Mad or even?

Hi all,

there is this proverb, “I don’t get mad, I get even.” But if you feel the urge to get even with someone, doesn’t it mean that you’re actually mad (at that person)?


The idea, when applying this principle, is that you don’t show any signs of outward annoyance.

But there is a difference between “not showing that you’re mad” and “not getting mad”.


I think if somebody really gets mad, it shows :wink: In other words, if you get mad there is no way you can hide that. If you are able to control your feelings, you don’t get mad in the first place.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: A university lecture by a professor of Anthropology[YSaerTTEW443543]

You’re right Claudia: If I’m not mad (upset) with someone, why should I get even with that person?

I don’t understand this proverb, unless it’s referring to a general tendency like this:
I don’t ever get mad (I can resolve things calmly), but I will always try to get even (calm things down, bring the peace) in case someone gets mad at me or at someone else.

Hi Monica, see “get even”: :slight_smile:

I agree, Torsten. A smile always looks forced on someone who is upset.

However, if someone gets upset at someone else who is not around at that moment, there’s plenty of time to get that feeling under control until they meet again.


That’s right.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Two friends are making arrangements to meet for a softball match[YSaerTTEW443543]

But in order to control your anger, you’d have to get angry first.


A similar saying is “Revenge is a dish best served cold”. In other words, wait for your outward anger to dissipate before getting even.

Well, there is the law of increasing returns which is defined as follows: What every you do to or for another person comes back to you compounded. So, I don’t know if this entire concept of ‘getting even’ and ‘getting revenge’ is really effective.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: Briefing the sales staff before a business conference[YSaerTTEW443543]

My first try was not good. Here’s the second one:

How about this way of someone’s thinking:
I missed the train because my colleague was late but I’m not getting mad at him. However, I’ll make sure that he will miss the train because of me next time, so we’ll get even. I don’t get mad at him, honestly, I just want to teach him a lesson” – but this one is a liar – he surely gets mad, since he feels the need to getting even.

There might be another one (big-headed) who says:
I won’t waste my time by getting mad at him, I’ll go directly to paying back and getting even. I deserve a little satisfaction, don’t I ?

Yes, that is true, but in the proverb “I don’t get mad, I get even”, the speaker clearly says that (s)he’s not getting mad.



Monica, we’re totally on the same page.


That’s great!