How To Make Someone Feel Bad Like They Did To Me
By: William Drake
Updated February 09, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Elizabeth Strong
When someone wrongs you or makes you feel bad, you might want karma to send them a little payback. Depending on how angry you are, you might even be plotting your own revenge, trying to figure out how to make them feel as awful as you did. It often feels unfair and unjustified to not be able to retaliate, or to be forced to let things go. We may want to make the other person feel as bad as we felt; but this type of behavior can lead us to hold onto toxic grudges that cause us more harm in the end.
We may ask ourselves, "Why do some people treat others so cruelly?" If a certain someone always makes you feel miserable, sad, or angry, should you do anything about it? Is it better to shrug it off and move on, or should you address your negative feelings head on? In this article, we'll talk about the best way to deal with justified anger.
Help Them Realize Their Actions Were Wrong
If you believe someone caused you harm, one of the best ways to get even is to help them realize how his or her actions have affected you. If you speak to them one-on-one, you may be able to offer insight into what transpired between you two and offer another perspective. In the best-case scenario, this person will see how their actions hurt you, apologize, and avoid this behavior in the future.
In order to have the best possible chance of success, be sure to organize your thoughts before you speak to them and come prepared with what you want to address. Do you best to be in a calm, even mood, and speak clearly and concisely without going off on tangents that are unrelated to what happened. It can even be helpful to practice what you plan to say or to role play the conversation with someone you trust first.
However, there is a chance that the person you confront will not understand or agree that their actions were wrong. In this case, you might have to agree to disagree, but at least you had the chance to air your feelings. Hopefully, speaking your mind in a respectful way will help dissipate the negative feelings you've been experiencing. If not, there are other ways that you can clear this negative energy.
Retaliation Is Not the Way
It's possible that this person did something unforgivable. You might feel the need to retaliate to save your pride. While understandable, this is not a healthy option for anyone involved. It also doesn't accomplish anything.
Though you might feel vindicated in the moment, the feeling is unlikely to last. Then you will have to deal with the feelings from the original injustice, in addition to the guilt that will accompany the retaliation. If you believe that what they did is unforgivable, is it something you wouldn't be able to forgive yourself for? Are you sure? We never recommend hurting anyone emotionally or physically. If you've already tried speaking with them, it's time to consider other options.
Talk to a friend or family member about what happened. They will likely agree that you were wronged, and sometimes validation can be just what you need to put something behind you. Alternatively, they may offer a different perspective on the matter that enables you to move on.
It is also a good idea to sit with the feelings you're experiencing. Feelings eventually pass; like a wave, they eventually break on the shore. The better you get at sitting with feelings and letting them pass, the better you'll be at recognizing that these feelings will not harm you. Often, the worst they can do is make you feel uncomfortable for a while. It's not fun, but it's better than dealing with the aftermath if you do retaliate. And think about how retaliating will make you feel. Won't it put you on the same level as the person you dislike? Process these feelings, and move on.
One of the best ways to change your mindset is to try to have compassion for the person who wronged you. Could it be that they lashed out at you because they were responding to something that happened in their own life? It might not be about you at all. They may not even know that you were collateral damage in something that was completely unrelated to you.
Having compassion for others can give us the opportunity to understand others better and see that they are not all that different from us. Of course, it doesn't make certain actions okay, but it can help us to understand what caused them.
Finally, set boundaries. Healthy boundaries in relationships ensure that each individual is treated in a way that he or she deserves. Communicate your beliefs and feelings honestly in order to set healthy limits, so you both feel respected and understood. We teach others how to treat us, and with healthy boundaries, relationships can flourish,
Seek Closure Through Counseling
If you decide that you want to let go of the anger you feel toward this person, you might notice that it isn't easy to do alone. A counselor can help you process what they did and help you come to terms with it.
An increasingly large body of research points to online therapy as an effective method of helping people with powerful emotions, such as anger or sadness, manage those feelings. For example, in one study, researchers examined the effects of online therapy on individuals experiencing harmful or destructive anger, noting specifically its negative effects on interpersonal relationships. The study found that online counseling can work to significantly reduce anger in participants. Online therapy platforms often provide remote access to resources, including counseling, interactive exercises, and educational resources, which can help individuals dealing with complicated emotions to work through treatment even when they aren’t in sessions.
As mentioned above, if you’re having trouble letting go of emotions arising out of a conflict with a friend or loved one, online therapy is there to help you work through your feelings. With BetterHelp, you have the option of participating in therapy completely anonymously. You won’t have to provide your contact info upon registration—simply select a “nickname,” and your identity will be protected. And because there are no pricey offices or similar expenses, online therapy through BetterHelp is often more affordable than traditional, in-person therapy. Memberships with BetterHelp start at $60 per week, and you’re able to cancel at any time. A licensed online counselor can guide you on the path toward letting go of unhealthy emotions directed toward certain people in your life. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp therapists, from those who have sought help in the past.
"In my short time working with Teneka, I feel more understood and supported than I thought was possible. After our very first session, she brought so much to my attention in a new way I had never thought of things before. I actually truly look forward to my sessions and feel like she has help me uncover deep challenges and hurts I experienced as a child that have truly changed and shaped the way I view myself and my life. I love that she is honest but positive. Coming from a low place in life, it's often that small day of light that can bring someone out of the overwhelming darkness. So thankful that I am blessed to be working with Teneka."
"Mary Smith is very thoughtful and a great listener. I can tell she has a lot of experience dealing with many situations and people, which gives me comfort. She always stays on track with my concerns and goals, and always offers relavent suggestions and tools to help me to conquer issues. I definitely recommend Mary Smith to anyone who feels stuck in their toxic ways formed by difficult past experiences, but you want to overcome. I believe Mary has the skills to help someone who really wants to change for the better."
Feeling like we need to get back at someone can be poisonous, affecting our thoughts and actions in a negative and unhealthy way. We've all been wronged at one point or another, but there is light ahead. Your feelings about that other person may never change completely, but you can learn to let go of your grudge for the sake of your own happiness. Truly fulfilling relationships are possible—all you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.
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