alt text image a man standing on a broken bridge

Burning and Building Bridges

There is problem with burning bridges behind you.

It’s easy to become frustrated and react by giving someone a piece of your mind. When relationships are challenging, sometimes the easiest answer looks like blowing up the relationship and burning the bridges behind you.

You can burn down bridges in your personal relationships, your work relationships, and even your sales relationships. In the heat of the moment you can overreact and go to far. You can also act exactly as you wish in that moment, burning down the bridges and completely leveling the relationship. The person (or people) that were on the other side of that bridge can no longer reach you (as if they would want to).

The problem with burning bridges behind you is that to get back across you have to build a new bridge.

Building a new bridge requires an enormous effort. First you have to apologize for burning (or blowing up) the bridge in the first place. The bigger and nastier the explosion you made when burning down that bridge, the more work it’s going to take for your apology to be accepted. Then you have to start making deposits in the relationships so you can brick by brick and step-by-step rebuild the bridge. You have to build the bridge and find your way back across.

But you don’t have to burn down the bridge in the first place. There’s really nothing to be gained. But there’s quite a bit to be lost. You can lose your ability to ever get back across to the other side. It makes more sense not to blow up the bridge in the first place. Instead work on patching up the damaged bridge you already have.

Questions

Have you ever burned a bridge behind you?

Have you ever had the experience of needing that bridge later?

How do you rebuild the bridges that you’ve burned down?

How can you end relationships in a healthier way? A way that preserves the bridge, should you ever want it.


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Comments

comments

  • Adam Luebke

    Very true, and great advice. It takes a wiser, bigger person to leave that bridge intact, despite how much a person might want to blow up and leave destruction in his wake.