The Best Revenge is keeping your Distance

by Madeline Laughs

What I found to be true…

They say that when people hurt you the best revenge is living well. It has been my observation that once the people that hurt you start to realize you’re living well, they will be just nice enough to make you trust them again…so they can shit on your new found happiness.

People that hurt you the first time will hurt you the second time too. You worked hard to get some distance from them. Be nice, but don’t be stupid. Keep your distance and stay happy. 

This was a status update I posted to my Facebook profile today. This occurred to me after watching events unfold over the last year. While I have remained true to my convictions, I have watched some of my closest friends and loved ones make some moves that perplexed me. Since I couldn’t blame Early Onset Alzheimer for their loss of memory, I decided that their decisions to Forgive and Forget were something they would have to grapple with on their own. How they could ever trust some of these people that literally tried to rip their lives apart was not something I even wanted to understand.

I have been chided as unforgiving, but I am one of the most forgiving people you will ever meet. But just because I forgive someone doesn’t mean I will ever associate with them again, because it is likely that I will most definitely not. You see, I don’t forgive people for them, I forgive them for me. I don’t even make a big deal about it and I can tell you that 100% of the time the person that transgressed against me will never even know that in my heart they have no marks against them.

I do it for me and then I let them go.

Besides why would I go out of my way to show them any more of my kindness? Haven’t they reaped enough of my goodness and then shit all over it? But why are there people out there that continue to go back to relationships, friendships and associations that have already proven they were toxic to them? Why would someone continue to drink poison to make themselves sick after they have experienced what it feels like to be healthy?

I think the living well part has a lot to do with it. Once you’re back in a groove and everything in your life is back to being rosy and no one is putting great effort into tearing you down, you feel stronger. You feel like you can overcome the hurdles and obstacles this person threw in your path. You feel like you’re above the bullshit.

Here’s something for you to chew on if you’re suddenly feeling like Superman to the toxic friend’s cryptonite. You might feel like you’ve changed, but what changed was the elimination of the toxic friend. You are still the same person you’ve always been, but you’re better because you made the decision not to surround yourself with losers.

Trust me, the toxic friend hasn’t changed either.

If you’re allergic to shellfish and they make you deathly ill why would you think that just because some time has passed that suddenly you can handle eating shellfish? Unless you’re willing to inoculate yourself against the dangers of eating shellfish poison, then they will still hurt you. So why not just change your diet? If after all this you still feel like you just have to eat shellfish, then prepare yourself to always have an epipen in your back pocket for when the anaphylactic shock sets in.

One thing I have noticed is that once the toxic person realizes your life has taken a turn in a good direction, they will figure out a new way to cozy back up to you. This is a person that went to great pains to tear you down the first time. Do you really think that their intentions are to now be your greatest champion? Hell no! The only thing you represent to them is another entertaining chance to see how long it will take them to put you right back in your place again.

I have bought all the lies before. I used to be the person first in line to welcome the toxic right back into my life, over and over again. I suffered for it. I’m not invincible! I’m still first in line sometimes, though those times become less and less as I age.

Please tell her that what she thought happened, didn’t really happen.

Please tell her to be my friend again. I didn’t mean to hurt her.

I don’t know what happened there, but please tell her that I still love her.


What exactly am I supposed to believe happened? Didn’t they have the chance when it was happening to backtrack once they felt I misunderstood? So all the gossip and mean lies they told was by accident? Really? I don’t think I’ve ever had an accident that was that accidental. If they didn’t mean to hurt me then, what in the world would it feel like once they do it on purpose?! Damn! Am I so stupid I would wait for that shoe to drop? And if that is love, then I’m not in the market to have any more of that kind of love. I think I can find real love in the bargain bin that would beat that kind of love any day.

The statements of irony I’ve had passed back to me over the years have put my jaw squarely on the floor in disbelief and incredulity. Maybe this works on some people, but when you’re serious about regaining someones trust your best behavior is to be sincere and speak directly to the person you hurt. Passing a message back to them via another person is more insulting than not saying anything at all. It is arrogant and disingenuous. It means nothing.

