Good parents teach their children to avoid spiteful behavior. Indeed, it is a good idea to never do anything solely for spite or to get revenge at someone else for a real or perceived wrong. However, when someone does do something for spite, that person isn’t always 100% to blame for it. Many times, someone else is partially responsible for another person’s spiteful behavior. This is the case when a person could reasonably predict that someone will respond spitefully to something he or she might do, but goes ahead and does it anyway.
For example, let’s suppose Susan is considering reporting Brian to the authorities because of the way he treats his dog. But because of Brian’s past behavior, Susan should know that, if she reports him, he might do something spiteful against her in retaliation. In fact, Brian has often hinted that he would get back at anyone who might report him to the police. However, Susan goes ahead and reports him, and he is subsequently arrested and booked for a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.
When Brian is released from jail on bail and returns home, one of the first things he does is shoot Susan’s dog. Susan, of course, is brokenhearted and has him re-arrested. However, she is partly to blame for Brian’s spiteful act. She could have easily predicted that he would do something like that, but it still didn’t stop her from being a busybody and reporting Brian to the authorities for something that was none of her business.