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Michael E. Angier

By Michael Angier

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 been on
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since 1995



Don't Burn Your Bridges

No one wants enemies. But over a lifetime, most people create some. What we need instead are more allies. And it's up to us whether we create friends or opponents.

It's an increasingly smaller world. In days of old, you could move to a new location, change industries, change social contacts and rarely run into an old enemy. Now more than ever, it's important not to create adversaries.

It’s unnecessary to create enemies. Not everyone is going to see things your way. But you can disagree with people without being disagreeable. It doesn't cost much to be diplomatic and pays very well.

You can expect to be treated unfairly by a number of people in the course of your lifetime. But it's not worth burning your bridges. Sometimes things just don't work out, and it's only human to want to blame someone or something for it. Resist this temptation.

You may even be tempted to prove yourself "right" or to get even. There is rarely a payoff for such tactics—if any at all. We're judged—fairly or unfairly—by how we react and how we treat others in difficult times.

And you don't have to be a doormat. We certainly don't advocate being a pushover. But you can confront without being combative.

It's a big life. What we're upset about now will rarely have much of an impact on our life—even though it might not seem like it now.

Action Point
Always try to take the high road. Do your best to create friends and not enemies. Endeavor to end things on good terms. As one wise person said, "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it."

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Last Updated 09/15/2004