Discussion: When It’s Okay To Burn Bridges And How To Know The Difference

I personally hate when people say “I don’t want to burn a bridge”. I completely understand why you would want to keep a relationship open for the potential future benefits that a solid network of contacts can provide. That being said, sometimes people tend to keep a relationship that is toxic and self-combustible, and I will never understand why someone would choose to keep a bad relationship alive and kicking, but that’s just me… *sips tea*

This is the scenario:

You have a supervisor at work that has many years of experience and is well connected in the field you are breaking into.

Your supervisor is also a gaping asshole.

You have had multiple conversations with this supervisor about how you are feeling at work, but your supervisor continues to disrespect you.

You are now conflicted because you have suffered abuse after abuse for years, and now you can no longer take it, so you decide to move on and leave the company for something better.

You are unsure that your current supervisor will give you a good endorsement for your next opportunity.

You keep this relationship open because you don’t want to jeopardize any potential opportunities that your supervisor could afford you.

As your honest girlfriend, I’m going to keep it 100% real with you. This sounds like an abusive relationship. Now, you are probably reading this and justifying in your mind that 1. you are leaving this company anyway and you won’t really need to interact with your supervisor once you’re gone and 2. that you don’t want to burn a bridge because you never know when you will need this person/position/opportunity/whatever.

Okay fine, I’m going to keep the same scenario and just replace the word supervisor with the word coworker:

You have a coworker at work that has many years of experience and is well connected in the field you are breaking into.

Your coworker is also a gaping asshole.

You have had multiple conversations with this coworker about how you are feeling at work, but your coworker continues to disrespect you.

You are now conflicted because you have suffered abuse after abuse for years, and now you can no longer take it, so you decide to move on and leave the company for something better.

You are unsure that your coworker will give you a good endorsement for your next opportunity.

You keep this relationship open because you don’t want to jeopardize any potential opportunities that your coworker could afford you.

Does anything change? Would you still be open to keeping this relationship now that this is your peer, instead of your supervisor?

Look, people will do what they please and I am not the authority on anything except for my own mind and heart, but here are 7.6 billion people in the world and you are over there fooling around with that one asshole. Some bridges deserve to be burned, some people light it on fire and leave you to do the damage control and that is never okay.

I have always maintained that you have to teach people how to treat you and if they can’t figure it out then they have to go. This rule applies to both superior and peer alike.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree?

Posted by

Jasmine is a lover of all things fashion, food, and makeup. When she is not writing, she is playing with her Pit baby Rose, or cooking something bomb in the kitchen.

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