Resist, Resent, Revenge

energyThere are so many dark strategies we have to foment conflict. The est Network characterized one of them as resist, resent, revenge. Oh, my gosh, that captures it for me.

Eric Byrne wrote a whole book about other strategies: Games People Play. There are books on how to win at office politics, Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical analyses, (1) on and on.

But resist, resent, revenge is so big as to be head and shoulders above the rest in its conflict-producing impact.

(1) Resist

To refuse to cooperate. To deny one’s help and assistance to. To leave the team.  To take one’s bat and ball and go home.  To work towards or ensure the defeat, loss, or failure of another.

(2) Resent

One of the first self-inflicted wounds associated with this strategy.  To remember what’s considered to be a slight or injury and to treat with another, through time, by resorting to (1, above).  To carry enmity forward. To take things to such lengths that cooperation breaks down, over time. To never forget an injury.

(3) Revenge

The second self-inflicted wound associated with this strategy. To get even, to teach a person a lesson, to cut the other person down to size or see to the foiling of their plans.

This is the programmatic response to conflict by people who have set aside caring and cooperation.  This is a behavior pattern that’s been conditioned into us and now must be let go of, wholly. It cannot go with us into our future. Nothing that is not of love can.


(1) Presentation of Self in Everyday Life for instance.