How to End a Toxic Relationship

Updated on August 17, 2018
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

DONE! When Enough Is Enough

Toxic people and working conditions aren't always worth salvaging.  Know when it's time to walk.  Some bridges harbor toxic trolls and just beg to be burned.
Toxic people and working conditions aren't always worth salvaging. Know when it's time to walk. Some bridges harbor toxic trolls and just beg to be burned. | Source

Yessiree, This Is Gonna Hurt! (And Hopefully There's No Backdraft)

Hell yeah, I've burned a bridge or two in my day.

Now let me say that I don't do it without some serious provocation. But when I do, I want to make sure they know who lit the match.

Perhaps you're dealing with someone in your personal or professional life who is an

  • a-hole
  • creep
  • bully
  • user
  • frenemy or
  • abusive in some way.

You've tried other solutions. You're spent, and you've had enough.

Aww, don't tell me you don't think about it. Get those matches out, baby. Here's what you need to know before you burn that bridge when you're dealing with someone toxic.

When It's Time To Get Some Distance

Save bridge burning for the special cases.  Use it to put some permanent distance between you and the one you dislike, whether jerk, frenemy, user, bully, or really rotten boss.
Save bridge burning for the special cases. Use it to put some permanent distance between you and the one you dislike, whether jerk, frenemy, user, bully, or really rotten boss. | Source

Burn, Baby, Burn: Some Bridges Are Well Beyond Repair

When I was a much younger woman, I was more reluctant to give up on relationships that drained me emotionally, robbed me of precious energy, and weighed me down. I should have poured gas on a few of those unsalvageable bridges, and then just tossed a match.

But I was too nice, too hopeful. I instead bought in to that old mantra about never burning a bridge. Huh! Not anymore.

Salute Those You Leave Behind

No need to use hand gestures.  Use your words when ending your relationships.
No need to use hand gestures. Use your words when ending your relationships. | Source

No Room For Toxic Trolls

I'm sorry to say it, but what your mama told you ain't always true. Sometimes those creaky bridges can become mighty cumbersome—dangerous even.

You may just need to blow them up as a way of resetting personal boundaries when all else has failed—and to remind yourself that you never need to traverse that awful terrain again.

But First This Word Of WARNING

Whether personal or professional in nature, relationship pyrotechnics is a mighty dangerous endeavor. Do not engage in it lightly ... and certainly not too often. (Don't say I didn't tell you.)

Bridge Burning Is Your Wild Card Option

Save bridge blowing for the truly despicable, deplorable, or irreclaimable relationships where you're all out of options. For example:

  • the bullies and illegal harassers
  • the backstabbers, and
  • the negative Nellies who have no personal boundaries, poisoning your life with persistent and harmful naysaying. (We all know who they are.)

These people are toxic trolls, and you don't need to share bridges with them. When your back is against the wall, understand that bridge burning is your wildcard option. You indeed can use it—carefully. I'll show you how.

How To Quit Your Job On the Internet At 4:30 a.m.

Is This Really The End? Be Clear On Your Motivation

Whether personal or professional, relationships don't typically head south all at once. But at some point, you'll notice that you're not getting what you need.

You're on the receiving end of lies, shouting, blaming, innuendoes, put-downs, disappointment, and rejection. Others notice it too. You're unhappy. Your self-confidence takes a hit.

That ain't right. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Smile: It's Almost Over

What will be left of you once your soul is sucked dry?  Both personal and professional relationships can involve toxic trolls.
What will be left of you once your soul is sucked dry? Both personal and professional relationships can involve toxic trolls. | Source

Maybe it's a bully boss who pushes your buttons and seems to enjoy it. You feel misunderstood, used, and not good enough. You walk on eggshells, defending your actions and over-explaining yourself. How long will you endure such treatment just because your bully signs your paycheck?

