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Jan 9, 2013

Introducing MPB's "Rules to Live By"



Friends, for more than a dozen years I was a volunteer peer counselor for an LGBT counseling organization called Identity House, and for a number of years after that worked as a life/health coach, until I realized that it might be time to focus on some neglected parts of my own life.  Shortly after, I bought my first sewing machine and, well, you know the rest.

I don't do any formal counseling these days, but I thought it might be interesting if, since we do occasionally discuss topics unrelated to sewing/fabric/patterns/Cathy, I might introduce something new: MPB's "Rules to Live By."  You may or may not agree with the ones I choose, but most will be familiar to you.  Either way, I hope they'll generate discussion!

Today's rule is Don't Burn Any Bridges.

I know that there are times when nothing would be more satisfying that telling someone off, especially in a work situation.  American popular culture is full of stories of retribution and revenge, many of them extremely violent.  In real life, however, I believe revenge usually harms the person seeking vengeance more than it does its object (unless we're talking homicide, which is worse for the victim).

When we're young, most of us lack the foresight or self-discipline to think about the implications of our actions.  When I was sixteen, I worked as the only male au pair in East Hampton for a tyrannical woman from the Upper East Side with an extremely spoiled son.  She treated me horribly and didn't want to pay me my full however-many-weeks' pay, so the day I left, while she was out of the house,  I hid a pile of cracked eggs behind the stove.  For all I know the eggs simply dried out and nobody was the wiser, but in my mind she'd returned the following Friday to a house reeking of sulfur.  In the end, I never did hear from her again so who knows?

Do I regret the egg incident?  Not really; she deserved worse.  But it wasn't really my place to mete out justice, and it only would have made me look bad.

I once had to quit a job when it became obvious to me my boss was trying to get me fired, but those situations have been rare, and I always tried to act in a professional manner: in this last situation, this resulted in my getting an unexpected (and unrequired) full two weeks' extra pay, even though I'd been at the job less than three months (The best of these bad situations come to a head quickly.).  I can't imagine ever needing to go back to this person for any reason, but it's good to know that should I run into her on the street, I can hold my head up high rather than duck into the nearest CVS, Rite Aid, or Duane Reade pharmacy.  And you never know when you might need a reference from a previous employer, perhaps even that very employer, and if you slashed their tires in the office garage, then what are you going to do?

I am certainly not saying you shouldn't be enraged, yell, vent -- that's what friends and family are for.   I'm talking supression not repression, i.e., suppress the urge to get into a shouting match on the job.  Don't repress your very real feelings of hurt or injustice.  This is when you have to be your own best friend (or loving parent to your inner child) and validate and honor your true feelings, but don't let them spill out into your professional life and potentially jeopardize your future.

Especially in our ultra-networked present, people are connected in ways we aren't always aware of.  The time we raged at our boss or lost our cool is going to be remembered by we-don't-know-how many people.  Unfortunate but true.

One more thing: this rule does not apply to affairs of the heart.  Sometimes we really do need to throw someone's clothes out the window or spraypaint expletives on an ex's garage door.  Just no guns, please (except in self-defense).

Readers, that is today's rule: may I never find myself unable to follow it!

How about you?  Have you ever burnt a bridge and lived to regret it, or can you still savor the sweet taste of revenge and know you made the right choice?

Jump in!

60 comments:

  1. Ack -- blogger ate my comment!

    Anyway, I love the egg story. I'm just as glad you did it, because it is such a great story. ;-)

    Beth

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  2. I have never burnt a bridge...but was very delighted to watch someone cross the very bridge that they burnt towards me!

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  3. I've managed to leave all of my previous jobs without burning any bridges. I did, however, have a VERY emotional resignation scene that I still cringe about. I should have waited a few days to go in and have that conversation, the reason I had to leave to fresh and RAW and it warranted a few days stewing on.

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  4. oh, Peter, Philosopher-King, thank you for the post. you never cease to amaze and delight me. i was doing a little pre-birthday review, thinking about the past, and oh boy am i glad it's past and i've outlived most of the people involved. i've burned bridge and then i've tried/helped to rebuild. then i've singed them another time... i regret the burning in the first place but after reparations were made, realized that there was a reason for it and have let things slide... retro and introspection are good things. thanks again.

