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Never Burn a Bridge: How to Avoid Lifelong Regrets Later in Life

Why pick and choose what bridges to burn when you can just avoid doing it altogether? Choose to keep everyone in your life. Those who burn bridges risk having no support and drowning all by themselves with nobody to lean on.

Don’t Burn Bridges or You Will Eventually End Up Alone!

Burning bridges is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. In life, you go to many different places: physically, emotionally, and socially. We all need to cross bridges to get to the places we need to go. Why would you sabotage yourself by burning your bridges? 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.

girl running over bridge barefoot

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.

Take Advice from the Elderly in this World Who List Their Number 1 Regret in Life: “I Wish I Had Not Burned Bridges with Anybody”

By leaving your relationships with family and friends open-ended, you risk nothing and gain everything. If you stay on good terms with everyone in your life, you are to benefit. There is no advantage to being the one to cut ties with others.

What Does “Burn Your Bridges” mean?

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. By burning a bridge you are making a final decision that can’t be changed and is not easy to correct.

two girls fighting pulling hair

Consequences of Burning a Bridge

When you suddenly ended a relationship, did it make you feel better? While burning the bridge may seem like a satisfying course of action in the short-term, it’s not the recommended course of action in any situation on the long-term. What’s important to remember is that the world is a small place. You never know who you will meet again. You never know if you have any mutual acquaintances.

feet of friends

Reputation is Important for Your Career and Social Life

Burn bridges and 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.

professional girl shaking the hand of a guy

Put Forth Small Effort to Get Big Results

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

Keep Your Options Open. Don’t Burn Bridges

Keeping relationships is a hard to do sometimes, which is why it’s the right thing to do. Burning bridges is always easier. All it takes is removing someone from your cell phone and you can forget about them. What does this accomplish? The worst thing about keeping someone in your life is that they start to infringe on your personal space. If it’s an ex-boyfriend, stalker, or someone who just makes you plain angry sometimes, don’t just block them. Stay cordial; keep them in your life. If they get too close, distance yourself accordingly. Once you cease contact completely, you are making a choice that cannot be reversed.

Being Truly Free Means Having Options

Burning a bridge gives you the illusion of “freedom”. You feel 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.

I Already Burned a Bridge. What do I Do?

Whether intentional or accidental, remember to apologize after. We all say things we don’t mean in the heat of the moment. Just make sure to let them know you had no bad intentions. It’s possible to recover from a bad incident and keep the friendship. Waiting for them to apologize isn’t good for your reputation. If you let a relationship fall to the waist-side after one bad experience, you are crossing to a point of no return. You must make an effort to save a faltering relationship; your future is depending on it.

What Comes Around Goes Around

In life it is often about whom you know, not what you know. What’s also important is the kind of relationship you have with the given person. If you part ways with someone and end up reconnecting later in life, the way they remember you could make or break a future opportunity. The image you projected in the past influences your future with people directly. Even if you think you will never see someone again, treat them kindly. Treat people kindly, not because of the concept of “karma”, but because it’s the right thing to do. You will be rewarded in the future as a result of keeping your ties instead of breaking them.

By Kacia Nall

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