Or perhaps it's a so-called friend who is a bottomless pit of needs—someone who is always in crisis mode. She takes, takes, takes but cannot find the time to reciprocate. Ever. What a user! This is not a solid relationship. There is no true bridge here.

Timeout From Toxicity

Take a timeout from the troll's toxicity to consider whether you want this person in your life. What damage is their wounded self-image inflicting on you? What will be left of you once they suck your soul dry?

Bridges are meant to connect people, but that's not the nature of your relationship with this person. They make offending and maligning you a habit. Ponder whether you really want to stick this toxic relationship out. Can you afford to allow the relationship to simply fizzle? Is that even possible?

Remember this advice by motivational speaker Jim Rohn: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

  • A Gallup poll found that 70% of Americans either hated their jobs or were actively disengaged, with poor management being the major source of frustration.1
  • It's not just Americans, however. Worldwide, Gallup found that 87% of the workforce worldwide is emotionally disconnected from its work.2
  • Surveys commonly find that up to half of employees report being the target of workplace bullying at some point in their careers.3
  • Every happy friend that you have increases your likelihood of happiness by 9%, whereas unhappy friends decrease your happiness by 7%.4

Optional: You Can Fire One Warning Shot ... Only One

(Note: Skip this step if you already have your matches out. You're obviously a quick study.)

Warning shots are optional, and they're as much for your benefit as for the benefit of the toxic troll whose bridge you intended to burn.

Usually warning shots just buy you time to accelerate your job search or find your gumption to break it off with your not-friend. Find it fast, and remember that you're doing this for you. The toxic troll in your life is not going to change.

And most importantly: Only one warning shot is permitted, so make it stick.

Toxic Troll

Toxic trolls can be personal or professional.  Get ready for a bridge burning, toxic troll!
Toxic trolls can be personal or professional. Get ready for a bridge burning, toxic troll! | Source

Reader Poll: Toxic Trolls

How do you prefer to deal with toxic trolls in your life?

See results

Don't Screw Around With Wimpy Language

Fire your warning shot using strong, transparent language. Wimpy language won't cut it. That time has long since passed.

Consider this a cease and desist notice, and include your toxic troll's name when you address him or her directly. Using a person's name gets their attention. Here are examples:

  • Steve, stop bad mouthing me behind my back. Friends don't do that.
  • Kim, lower your voice right now and don't ever shout at me again. I won't tolerate a work environment where people shout at me.

Create A Buffer

Since you've already tried unsuccessfully to discuss the problem behavior with your toxic troll (you did do that, right?), follow your warning shot with some interpersonal distance. Consider it your protective buffer, the silence before the storm.

Let your message sink in by decreasing the amount and frequency of your contact with your troll. It'll make him wonder about the status of his doomed bridge.

If it's a friend, be too busy to return texts or calls. If it's a boss, resort to email and blunt communication. Stop volunteering for extra work or taking work home with you. (It's not like you're staying anyhow.) See if their behavior improves.

If your judgment was correct about them being a troll, they'll slip again and you'll have to move to the next step: relationship destruction. Blow their freakin' bridge, my friend.

Use Technology To Tell the Boss, "I Quit"

Congratulations! You've Decided To Blow the Bridge

The Truly Toxic Troll

Be ready for this possibility. Truly toxic trolls—those who have been at it a long time and are in positions of power over you — will likely force you to go directly from your warning shot to bridge blowing, as they fire back with counter assaults of threats and blame. They'll

  • feign surprise
  • name call, and
  • deny all personal responsibility.

Be direct, firm, and leave no uncertainty. Ka-pow! Let the pyrotechnics begin. Shock and awe is your only option. Let your feedback rain down on them, then walk away before they know what hit them.

Less Noxious Varieties

Less noxious trolls, on the other hand, will leave you the choice of planning your bridge blowing or waiting until they're up to their old shenanigans (e.g., yelling, name calling, lying) before you go medieval on them.