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  5. Great post! Answer: not on purpose, but possibly accidentally. Revenge fantasies are sweet but New Zealand is an even smaller place than the internet, so I fear anything deeply unwise would haunt me for ever. Plus, usually I haven't wanted revenge, I've wanted to be taken seriously, and satsifying as acts of mindless violence might be, they're probably not going to achieve that.
    If it's not rude to ask, how do you currently make a living? (aspirational question here...)

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  6. Thank you. Today was exactly the day I needed to read that. It's going to be hard, but I know you are right.

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  7. I completely agree. I know of one story of revenge that is worth telling. It isn't mine, but it is true. I lived in the far north of Canada for a number of years. A lot of people (usually men) work in mining camps out of town, on a two weeks in, two weeks at home, or variations of that.

    A man was in camp, a friend came back to camp after his turn in "town". He told his friend that his wife wasn't behaving herself and was seeing someone else. He went home and sure enough found his wife was having an affair. He gave up without a fight, arranged for a divorce , divided up the property, leaving her with the house. He behaved like a gentleman all the way. The last thing he did before he went back to camp, was to buy some herbicide (apparently really heavy duty stuff) and wrote "whore", in the front lawn, where it didn't show up until several days later. Many many people saw it and the topsoil had to be replaced more than once before the grass would grow back.

    Perhaps not necessary, but a good idea and a great story.

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  8. Véronique in MontréalJanuary 9, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Every bridge I burned I lived to regret. You are right and thanks for the post Peter as I'm contemplating more bridge burning. I guess I should show restraint and abstain. I suppose that's what getting older should be about - getting wiser. Maybe your next post should be about remaining gracious under pressure.

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  9. While I haven't necessarily burned many bridges, I've cut some, and waved goodbye politely before doing so!

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  10. I've never done something to get my revenge that I later regretted, but I did break all contact with a few people. This was mostly for my own personal mental health, i don't think I'd be doing as well as I'm doing now if I these people were still around in my life. If anything i'm sad things had to end the way they did.

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  11. I can only believe that the Chinese original thought is far more eloquent...but here goes in my monolingual understanding...

    When planning a course of action in revenge...start by digging two graves.

    N

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  12. My mother taught me that the best revenge is to move an and be happy in your life. There have been life experiences where I would have loved to burn my bridges, but chose instead, to follow my mother's advice. I've no idea what has happened to the people who were mostly at fault for the life experiences, but I know this - I am happy. And joyful. And have no regrets about my behavior.

    Gave my daughter the same advice when she was finally able to leave an abusive ex-boyfriend. She dreamed up these elaborate revenge plots, shared them with me - and NEVER did them. She moved on - found herself happy again...and many great things have happened to her since then...

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  13. I'm with Mimi. There have been a few friends in my lifetime that for whatever reason I didn't want to be friends with any more. It might be harder to gradually cut communications than vent on them, telling them exactly why you don't want anything to do with them any more, but when you come across them again you'll be glad that you put in the effort.

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  14. SeamsterEast@aol.comJanuary 9, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I left a major tech company -- Texas Instrumeents -- in a huff. Within a year and a half the United States Congress had passed a law forbidding ANY US Gov agency from buying ANYTHING from them for two years. Within a bit over two years, my boss was dead of chronic, excessive alcohol intake. He looked 30 years older than I, but I found out later he was just ten years older. I've seen various employees over the years walk out in anger. Not one of those companies was still viable a couple years later. One company was padlocked by the sheriff's office 8 days later.

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  15. Great post! I agree that it's really important not to burn bridges, no matter how tempting. Even if you've been wronged, if you act unprofessionally, people will remember you by those actions and not by your performance preceding your tantrum/meltdown/fistfight. The revenge probably won't be that sweet, but you'll seem crazy or unkind.

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  16. One of my favorite song verses: "She's the kind of girl that won't forgive but will forget." That's me!

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  17. My mom always told us to follow the golden rule and that whatever goes around never fails to come back! I believed it then and always will.

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  18. I agree completely and preach this to all the young people I know.

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  19. Very good post, Peter!!!!!!!!!! After a breakdown a few years ago I have been doing more things I really love, and saying no whenever I want to. I have a new husband, AKA Fabric Man. I have been in many extremely abusive situations, from birth on, and my priest, also a therapist, said to me - you must be safe. Whenever the situation is dangerous to me mentally/physicallly I do not feel guilty about moving on, and saying no and meaning it. Some people call this burning bridges, I call it self-preservation. Cathie, in Quebec. Actually, Longueuil....

