non-plastic Janis highlights Regina’s sources of strength and creates a plan to destroy them, thus destroying Regina.
It’s the revenge of dreams, and sadly, can only exist in movies or in the minds of psychopaths. I may or may not be that psychopath.
So there we have it, friends. Seven ways to bring hell into someone’s life. I know everything tells us to be good people, but sometimes, a little revenge is good for the soul. Just keep it legal (or untraceable****) yeah?
*More specifically, my German ex-boyfriend who hooked up with one of my close friends (I’m talking a wee group of four gal pals. She had helped nurse me through the disintegrating relationship, drowning me in wine while telling me I could do much better than him, etc. etc., repeat to fade) approximately 20 minutes after I broke up with him. He then proceeded to ask people to not tell me and then waited till I’d been mugged (complete with punch around the face) and specifically, the day my dog died back home in Ireland, to casually ask “When’s the best time to mention we’re seeing other people? Does it make a difference if it’s someone we know?” Never has the collective pronoun fucked me off as much, and that was only the start of it. Ah well, he scheduled dates with Google Calendar, and she’s clearly a treacherous bastard, so they are welcome to each other.
**Or, y’know, cold revenge. I’ve heard it’s good too.
***Ever since I read Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton, I’ve not been able to lose my temper. The main character, Darrell Rivers was renowned for her fiery temper, and somehow, my seven year old self related to this. Enid Blyton let Darrell become Head Girl, but only after realising that suppressing your reactions is the best and only way to behave.
Seriously, my friend Mike has spent years trying to get me to lose my temper. He thinks it’s not healthy to not have a big ol’ anger lash-out, but I just can’t do it. The awfulness of potentially acting out without just cause is much worse than the repressed regret of “ah man, I would have been within my rights to get angry there, actually”. Result? I don’t get angry. So this blog post is about as close as I’ve got to actually exercising FURIOUS REVENGE, but please don’t let my reticence stop you. Go forth and kick arse!
****No, really, actually keep it legal.