Make Friends, Not Enemies

Don't burn bridges you might need at some point on your path.

Life is a whirlwind of interaction with people.

Not all of these go well. You’re going to have people lie to you, disappoint you, and do all manner of other things that infuriate you.

It burns when it happens. 

It catches you by surprise. You want to strike back. You want to lash out, give them a piece of your mind, tell them off, let them know they can’t push you around. Your emotions are on fire, raging. The only thing going through your mind is to retaliate. Who do they think they are? They didn’t realize who they were fooling with. It would feel so good to let them have it.

If you don’t feed that fire, it eventually will go out.

You might want to think before you go after somebody who has ignited your anger. There’s a downside to returning the attack. Sometimes it’s smart to stand up to them. Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. But not all the time—because there is a downside for you that you might want to at least consider.

Returning fired creates enemies, and enemies don’t do you any good.

It’s like burning a bridge. A one-time incident can create an enemy that may turn out to be someone you need as a friend somewhere down the road of life. It’s easy to make enemies, but it’s very hard to turn them back into friends. If you can, it’s better to never make them your enemies in the first place.

Unfortunately we can’t go through this life all alone. We need people, and we need different people at different times. It’s easy to alienate people and harder to maintain good relationships, but those relationships can be valuable.

You have choices in how you respond. You don’t have to strike back.

You don’t have to be controlled by your emotions. Stay in control and think long term.

Acquaintances and friends enrich your life, even if they sometimes frustrate you. Enemies may energize you for a while, but they’re more likely to create a lot more negatives than positives. The person who chooses to overlook insults and outbursts is not usually someone who regrets it. It’s easier for them to stay focused on the positives than to be tangled up in the negatives.

These are the choices that add quality to your life.

It’s a lot easier not to burn a bridge than to have to rebuild it later when you need it.

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