Kerdisha St. Louis

A wise man once said don’t burn bridges that you may need to cross later. This is a quote that rings truer and truer every time I hear it. Burning bridges is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

Burning bridges is a term that refers to ending a relationship directly or indirectly, violently or peacefully. It could be taking the form of ignoring or alienating the person, expressing a desire for closure of the relationship, or act unpleasantly in any way to guarantee you are not welcome back in that person’s life.

In life we all go to many different places: physically, emotionally, and socially. This means that we all need to cross bridges to get to the places we need to go. Why would you sabotage yourself by burning your bridges?

Many people do not understand that burning bridges is limiting your choices and your opportunities in life. If you have a habit of doing this too often, soon you will be stuck in one place. You will become isolated from the outside world and lose out on chances that are priceless.

Burning a bridge gives you the illusion of “freedom”.  Many people have the misconception that once you lose something, you are free to do more. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The beauty of the freedom of making your own choices is that you can choose how close into your life people can get. If you are in control of your relationships, you are in control of your life. When you end things abruptly, you are no longer in control of that situation. You are choosing to focus your energies elsewhere, thus narrowing your options in life.

Some would argue that burning bridges allows you to focus on the relationships that matter in your life. The truth is that it doesn’t require much effort to send a message to somebody and ask them how they are doing. Even if someone isn’t a big part of your life, it will surprise them that you are taking an interest in their life. There are no disadvantages to making a relationship seem stronger than it actually is. Treat your good friends like your best friends, your acquaintances like your good friends, and strangers like acquaintances.

Always remember that when you burn bridges you will gain a reputation, which won’t be a good one. The way you conduct yourself and treat people will follow you around everywhere you go. If people hear about you, they hear either negative or positive things. Depending on what they have heard, they already have an image about you in their mind before even meeting you. If you made anybody angry in the past, it could be affecting your future possibilities without you even knowing. Don’t burn your bridges or you will be shutting the door prematurely to your life opportunities.

Meet and treat people the way you wish to be treated. Keep in touch with as many people as you can and treasure your relationships because they can’t always last forever. If anyone decides to burn the bridge, let them do it. You should desire to be on cordial terms with everyone.

Build up your relationships from the bottom up and keep them strong. You will be glad you did later on in life.

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The KSChronicles are the observations and insights of blogger and journalist Kerdisha St.Louis. Each article seeks to invoke a reaction and/or introspection from readers in Dominica and the Diaspora on various thought provoking issues and topics. The column is published every Friday.