Whichever shoes you’re wearing, here’s my advice to you.

If you’re the toxic person and your own insecurities and shortcomings have caused you to rip your friend to shreds behind their backs just so you can feel good for a split minute when another toxic person agrees with you, then perhaps you need to take a step back and look at why you felt this was good for you. When you see how depraved and putrid it all smells, please remind yourself that what you are viewing is your own heart.

Is this how you want to live the rest of your life?

How long will it be until you’re left with no one in your life that is good?

How long will it be before your own toxic friends do the same thing to you? If they don’t already *wink, wink*

If you find yourself in a situation of being devastated by the betrayal of someone you thought was your friend, then take heart. This person wasn’t your friend to start with, so you haven’t lost a thing that’s good or worthy. What you have lost is a lot of heartbreak and the one thing you should be feeling right now is FREEDOM! (a good friend shared the “freedom” thought with me not long ago)

You don’t ever have to reach out with any negativity for these folks that are destitute of souls. Move on and away from them. Live your life, because it is your life and they don’t need to ever need to play a part in it again. Be nice when you see them, but keep the distance you worked hard to make. Maybe one day they’ll wake up and stop being pathetic, maybe not. Just give them one of your best smiles and keep walking.

The one thing I hope you’ll do is remember. Don’t remember the pain. Remember what it taught you and feel grace settle over you for having lived through it and know that you are stronger and you are better because they are not around anymore.

As for my friends and loved ones that feel the need to renew old connections with toxic people, I will remain as I always have. I am loyal and steadfast to them, but their lives are their own to manage. If the bottom gets jerked from under them once again the best I can do is be the epipen in their back pocket. I have no problem being that for them.

Take care out there and keep living your best life because that’s what you’re meant to do. If they rise up in envy, well that’s not your problem anymore, is it?

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Facebook Advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Best Revenge is keeping your Distance

  1. There’s a huge difference between forgiveness–letting someone go with no “red in their ledger” as far as you’re concerned–and reconciliation. It took me years to realize that one doesn’t have to involve the other, nor should it, in many cases. Living well is the best revenge, but part of living well is minimizing your exposure to known toxins.


  2. LoCal Russian says:

    I am guilty of going back to people and relationships that have hurt me before. Thank you for this post, it reminds me not to do that.


  3. Allaa says:

    I don’t forgive people for them, I forgive them for me…i totally agree as negative feelings always harm its carrier so one should always try to cure z self but simultaneously should not drop z issue, its not wise


  4. Anna Doe says:

    There is one thing I am convinced: most o
    f the time, when people act badly, they know what they’re doing. They might try to fool you but calling it a mistake but a mistake is an intentional action especially with regard to consequences of the said action. I will never allow a “friend” who deliberately hurt me back in my life, at least a friend. “Never invite unhappiness back in your life”, I read once on the internet and I abide by that quote. As far as I am concerned, forgiveness does not imply reconciliation. I may have forgiven you, it doesn’t mean I nned you in my life. We can greet each other from afar, I can give you information, I can even pray for you. However, you’ll never ever be part of my inner circle of friends. I won’t have dinner or lunch with you, my kids won’t play with yours and I will definitely not stay in the same pace as you if someone else is not present. Why? BECAUSE I DO NOT TRUST YOU!


    • I agree 100% Anna.

      When I was younger I would forgive, forgive, forgive. It took me years to realize that this kind of person never learns, they just improve on the myriad of ways they can hurt you again. You become an outlet, a receptacle, because they know you’ll take them back.

      Once I stopped doing that it brought out another, more sinister behavior. The first few times it happened to me I wasn’t prepared for it, but now I just know it’s coming and I tell myself “I’ll be okay”.

      They RETALIATE! And they do it in the meanest way possible. It’s like all of their bitterness rises to the surface and then you finally know exactly how they feel about you and it’s dark and ugly.

      All you have to do is refuse to participate and eventually they just go away. It’s hard for someone to continue beating on a door for an answer when no one lives there anymore.

      I think I might write about this today. Stay tuned.


