Burning Bridges feels delicious for about 10 minutes...

by Gillian Lesley Scott about 15 hours ago in friendship

Are you doing it for you or to stick it to them?

Burning Bridges feels delicious for about 10 minutes...

Falling out with people is a far more complex prospect than it was in the good old days.... it was so much simpler when you could just keep out of their way.....any raging was likely to be in person, or at worst over a home telephone, remember them?

Now the evil that is Facebook and it’s familiars... means you can’t avoid, or at least can’t avoid the temptation, to see what your nemesis is doing, saying or even meme..ing, ugh. The only way is to block, block block .... and the precise timing of this appears to be critical as to whether that bridge can ever be restored from the ashes... assuming you’d want to. Let’s be honest here ... it may be that you have assessed the friendship is definitely at an end... but if it’s not and if it was ever any chop in the first place, maybe ideally it wouldn’t be. I’d advise caution. Before you unfriend, before you trump up a set of exaggerated charges... garnished with threats and peppered with your own perceived lack of culpability ... before you block, block block. Because if you are incandescent with rage... your actions are likely to be vengeful. Yes you feel temporarily weightless and like you’ve got some power back...but good luck with how you’ll feel 10 minutes 10 days or 10 months later....

Which is worse ... stony silence accompanied by blocking... so you can’t even ask why? Or a mean rant deliberately concocted to have a scintilla of accuracy so as to churn up guilt in your audience ... but wrong enough to stir up their anger and feelings of being treated unjustly... take your pick... both sides of the same coin really... vengeful and shortsighted.

Lockdown gives one way too much time to think. We have had months of intermittent lockdowns here in Melbourne, of varying levels of strictness. Our Covid figures are good now.... but mistakes and misunderstandings occurring before lockdown are still there. You’ve got an excuse not to deal with them, let’s face it ...I could have fixed up this falling out well before anyone had even heard of covid 19.

I guess I’ve looked at why I haven’t chosen to do so many times. My finger has hovered over the “send” button more times than I care to remember, I’ve spent time crafting responses “explaining myself” and “setting misunderstandings straight”…. All that was missing was an actual vision of the future. I kept coming back again and again to the realisation that it wasn’t so much that I wanted the friendship back, but I wanted it LEFT WELL. I also wanted to look the person in the eyes to tell them this.

Instant messaging was not going to cut it. Instant messaging had caused enough trouble already. We had both managed to cause maximum hurt and offence… and we’d also both wanted at different times… never at the same time.. of course not, to fix it.

Friendship may then seem disposable and fleeting, but maybe it just had an expiry date or needed to morph into an acquaintanceship. Honesty is a double edged sword and we find it so hard to let go of things... or adjust to change. Perhaps we need to get better at saying thank you and being grateful for the benefits and fun the friendship brought... acknowledge that you might have been on the same page, but just not in the same way.

I don’t think anything needs to or should end nastily because even the most unlikely connections occurred for a reason.... part of being a whole human, acknowledging good and bad aspects of self...is recognising this. Unfortunately we aren’t very good at this, until it’s too late. I do hope to become more adept at moving on without creating pain to myself and others. Think twice before you launch an attack or freeze someone out. You might be the one to regret it.

Gillian Lesley Scott
Gillian Lesley Scott
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Gillian Lesley Scott

Scots born Australian. Tales of being human. Despite aiming for the highest good of all, not always successful

See all posts by Gillian Lesley Scott