Light your match, but get it right the first time.
Light your match, but get it right the first time. | Source

Be absolutely sure that you'll never need to cross this troll's bridge again. Then, select an appropriate bridge destruction option:

  • the controlled burn: simply terminate your relationship; blow the bridge and walk away
  • fireworks: give the troll an experience to remember you by, something with a little pizzazz
  • the jolt: try to invoke sudden change through an "Aha!" experience
  • publicly humiliate him
  • leave the troll shattered and broken
  • start a personal war (better watch out; he's meaner than you and probably has more time on his hands).

Celebrate Your Courage

Celebrate your decision to burn that bridge.  You don't need that toxic troll in your life.
Celebrate your decision to burn that bridge. You don't need that toxic troll in your life. | Source

It's A Matter Of Scale

Whether you plan an all-out assault or just want to throw your grenade and walk, scale your bridge blowing activities based on your troll's offensive behavior and the impact you want to make. Use your good judgment in your own bridge blasting endeavors.

I'm not a fan of hurting trolls (just burning their bridges). They are already so harmful to themselves. Besides, overdoing it makes you look like eerily like the troll.

Relationship Destruction 101

When time finally comes to set fire to the bridge, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be direct. Get straight to the point, and don't back down.
  • Remain calm, even in the face of your troll's bitterness, surprise, or tears.
  • Don't permit discussion. Time for that has passed. This is a one way conversation, and you are informing.
  • Name their toxic behavior(s). This reminds them what is creating conflict for them. It's likely a recurring theme in their relationships, and they need to hear again what's causing so much damage.
  • Describe briefly how their toxic behavior makes you feel, but realize that toxic trolls aren't known for their empathy.
  • Tell them how long you've put up with their abusive behavior—your wasted investment in this relationship.
  • Say clearly what you are doing about the situation now. Be final, emphatic, and exact.
  • Then walk away. You're over it, done, and ready to move on.
  • Celebrate! You've destroyed a relationship but saved a little piece of yourself.

Take This Job And ... Give It To Somebody Else

In the professional world, burning bridges can attract a lot of attention. However, when you work with a truly toxic troll, here are 5 reasons why it might not matter as long as it's a rare event:

  1. It's not like your troll is going to help you get another job. Aren't there coworkers or sympathetic others who can help you land a new gig?
  2. What that troll is doing to your psychological and physical health is slowly killing you. If you've tried everything else, ask yourself if you can really afford to wait until s/he retires, gets promoted, is fired, or decides to change his terrible ways. Life is short, and it's just a freaking JOB. Put it in perspective.
  3. Lots of people have had bully bosses, awful coworkers, and have worked with companies that don't share their values.
  4. You have great skills and a solid track record of performance, right?
  5. Depending on how you handled yourself during bridge burning — creative vs. insulting — you may get brownie points from others for standing up to a known troll (the underdog phenomenon).

Feedback Is A Gift So Be Generous

Shower your chronically rude, mean, toxic troll with some candid feedback when you break off the relationship.  It's over.  No reason to hold back now.  Let the fireworks begin!
Shower your chronically rude, mean, toxic troll with some candid feedback when you break off the relationship. It's over. No reason to hold back now. Let the fireworks begin! | Source

Move Forward From This Toxic Land

The bridge is on fire. Walk away, and do not look back. Don't even take time to gather your stuff. Send an envoy later to pick it up.

The relationship is over, so move forward out of this toxic land and do not look back. (No sifting through the burnt ashes.) You're wiser now.

May you build better bridges ahead, my friend.