  5. rohan7things says:

    Brilliant post, great advice! Cutting a toxic person out of your life always comes with a cost. I’ve had to stop contact with a toxic person, and then warn friends that I will stop contact with them if they allow said toxic person to get to me through them.

    It’s serious stuff and we have to be 100% committed to otherwise they will work their way back in.

    Eventually they go, thanks god, but it’s so important to stay strong early on and enforce your boundaries and your rights 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!



    • For many years having personal boundaries that would keep the toxic “friends” out of my life was a real issue for me.

      This past year I had finally had enough and made boundaries and actually stuck to them. It wasn’t easy and the temptation to backslide to my former way of doing things was tough.

      When I was in the throes of cutting someone off the anxiety was extremely high. I wondered many times if I was doing the right thing. But what I realized after only a few days was not only did I NOT miss the person, I felt lighter and freer. That has propelled me forward.

      Getting rid of toxic friends is liberating!!!

      Thank you Rohan7things. I love your perspective and your comment is spot on!


      • rohan7things says:

        That is great to hear 🙂 It is absolutely terrifying to cut people off when you’ve never done it before. If they are particularly nasty they will make you feel like the bad guy through emotional manipulation.

        Gotta get through that first part, then once you’ve reached the other side you feel so empowered. You kind of know that you don’t have to put up with bad behavior 🙂



  6. Nada Faris says:

    Madeline this post brought back a hell of a memory. I agree wholeheartedly. I am much better off without their toxicity. I feel light enough to walk on water. I laugh so much more. I feel “cherished” which is not something that I felt for 4 years. And now when I turn them away, when I move in the other direction, I do it because the line that plays in my mind is this:

    If they didn’t mean to hurt me then, what in the world would it feel like once they do it on purpose?! Damn! Am I so stupid I would wait for that shoe to drop? And if that is love, then I’m not in the market to have any more of that kind of love. I think I can find real love in the bargain bin that would beat that kind of love any day.


    • This past year has been a huge house cleaning for me of toxic people. Like you, I feel lighter each time I shed one and have no intention of ever going backwards. Thank you so much for contributing another layer to this post. Your words lift me up.


  7. jericho777 says:

    Reblogged this on Jericho777's Blog.


  8. Yes…it hurts but it feels better in the long run to just let go! Still learning this lesson myself! Find it difficult …yet it is a necessity to let the toxin be purged.
    Thanks for reminding us! I needed to hear this today! 🙂


  9. Grouchy Fogie says:

    It is so difficult when the toxic parties are parents, and it is not until their demise one wakes up and realizes the pain and heartache and loss of Joy and Life because of their lies and toxicity. THAT is hard to forgive, but must be done to move on, and create a new palette, and a new tapestry for ones own LIFE. I’ve seen this in different situations, including my own.


    • This is true. Parental toxins are especially hard to purge and hat’s off to those of us that finally do get beyond their reach. I like your description of a new palette and a new tapestry.


  10. Jennifer "Jay" Bull says:

    Reblogged this on Jaybird Takes Flight.


  11. Tish Farrell says:

    Lots of great insights here. And yes, isn’t it one of the hardest things to learn, that when people are being toxic, it is really all about them, and not about you. So run for the hills and live joyously. Give the joy-suckers a very wide berth. Soon they’ll only have one another to dump on. How sad!


    • Thank you Tish. It is always my hope that eventually they will start feeding on each other and leave the rest of us alone. That’s my newest saying “In a battle of narcissists, may the best narcissist win!”


  12. annecwoodlen says:

    “If you’re allergic to shellfish and they make you deathly ill why would you think that just because some time has passed that suddenly you can handle eating shellfish?” Fact: some food allergies do disappear over time.


  13. TammyeHoney says:

    Such an inspirational article. There is so much insight and truth that will set so many free of burdensome relationships that are in the wrong direction for them. This is a must read and keep. Thank you for sharing.


  14. frizztext says:

    “…Be nice, but don’t be stupid.
    Keep your distance
    and stay happy…”
    congrats, that’s a
    perfect concept!


  15. Hi, When i liked this kind of publish! Can you please e-mail me personally when you’ve got a minute?


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