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  20. You're totally right. Never try to out-crazy a crazy person — even if they deserve it. Because they'll never, ever look back and say, "Well, I deserved that, didn't I?" They'll just give it back to you ten-fold (in the least by bad-mouthing you)!

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  21. Since I work in theatre, I know I've burnt a few, but I also know that the people I worked with are people I never want to work with again, and anyone who thinks their opinion is worth anything? I don't want to work with them either.

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  22. I agree burning bridges is not a good idea and I try to not do it. This thread has made me want to confess something I have never confessed. I am by day a hairstylist have been for 30 years. I had a horrid wretched client who for many years thought she could treat me however she wanted because she paid me. After more than a decade I had enough the day she belittled me in front of other clients. A shouting match began because I had never spoke back. I was so upset I fired her telling her to never come back. I decided the next day to mail her color formula to her so she could give it to her new stylist. However I tweaked it a bit and added lets just say a little gold. (She hated gold tones in her hair). I do regret some unknown stylist had to deal with her displeasure but I did smile when I thought of how much she must have hated it.

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  23. The Universe is my hit man.

    ~Sewjourner

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  24. Good advice! I can't wait to hear more! I love reading other peoples advice because I am much more likely to follow it if some one else said it!
    also just curious, are these rules going to be posted in any particular order?

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  25. Very interesting topic. Yes, I have burned bridges and regretted it. There are several people from a formative part of my life that I wish I hadn't dismissed so easily. I have a more recent experience that I would have loved to end by saying what I really felt, but for professional reasons, didn't. It still niggles me, but I know I did the right thing. I walked away from that situation graciously and it has since benefitted me in other ways. I look forward to more of your rules to live by. Some very interesting comments.

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  26. The best "revenge" I ever had was being able to write a letter to the the "other woman" telling her plainly that her fiancee (my ex, who left me pregnant and destitute) was CHEATING on her (he WAS) and also that I was taking great pleasure in knowing full well that she wouldn't pay any attention to this my warning to her that he was marrying her for her money (she had a trust fund), but was going to go ahead and marry him anyway!

    That's exactly what she did, and I found out a number of years later that he did indeed go through her money like a brush fire, and ultimately she had to have him taken away by the police because he was BEATING her (he never raised a hand to me, BTW).

    I also was shown an e-mail from her, by a friend to a mutual acquaintance where she stated openly that she wished she had listened to me because I had been 100% right about him and could they please not give out her address in case it fell into his hands!

    I will also remark that those who want revenge need to take into consideration the peripheral damage caused to others: you might well be justified in your vendetta, but are you prepared to pay the karma of having caused harm to the innocent in your search for satisfaction? There is a LOT of opportunity for revenge that I never took advantage of simply because I didn't want the BAD karma of having caused the innocent to suffer, as well! So, I just let it go; time takes care of it all, anyway!

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  27. I've burned many bridges, both personal and work related, and have never regretted it. I do try to do it politely if possible, but I definitely permanently cut any contact whatsoever. I had to giggle at your egg story Peter, oh man I would've loved to see the lady's face once she discovered the eggs behind the stove!

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  28. As far as I know, the only bridge I burnt (that I know of ...), I did unvoluntarily, beforehand and precisely by venting.
    In a bout of exhaustion during college, I talked about wanting to ditch everything and go raise chicken on a farm. It turned out that this friend took this very seriously, and talked about it to another person, who talked about it to yet another person (that didn't know me), and this third (fourth?) party ended up working for the very same company I wanted to get into years after. Of course I didn't change career paths in the end and got a pretty good resume along the way, but she remembered my name and blocked my application because in her mind I was not "earnest enough" since I once wanted to leave the field. And as far as I know, she blocked it every time I applied. I still apply from time to time, just for fun, to see how far it goes (last time I even did some interviews before she chimed in).
    I've learned all of this because I accidentally know someone who occasionnaly works with her too and gets back to me.
    And this is someone I've never even met ... And if I did, I may burn the bridge again since I'd love to give her a piece of my mind !

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    1. Oh, and I have a question : what is a life/health coach ?

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    2. A life coach is someone who works with you to identify short and long-term goals and then helps you achieve them; a health coach is similar, with the goals related to health, i.e., diet, exercise, life balance, etc. The idea of coaching is that we often need someone to help keep us on track and hold us accountable when we're trying to create change in our lives.

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  29. Very sage advice! I think it's possible to burn bridges unintentionally but it's certainly a good thing to aspire to.