You Did It! But Don't Gloat Too Much

Okay, you've burned your bridge.  Celebrate, but don't gloat too much.  More forward.  There are better bridges ahead.  And wipe that chin.  You're slurpy.
Okay, you've burned your bridge. Celebrate, but don't gloat too much. More forward. There are better bridges ahead. And wipe that chin. You're slurpy. | Source

Burn Your Bridge With A Toxic Person With These 4 Steps

Name the Toxic Behavior(s)
Describe How the Behavior Makes You Feel
Tell How Long You've Put Up With It
Say What You Are Doing About It Now
Ron, you've YELLED and CURSED at me for the last time.
Your behavior is out-of-control. It makes me feel degraded.
I've put up with your abuse for 3 years.
I have no choice but to quit this job.
Mabel, you've LIED ABOUT ME BEHIND MY BACK for the last time.
Your behavior is mean-spirited. It makes me feel distrustful of you.
I've put up with your two-faced ways for 2 years.
We're no longer friends.
Dennis, I'm done with your CONSTANT NAYSAYING and CRITICSM.
Your behavior is obsessive. It drags me down and makes me feel depressed.
I've put up with your negative talk for 6 months too long.
I'm moving out.

This Guy Had A Brass Band March Him Out Of His Job

Quotes About Burning Bridges

"I demolish my bridges behind me, then there is no choice but forward."

- Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer

"When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes."

- Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and writer

"It makes no difference if I burn my bridges behind me — I never retreat."

- Fiorello LaGuardia, New York politician

"I'm not a wilting flower. I'm honest, so I pick a lot of fights. I've burned a lot of bridges."

- Scott Thompson, Canadian actor

"The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn."

- David Russell, Scottish guitarist

"He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven."

- Thomas Fuller, English historian

"Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge."

- Don Henley, American singer/songwriter

Woo-hoo! Relationship Over!

Relationship pyrotechnics is not for the faint of heart.  It's dangerous behavior, an acquired skill. Engage in it too often or too lightly and you will get seriously injured.
Relationship pyrotechnics is not for the faint of heart. It's dangerous behavior, an acquired skill. Engage in it too often or too lightly and you will get seriously injured. | Source

Notes

1Stebner, B. (2013, June 24). Workplace morale heads down: 70% of Americans negative about their jobs, Gallup study shows. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/70-u-s-workers-hate-job-poll-article-1.1381297.

2Adams, S. (2013, October 10). Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two To One Worldwide. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/10/unhappy-employees-outnumber-happy-ones-by-two-to-one-worldwide/.

3Civility Partners, LLC (2013). The Top Three Myths Of Workplace Bullying. Retrieved from http://www.noworkplacebullies.com/the-top-three-myths-of-workplace-bullying/.

4Barker, E. (2014, March 14). How To Make Friends Easily And Strengthen The Friendships You Have. Retrieved from http://time.com/24122/how-to-make-friends-easily-and-strengthen-the-friendships-you-have/.

Interviewer Puts Boxer In His Place

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 FlourishAnyway

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      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 years ago from USA

        rajan - Brilliantly said! Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Useful suggestions and when a relationship is beyond redemption its best to burn that bridge, to leave no way for a return, and move on.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        firstday - Thank you for stopping by my bridge burning hub! People can be too wishy washy. Sometimes you have to take a strong stand and let the pieces fall where they may. I appreciate your sharing this.

      • firstday profile image

        R Beggs 

        3 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

        Hub Pages alerted me through email on this article which I love. I have shared it with my friends on Tsu the new social network. Thanks for writing this...great fun! Also I gave you a thumbs up.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        VioletteRose - Yes, sometimes you just need to kick 'em to the curb when you've tried everything else. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • VioletteRose profile image

        VioletteRose 

        3 years ago from Chicago

        Hi FlourishAnyway, I very much agree with you. There is sometimes no way other than burning the bridges, especially with toxic relationships.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Perspycacious - Well said! Thanks for reading.

      • Perspycacious profile image

        Demas W Jasper 

        4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

        As a cautionary comment: "Give up friends as slowly as you made them." Even friends have bad days. They were there for you. You should be there for them.

