A friend stealing a love interest, a loved one sharing your deepest, darkest secret with someone else, or a job promotion going to your competitor; when someone wrongs us, we have two options:
- Get even, or
- Get over it.
While nothing seems more pleasurable than causing the same amount of hurt and ‘just desserts’ as what they served us, it’s not surprising that revenge isn’t the best path to follow.
Betrayal and Hormones
Betrayal – it’s not a nice feeling which may consist of symptoms like hot flushes, crying, raised heart rates, increased cortisol and questioning everything we’ve ever known.
As humans, we’ve probably all experienced (or committed) betrayal at some point in our lives. To betray is to shatter trust, and our trust in someone or something can break oh, so quickly!
When we’re betrayed, we feel offended and it feels (as betrayal is an emotion) as if we need justice, and that’s where spite comes in.
According to science, our spiteful appetite for revenge in the face of betrayal is pretty much unavoidable. For this, we can thank a chemical in our brain, which wants us to seek revenge on the person who hurt us.
Feelings of betrayal are chemical? How?
The feeling of trust comes initially from oxytocin, the ‘love,’ ‘cuddle’ or ‘bonding’ hormone. When that bond is broken, it’s the same love/cuddle/bonding hormone that leaves us feeling hungry for revenge.
The science behind our responses
As oxytocin makes us feel happy and safe, a sense of betrayal floods out the good feelings and replaces it with hyper-arousal and a hyper-vigilance for physical or emotional attacks. So, much like the fight-or-flight response, oxytocin is trying to PROTECT you from negative emotions you’re about to face.
While we’re physically in the 21st century, our body’s responses are still, well – mostly primitive.
But good news! We don’t have to react to each and every negative emotion these days, we can respond, instead.
Learn to ‘get over it’ with a coach
Wouldn’t it be nice to let go of grudges, revenge plots and live an emotionally healthy life?
Thankfully, your Perth business and life coach can teach you the tools and strategies to do exactly that.
Stop getting even, start getting over it and reach your highest performance level in your personal and business relationships.
A good start? Learning that reacting and responding are two very different approaches to betrayal.
Next time you feel a sense of betrayal, I ask you to reflect, respond and get over it rather than get even. While our body is begging us to enact revenge and feeding us negativity, allow your wisdom and strength to take the reins, and rise above it all to become the bigger person.