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  30. I knew there was a reason why I like this blog so much. But if you tell me to draw a mind map I might puke.

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  31. Excellently put!
    I think this goes well with my "rules of engagement" when there is a conflict of any sort...

    §1 - Always separate PERSON and ACTION.
    Especially important when addressing younger people (and since conflicts make us all rather childish, better keep it as a generel rule).
    It's a huge difference in hearing "You're stupid" or "That was a stupid thing to do".

    §2 - Make sure any subjective statements are referred to as your own views, and not general truths. Something to remember even in ordinary conversations, I think. Compare "Read shirts are ugly" to "I find red shirts ugly".

    §3 - Stand your ground, but not on principle. Some of us have spent hours contemplating every little opinion we harbour, others have not. Should someone present good cause to take another view on things - take it as an opportunity to widen your horizon, rather than a reason to jump into old familiar trenches.

    I think all of the above could be interpreted into "don't burn bridges", don't you?

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  32. We're not all good for one another. Some people can not be allowed into your life, or allowed to remain there if they are destructive, untrustworthy, abusive, or exploitative.

    Bridge burning is severing from a valuable relationship. Ending a deficit-conditional relationship is self-preservation, and just plain kind to yourself.

    Forget revenge - get away, and go toward what YOU want.

    Fill this, the time in your life, with the most loving, caring, and accepting people you know.

    We make our own reality by whom we let in, and that signals to like-minded others who we are. There is no award for suffering problem people - they rob you thrice; first of your time, second with sour memories, and thirdly by crowding out beneficial relationships.

    Move away if you must, be comfortable with being accused of "having changed" (problem people are the quickest to voice this concern), and make a conscious effort to be your own gate keeper.

    You ALWAYS have a choice.

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  33. Burning bridges, karma, revenge or divine justice, what is the difference?

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  34. Wow! Talk about an unexpected connection! I just came across a mixed tape of Peggy Lee and Doris Day songs you made for me back when we were students of Piero Dusa!
    Imagine my surprise to find that you are now a fellow sewist! And a right good and seasoned one at that!
    I just decided to take the plunge and really focus on my sewing, but coming across your blog is quite a treat! I can't wait to read more.

    long-lost connection:
    Cindi Boudissa (formerly Brusse, back in the day)
    thefabricconcierge.etsy.com (my fabric store)
    lapetitemaincouture.etsy.com (my accessories store)

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    1. OMG, Cindi -- it seems like only yesterday!

      https://picasaweb.google.com/101177577152766699680/MPB2013?authkey=Gv1sRgCIeGloydsqS6KQ#5831874317674243026

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    2. Woah!!! Yes, I am firmly claiming that was just yesterday! Such a wonderful time in my life. Thank you!

      So glad to have reconnected!

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  35. Great post!

    I used to work for a legal service company. They treated us like dirt there. One manager was out to get me and, honestly, I have no idea why. I was my team's top earner, so go figure. I finally decided to fire them. I just packed up my stuff and left, without notice. My boss cried, begging me to stay.

    Six months later, I went to work for one of that company's biggest clients. And I was their main point of contact. The service company people had to kiss my @#$. It was so sweet, you can't imagine. They knew the entire account was in my hands. I didn't fire them, though. I'm still one of their biggest clients. Fortunately, two of the worst are long gone. They came very close to burning a bridge when they were so bad to me. I didn't have to exact any revenge at all. The Universe did it for me!

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  36. I have heard acquaintances brag about getting back at teachers, bosses, coworkers etc. by keying or destroying their car, stealing property, spiking drinks, spreading false rumors, etc. I didn't feel impressed- I felt scared of these people that thought "I don't like this person" was justification for vindictive, dishonest, or illegal behavior and I began to doubt their telling of their side of the story. In professional situations there are mature ways of standing up for your rights, addressing conflicts and mistreatment, and severing ties. Tampering with a gas line is not one of them.

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  37. I'm not much for revenge. I probably have burned a few bridges, though. Unintentionally. I should have done a few things differently, perhaps. Your observation about everyone being networked these days made me laugh. The rest of the world is catching up to small towns. Odds are, if we ever say something bad about someone, the person we're talking to turns out to be his cousin.

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  38. Barb aka WoodencanoeJanuary 10, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    So, I'm in agreement with no bridge burning at work, but what might be the reasoning behind the statement that this rule does not apply to affairs of the heart?

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  39. I cannot, at this time, remember a single bridge I've burned which could just be selective memory however when I mull over this subject I am more apt to believe that it is the other party that has burned the bridge with me.