        That said, burn baby, burn!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        MizBejabbers - You had a toxic troll on your hands. Nasty lil creatures.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        You too.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        first day - Thank you for reading. Some bridges never should have been built in the first place. At least we can correct our errors.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 

        4 years ago from Beautiful South

        Very good advice. I've burned very few bridges, but a couple of people have burned their bridges with me and then thought I was chump enough to let them back into my life. When somebody badmouths you online to the world, then tells you to delete their addresses and never contact you again, you do it, or at least I do. Six months later she started trying to get back into my life, and this has been going on for five years. When you burn bridges, you need to mean it.

      • firstday profile image

        R Beggs 

        4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

        I enjoyed this. It takes bravery to burn a bridge. I have burnt a few also. I found this useful. There are so many comments it looks as if a lot of folks enjoy your writing.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        ologsinquito - Thanks so much for your kind support. Have a great week.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        Still one of my favorites. Voted up and shared.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Cesky - Although they say never burn a bridge, I disagree. Sometimes it's necessary and cathartic. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Cesky profile image

        Cecilia Karanja 

        4 years ago from Nairobi

        This is such a comprehensive guide. It is always important to do away with toxic relationships.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        You're probably right. I'm the type that doesn't like to burn bridges.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        ologsinquito - Thanks so much! It's so important to be strategic but not shy away from burning that occasional bridge. People will respect you for it.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        This one continues to make me chuckle. There comes a time when we need to move on. Maybe we don't need to torch everything in our path, but we need to drop what's not working and walk (or run) away from it. Pinned again.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Carolyn - Glad to provide inspiration and humor. Thanks for stopping by!

      • carolynkaye profile image

        carolynkaye 

        4 years ago from USA

        Love this Hub! Lots of good advice here and funny too :-)

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Cherylann - Thanks for the thumbs up, girl!

      • Cherylann Mollan profile image

        Cherylann Mollan 

        4 years ago from India

        Wow! What an article! I've read countless ones on how to be tolerant, and how to love and how to forget, and all those other mushy topics. But, rightly said, sometimes you just need to blow the damn bridge. Very useful suggestions here. Voted up.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Carolyn - I'm sorry that your friends aren't proving to be what you thought they were or wanted them to be. I wish you the best in moving forward, full steam ahead. When you let go of people who hold you back, it can be liberating. You'll open yourself up to new experiences and opportunities ahead.

      • CarolynEmerick profile image

        Carolyn Emerick 

        4 years ago

        This was SO APT for my life right now! I'm someone who likes to cling to people of the past even when it's not healthy or they have become bad people. Recently, I had to let go of some very old friends who had not been very good friends. It IS difficult when you have known these people for 2/3s of your life... but it was the right decision and I look forward to meeting new people who are right for right now. Thank you very much for this article which was affirmative confirmation of the difficult choices I have had to make recently. Upvoted and shared on my personal FB wall :-)

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Writer Fox - Some relationships cannot be fixed and are better off scrapping. Thanks for reading and voting. Have a great day!

      • Writer Fox profile image

        Writer Fox 

        4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

        This is absolutely an interesting subject and you covered it so well. I think some people feel they need permission to walk away from a bad relationship. I'm glad you gave yours along with the reasons why it can be necessary. Enjoyed and voted up!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Easy Exercise - I'm happy I was good for a grin. Thanks for the kind compliments. Have a great week.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        vespawoolf - Everyone has to blow a bridge from time to time just to feel the impact. Of course, sometimes there's toxic fallout, but bridge blowing is fun in the moment. And running is a good idea. Why hang around? Thanks for reading and comment.

      • Easy Exercise profile image

        Kelly A Burnett 

        4 years ago from United States

        FlourishAnyway,

        Oh, you the smiles - you made me grin time and time again! Delightful! I love the rap song with the office worker dancing and then the donkey and i could go on - you are wonderful!

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 

        4 years ago from Peru, South America

        As always, I enjoy your high energy and humorous writing style. I agree there are toxic people and emotional vampires who I won't share my bridge with. I'm more of the blow up the bridge and run away type. Thanks for sharing!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Torrs13 - High five, sister! Thanks for reading.

