Being a Petty, Vengeful Bitch Is Bad for Your Health
Tired: Describing revenge as sweet.
Wired: Taking a page from Nelson Mandela, Malachy McCourt or St. Augustine and comparing the quest for revenge to drinking poison and expecting the other person to croak.
Because, at the very least, new research confirms that being spiteful and bitter isn’t going to do anything other than make you sick.
To reach this conclusion, psychologist Everett Worthington and his fellow researchers developed a series of exercises and prompts designed to teach people how to let go of their hard feelings and learn how to forgive. They then recruited 4,598 participants from throughout the world and asked half of the group to complete the exercises within the span of two weeks. After the two-week period, the group that completed the workbooks had become more forgiving, less anxious and less depressed.
Although the data is preliminary and currently under review for publication by a medical journal, Worthington, a professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, is optimistic about the future of forgiveness. “Forgiveness can change relationship dynamics and prevent a lot of very costly things that can happen in society,” he told The Washington Post.
In that way, forgiveness may be like eating vegetables, working out or any other healthy habit — it’s annoying, but you should do it anyway. And if that doesn’t do the trick for you, think about the satisfaction that comes from being able to drop a very passive-aggressive “I forgive you.”