If you’ve been hurt, betrayed, fired, put out in the cold; if you’ve been lied to and hurt, then join the human race.
Let me be quick to say that in no way am I trying to diminish what you’ve gone through. It is hurtful to lose a job, to be betrayed by the very people you’ve loved and trusted, to find yourself on the outside, or to wonder where your next paycheck is going to come from. But it is something that everyone faces sooner or later.
The question is not whether you’ll be betrayed, hurt, or kicked to the curb at some point in your life. The question is what do you do to get even with those who have hurt you, deceived you, attacked you, and gone out of their way to make sure the maximum amount of damage is done to you?
You can sit and ponder about how to get even. You can sulk and become sour and cynical. Or you can get even. Here are the seven best ways I know to get even with those who have done you wrong.
- Be happy. That’s right. Be happy. Smile. Accept that sometimes in life even the best people lose, and sometimes in life things aren’t fair. Accept that it’s just now your turn. Put a smile on your face. Be thankful for what you have left; your life, your health, the friends you have yet to make, the new opportunities that will now come as you’re able to spend time and energy focusing in a new direction. Just be happy. If you can’t find happiness within yourself, on your own terms, then no job or achievement will make you happy. The world is filled with really angry, wealthy, successful people.
- Live well. That is, care for yourself, physically and emotionally. Don’t allow yourself to lie on the couch and feel sorry. Don’t slip into a pity party. Don’t gain weight and let flab develop around your brain. Just simply live well. Get up and go to the gym. Maybe you have extra time to focus on your physical well- being; time you’ve never had before. Just find ways to build habits into your life that you’ve let slip because you’ve been too busy trying to climb the ladder of success.
- Build something. Build a new company. Build a house. Build a strategy. Build a new career. We’re builders, so build something. Just because you have to start all over again, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a bad thing. I’ve learned at the end of every good thing is a better thing waiting to be born if we’re willing to receive it.
- Help someone else who’s going through what you’ve gone through. Get outside yourself and show empathy, compassion, and caring for someone else.
- Gain a reputation for being the most generous, redemptive person in the room. Just because something is taken from you, doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot left to give. Be generous, redemptive; be a healer with your words. Don’t be sour and abrasive. Gain a reputation for being the kind of person that whenever you enter the room, everyone leans forward and smiles. Add something to the conversation. Don’t always be looking for someone’s shoulder to cry on. Find someone and pat them on the back and laugh. Gain the reputation for being the kind of person people want to be like.
- Be redemptive. Think about those who hurt you. Pray for them. Let them go. Don’t worry about retaliation or retribution. Let God balance the scales. Remember that God’s forgiven you much. You’ve been redeemed and graced in ways that you don’t even understand. Since God has treated you lovingly and redemptively, show that characteristic in your life with other people.
- Don’t hide. One of the weirdest things we do in life is that we hide from the people who have hurt us as though we have something to be ashamed of. When you see people who have hurt you, maybe deeply, don’t go out the back door. Don’t run. Walk up to them, extend your hand, smile, lean forward. They’ll wonder what drugs you’re on or what you’ve been smoking because the normal human response is to snub people, and walk on the other side of the road. But you’re bigger and better than that. Don’t hide from people. Don’t shy away. Extend your hand. Ask how they are doing and mean it. Be compassionate and gracious.
Maybe you can think of more, but these are the best ways I know to get even. Your best defense is a life well-lived, not a score to be made even.