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  40. I guess I inadvertently burned a bridge with someone who had been my friend for years. She's a lovely person but drama seems to follow her everywhere, especially in her relationships and in her employment. Over the years I listened to her, comforted her and gave advice - in person or over the telephone. I gave her money when she was out of work, not caring whether or not she ever repaid me. Since I move frequently, often we didn't see each other for long periods of time. I finally saw her again at Christmastime in 2009 when she was driving from her home in North Carolina to her parents' home in Albany. She needed a place to stop and since we were on her route, she spent the night at our home. She couldn't stop talking about my kids and how wonderful they are; she's always wanted a marriage and kids but it's never worked out and the look on her face when she looked at my kids was really wistful. She left in the morning and I didn't really have time to talk with her. After that visit, we talked on the phone and I got the feeling that she was sort of jealous of my life. I didn't bring it up, though. Our conversations continued but she called me less often and whenever I called it was to see how she was doing and listen to more drama.

    When we moved to the west coast in 2011, I called her to say we were leaving and give her my new address. She didn't want to talk and told me, "I just can't deal with people right now." That got me thinking - I'd always made time for her drama regardless of how busy I was, even though I was a bit tired of hearing about it, because that's what friends do. I texted her a message that basically said that I didn't understand why she couldn't make time to talk to me as I'd always made time to be there for her. She replied that she wasn't contesting that but didn't really say why she didn't want to talk. I figured she'd call in a month or so but she never did. Then I discovered that she'd unfriended me on FB. To this day I don't know why she decided that she couldn't be friends any more, but I don't think I was the one who burned a bridge. Is it wrong to ask someone who is supposed to be your friend and to whom you've always given support to, for once, focus their attention away from themselves?

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    1. It doesn't seem like you did anything to burn a bridge, Jen.

      Obviously, it's we who decide whether someone has burned a bridge in our regard, or not. It's like an insult: you can't insult me unless I choose to take something as an insult.

      She said she "can't deal with people right now." It doesn't sound like she is able to give of herself. It's sad but what can you do except let this person go?

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    2. Jen, I think chaotic, dramatic people need a lot of time for reflection on their own life so there shouldn't be any hard feelings between you and your friend. Your friend just may need time to sort out things in her head and take care of things in her life. If I were you, I would just let time pass until your friend contacts you to make amends.

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  41. I haven't burned any bridges. A few have collapsed like Jen recounted. Then sometimes it doesn't work for me to rebuild, or the option never appears. Most of my life has vanished, I live near Detroit. All of my schools have closed, old neighborhood has been razed, and Christmas cards brought three death notices this year. We won't talk about job loss in the area. Bridges catch fire sometimes, you don't have to set the fire. That is why tearing down your life with revenge is such a waste.

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  42. There have been a few times that I desperately wanted to blow a bridge to kingdom come. However, after wallowing in the self-pity, grandiose schemes, etc, I chose the high road. From this I discovered that the kind of people who make you want to torch the bridge, will eventually do your work for you and make themselves look like idiots in front of others. I don't need to do anything. It's very gratifying.

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  43. Thank you for this new feature, Peter. It's great. I hope you have the Happiest New Year ever.

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  44. Two things: Homicide is not necessarily worse for the victim than for the murderer -- it depends on how quickly and/or painlessly the victim died, and whether the murderer was caught and punished through the court system or through vigilante mob justice. Just sayin.'

    Second, LOVE your rotten egg example, because it reminds me of a Judy Blume children's book "Blubber" where the main character throws rotten eggs in a man's mailbox on Mischief Night with her friend. They do it because he doesn't give out Halloween candy and the kids think he "deserves" it, but they get caught and have to make up for it with yard work, etc. Anyways, in that story the outcome totally supports your "don't burn bridges" rule. But I'm glad you got away with your own rotten egg revenge!

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  45. Yes, I have a burnt a bridge or two in my day. Lol. A boss I had was a jerk to me because I tried to be cheerful at work but he wasn't having it. It seemed that he was bitter about life. Anyway, one day I had enough of his crap and decided to just vent out what I was feeling and cussed him out like there was no tomorrow. Needless to say, I was fired but it felt so good to just release all that anger I had towards him.

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  46. Whoever said "The Universe is my hitman" is my new hero.

