How to burn a bridge

Yesterday I burnt a bridge. I did it with intention and I felt good about it. Actually I felt so good about it that I left smiling, and so did the other person.


On the surface we should have been great friends. Both of us have a quirky sense of humour, are creative, our kids get on. For whatever reason, however, it was making me uncomfortable, maybe there was a bit too much drama around. Not much give and take. Not really my scene. 

Then they stopped saying hi, asking for favours, making eye contact when we saw into each other. To be honest it was freaking me out a bit! Had I done anything? What had I done? I’m not usually prone to anxious thoughts or self analysis, but I was really wondering if it was me.

When I avoided them at the supermarket yesterday I knew it had to stop. Now, in the movies it would be heartfelt confessions, tea and tears, then a relationship renewed. Cue the end credits.

But no, I circled back and ‘bumped’ into them. I made a quip about sourdough bread, I made them laugh, then I turned and left. I realised in that short exchange that I didn’t have to buy into their drama, and there the friendship ended. I ended it in my head. They probably had no idea I was feeling like this! 

Maybe it was because my birthday was during the week, but I needed to reaffirm that I don’t have to be friends with everyone. It’s alright to call it quits on some friendships. Friendships are funny things and never static. I don’t regret giving this new friendship a go. I tried, it didn’t work. That’s alright isn’t it? Time to put time and effort and love into old friendships and into new ones.

I looked at the bridge, set the fire and lit it, on my own terms. And it was good.


3 thoughts on “How to burn a bridge

  1. Good on you Kylie!
    I did this too recently! The ‘friendship’ always felt forced, one-sided & there was a lot of envy when there should have been happiness for each others successes and I could never be ‘myself’ around her. It was time for me to let go (un-friend on facebook…which sounds ridiculous & was something I had never done before!) and not have to be the listener of her problems ever again.
    I’m so glad I did this and if I bump into her at the shops I can be friendly and civil then move on with life! 🙂

  2. Oh yes Kylie. I’ve done something very similar lately. The major difference was my friend had been my friend for what felt like forever. This friend reminded me of my mum, who I no longer speak to. You would talk to her and as soon as there was a gap in the conversation she’d be blabbing about her or her kids. She would never ask how you were feeling. If on the rare occasion she did, she didn’t really listen. The friend ended the day I shared my second miscarriage with my mother’s group. I was in tears and had just told the news and this friend pipes up within a couple of seconds, “Oh my morning sickness has been much better than last week.” WTF? I had already been stepping back but that was the final straw. My psychologist likened it to weeding a garden, you nurture the plants you want to keep and pull out the rest. Jo xx

  3. I think we all have ‘friends’ like this in our life. I think it’s healthy and beneficial for both parties to end something that is causing stress and ill feelings. I’ve done this a number of times throughout my life with no hard feelings at all. A bit of a friend cull doesn’t go astray from time to time. And it’s all good.

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