      • Torrs13 profile image

        Tori Canonge 

        4 years ago from North Carolina

        I've definitely burned a few bridges, but all have been for the better good! I feel like sometimes people, or jobs, can bring us down and we have to burn the bridge in order to be happy again. I've held on for far too long in some cases and the pain was much worse than if I would have just ended things when I knew there was no turning back. As you said, we need to be cautious in some instances, but burning bridges is not always a bad thing. Thanks for this great read!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi, Jackie - No need to mince words when it comes to goodbye, huh? Thanks for reading!

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        4 years ago from The Beautiful South

        No room for 'it's not you it's me' in this one huh?

        Fun read, great advice. ^

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Anna - I like bridge burning sorts. I find them full of character, vim and vigor. Thanks for reading, and have a terrific week ahead.

      • Anna Haven profile image

        Anna Haven 

        4 years ago from Scotland

        You manage to be funny, practical and sassy all in one hub. Good advice and also engaging and interesting to read.

        I am a bridge burning sort of girl, without looking back but only when the dire need arises. :)

        Life is way too short for people who bring only negativity into your world.

        Great work.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Nell - Good for you. Glad you had a real friend who made you see what was really happening.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        4 years ago from England

        I had to burn one big time! my so called friend more or less totally trod on me, and like an idiot I kept her around because she was, well, my friend! till in the end it took another friend to say, what the hell are you doing? so yeah, of she went with 'a flea in her ear' as my mum used to say! lol!

      • sassypiehole profile image

        Lisa René LeClair 

        4 years ago from the ATL

        No neex for thanks; your hubs are awesome! ;-) Cheers!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Sassy - Backyards need cleaning, too. Thanks for reading and rooting me on. I appreciate it! Have an awesome holiday weekend.

      • sassypiehole profile image

        Lisa René LeClair 

        4 years ago from the ATL

        Hilarious... I think we older we get; the less we care about saving a one-sided, toxic relationship. I cleaned house a few years ago and never looked back. Unfortunately, most of my cleaning was in my own backyard. Life is way too short for drama! Voted up, cheers!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Suzanne - Thanks a bunch! I've seen research that (no surprise) indicates that on-line trolls tend to be off-line trolls as well. I'm with you. Down with them. Burn their little bridges. Let them drink their own toxic water, the little devils.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Frank - Oh, it was great fun! Thanks for reading and voting! Have a terrific holiday weekend.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        4 years ago from Shelton

        what don't I like about this hub.. damn must have been fun putting this together voted up and awesome!!!!

      • Suzanne Day profile image

        Suzanne Day 

        4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

        Down with trolls! They deserve to have their bridges burned, whether they're boss trolls, internet forum trolls or other troll-like individuals. Liked this hub so much I've scheduled it in for What The Hub? on Facebook as well as voting it funny!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        shanmarie - I may have done battle with a troll or two. Have a great holiday weekend.

      • shanmarie profile image

        Shannon Henry 

        4 years ago from Texas

        Boy-oh-boy, did you ever peg the troll! The videos are quite entertaining, too.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        truthfornow - Amen to that! Thanks for visiting!

      • truthfornow profile image

        truthfornow 

        4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

        I love the term toxic troll. There is nothing wrong with burning a bridge or two every now and then. It is true that the older one gets it seems the less willing they are to put up with all the drama. Life it just too short to waste time with people who make you feel bad. Nicely said and funny too! Voted up.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Devika - Thanks for reading. Although it's unfortunate when you have to do it, if you need to at least it should be memorable for both parties.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Linda - Thanks for your support and encouragement!

