Dale Carnegie says, “Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.” It may not seem like it at the time, but it can help you gain some valuable insight. Most people only know how to: criticize, condemn or complain. The want to feel important. Selfishness is rampant these days, and people actually feel justified in living this way. This makes interactions with them almost impossible. People who don’t like themselves hate to see others happy, and will do just about anything to make that person’s life a living Hell. Some people you can ignore, others you’re forced to deal with. So how do you deal with someone that clearly doesn’t have your best interests at heart? Let them burn the bridge.
There really are some individuals that you should just let burn the bridge. I’m a firm believer that if you give a person enough rope and room: they really will hang themselves. Social Media is being used like a lethal weapon in a sinister way. And, it’s also the best place to let them burn their bridges in public for all to see. There’s nothing crazier than watching someone make a complete fool of themselves in the public eye. Social media is also a stage where people desperate for attention display their lies, I mean lives, on a public forum. Now that’s really the best place to learn how people burn bridges. You really can’t deny what you’ve done when the world is watching.
Another way to let people burn their own bridges is to completely take yourself out of the picture. People who shun accountability love to blame others for anything that they don’t like about and/or can’t accept in themselves. You’d be amazed at how much time a bridge burner will spend trying to provoke you into paying attention to them. Case in point, a customer that refuses to be satisfied is such a person. They make a huge commotion in the establishment, and then… They leave having purchased nothing. All eyes were on them, but they wasted everyone’s time with the show. Were they really there to buy something? No, but they sure did give the sales person a run for the money. If they come back, rest assured they won’t get good service. And, possibly escorted out by management and/or the police. Uh oh.
As long as you are not the one burning the bridge, you really will come out on top. Why? Only someone that thinks that they will never need to cross a bridge again is crazy enough to burn it. Some even take it as far as polluting the waters as well. Now that’s truly a disastrous mistake. It’s one thing to burn a bridge, it’s quite another to pollute the waters. That is the point of no return. I’m pretty sure there were many resignations when Steve Jobs bought back the company that fired him. And, Jennifer Aniston is probably not feeling too bad about the “Brangelina” divorce right about now. There are countless other examples of burned bridges that others have had to come to face to face with when it was all over.
How can you avoid burning a bridge? Dale Carnegie has 3 solid principles to live by: become a friendlier person, win people to your way of thinking, and be a leader. All of those things require you to start with the other person. In other words, only truly selfish, entitled, immature people burn bridges. They don’t respect themselves and they don’t respect others. So burning a bridge to them is just another step on the path to their own destruction. You don’t have to burn bridges to get on with your life. Quite the opposite: build strong ones. If you ever have to cross that path again, you’ll know it’s a safe one. Burning bridges should only be used when you know you won’t have to deal with an individual again. Once you’ve burned it: you have no right to ask them to rebuild it for you, or give you the materials to do so. Just don’t be the one to burn the bridge. Successful people don’t burn bridges.