    Frankly, I love revenge. When someone hacks me off horribly, I spend several happy hours plotting the most elaborate, Gothic vengeance. When I reach the point where I'm laughing maniacally at my own fiendish cleverness, I'm over the anger and there's no need to actually carry out my evil plans.

    Which is good, because some of those plots could easily have landed me in the hoosegow.

    The only way I've ever burned a bridge is to simply cut off contact with people who suck the joy out of my life. I'm in the process of severing contact now with someone who only calls me when she's in the middle of some self-inflicted drama. I've commiserated, I've counseled and I've coached, but she insists on remaining firmly attached to her troubles. I don't have time for it anymore.

    Thank you for this post, Peter. I can't wait to read tomorrow's rule.

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  47. Oh dear, this good advice might be too late for me. A good and valued friend, whose political views are not the same as mine, just forwarded me a pro- gun, anti tax tirade described as 'wise words from a father to a daughter'. I replied "Sorry, but these 'wise words' were actually written by an ignorant arsehole". I hope we're still friends.

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  48. I have learned that revenge, to call it that way, is never constructive. Granted, it may damage the object of the revenge, but it will also damage you in the long run.

    There have been a few people that I would have been justified to seek revenge upon, in the course of my life. But instead, I applied that old, but still true principle : whatever you do to someone, good or bad, will return to you.

    Following that principle, it stands to reason that doing good things can prove more constructive. And the revenge you forfeited sometimes happen in unexpected ways.

    When you do encounter a former "enemy" that is down on his luck, the true test of strength is to help that person regain her footing.

    But whatever you do, good or bad, will return to you. I have seen that proven so many times that it is a belief for me.

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  49. A comment totally unrelated to the matter at hand, but I have a question for Peter. How is it that every time I see you in the header of this blog, you remind me of the Singer Genie sewing machine? :-)

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    1. Bingo!

      http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2010/04/we-have-winner-official-mpb-sewing.html

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  50. I have a similar story to Jen's above, but with a shorter history. A few years ago, I met a man from Sydney at a convention here in Melbourne - we had a lot of interests in common and we became (I thought) close friends on Facebook. The following year I went to Sydney and spent the day with him at a similar convention. I was aware that he had some issues, but didn't feel they impacted me at all.
    I bought some items from him and made him some gifts but then one day I got an email from him (and a phone text) asking me to remove his email and phone numbers from my address book and not contact him again. He had not only unfriended me on F/B, but had removed my access to one of the groups we were both members on. The last email I had from him was a rant about how "we" had made his life hell and what did he do to deserve it?
    He didn't respond to any of my emails or texts asking what it was I had done wrong. I'm fairly convinced that he has me confused with someone else, and/or that he has been told that I did something which I didn't do. I have NO idea what I'm supposed to have done or said to upset him so much, and he's not telling.
    My concern is that there is another batch of similar conventions coming up in the next 6 months or so, both here in Melbourne and in Sydney, and there's a possibility that he may be in attendance. How am I supposed to react if I see him there? Am I supposed to ignore him in person? Or run up and accuse him of ignoring me? Is there an official etiquette on how to behave when this sort of thing happens?

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    1. Personally, I would avoid this person. If you see him, acknowledge him -- it takes too much energy to ignore somebody and it's a little high school -- and let that be that. He sounds like a very disturbed man.

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  51. Nope I haven't. I am not a really intense person. Most jobs I resigned from because I wanted to. I never really encountered any bad employers because I probably would of left after a couple of days. I know this might sound terrible, but I just cut people off if I think they are toxic, family included.

    The only revenge that I can remember is when I was living in Australia. I was living with a guy and another girl. The guy was very manipulative. He was in a serious relationship with another guy who was a chef.
    Anyway, this particular night he told me that he was going out and if his chef friend called tell him that he was not home. I said OK.
    His chef friend kept calling asking where he was because he was suppose to be coming to his house for dinner and he was concerned that he had an accident. After several phone calls I told him the truth that he had actually gone out, and I was so sorry that he had put him in this situation.

    In the morning his car had been keyed, his tires slashed and obscenities were written all over the windows. Apparently his chef friend lay waiting for him behind a neighbor's tree and saw him getting off the back of another man's motorbike. He apparently did this when we were all asleep. What was surprising was that he was shocked that someone would do this to him. I said to him why would you allow him to think that you were coming to his home when you weren't, and why not tell him you were going out. He said he wasn't sure if it was going to work out with the motorbike guy. The girl I shared with lied constantly. I never shared any house or apartment again after that.

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