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Awesome hub! The lay out and so interesting about burning bridges a great rush of action.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This hub is a very entertaining way to deal with a serious topic, Flourish! I love the way in which you mix amusement with practical advice. I'll share this hub.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Kathleen - Yes, you do ... on occasion. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

        Kathleen Odenthal 

        4 years ago from Bridgewater

        I enjoyed this. I know from experience that typically, it is better not to burn bridges, but sometimes, you just gotta cover them with gas, throw a match, run and never look back!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Audrey - If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        4 years ago from California

        I am generally not the bridge burning kind--but when I do it, I agree--do it with style

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        kikinusbaumer - Glad you enjoyed it. Sing a little chant as your toxic troll swims for shore in your dust.

      • kikinusbaumer profile image

        Kiki Nusbaumer 

        4 years ago from Chesterfield, VA

        This post lifted my spirits. I won't be burning my bridge, but rather gently unhooking the ropes so as not to ever tread there again, but this still felt like a big cheer and a hearty well wishing. Also funny as hell. Thank you!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Sha - Na, I'm here for a good while! I love your quittin' style. Way to go!

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        4 years ago from Central Florida

        Whew, for a minute I thought you were leaving us! Love this post, Flourish. I quit my last job via email. On a Sunday. After I'd called in sick three days in a row. Of course, I wasn't really sick. Just sick of the lies and deceit.

        Love the girl who quit using a white board. Good for her!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Jo - Thanks so much for your kind and enthusiastic encouragement. It makes my day!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        travmaj - Ka-pow! Just remember to aim first then fire! Have a great day!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        grand old lady - You have to surround yourself with positive people, else the toxic water will rot you through and through. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • tobusiness profile image

        Jo Alexis-Hagues 

        4 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

        Flourish, brilliant! Funny, interesting, useful and always practical.

        Well done, up all the way and sharing.

      • travmaj profile image

        travmaj 

        4 years ago from australia

        Wow Flourish - talk about fire in the belly...I've got to admit my procrastination and in many instances didn't burn that bridge when clearly I should have. Where was your hub? But that's in hindsight. You made me laugh and think (and squirm) Am now checking my list before I fire - out of my way Toxic Trolls. Thanks for an enlightening, entertaining hub. Voting.

      • grand old lady profile image

        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

        4 years ago from Philippines

        There really are times when you have to burn bridges. The biggest bridges you have to burn are the people who are only there to use you, want to get something from you because they think you have everything and they have nothing (which is never true, even if the person is Donald Trump and the other person is myself). It's emotionally and physically healthier to surround yourself with positive people who contribute wisdom, true friendship, support and love to your life. Wonderful hub.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Bill - I'm with you. I'm seen some pretty awe-inspiring explosions over the years in my HR role. Even when I felt management had been outsmarted, outfoxed, outdumbed, or otherwise beat at its own game, there were some bridge burnings that I applauded for their sheer brilliance, creativity, and gusto. I did wonder where certain employees landed their next position, too, but some places are meaner places to work than others Thanks for reading and commenting, as always.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Faith Reaper - I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I've thought maybe my next hub should be "How to Mend A Fence" but nah. That ain't no fun.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        4 years ago from Massachusetts

        I've seen some pretty entertaining bridge burning at work over the years. As funny as they can sometimes be to witness it' often sad to see people reach the end of their rope. Great job Flourish, very entertaining.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        4 years ago from southern USA

        Ka-pow! Love this one, Flourish. I really enjoy your writing style. You have a one-of-a-kind style and you stand out. Your captions under your photos are hilarious and perfect. LOL Oh, the videos are great.

        The best part is your keen insight into these nasty situations and advice on what to do "before going medieval on them". lol

        Voted up +++ pinning, tweeting and sharing

        Blessings always

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        OldRoses - Good for you! May your life be filled with only roses, no thorns.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        MsDora - Thank you! Thankfully it's a rare activity and the rest of the world we fill with hugs, smiles, and good tidings. Blessings to you.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        I will never hear about burning bridges again without thinking of this article. The power and passion in the tone is motivating. I'm thinking that everyone needs this at some time in their lives. Love the four steps. Thanks for all of it. Voted Up and More.

      • OldRoses profile image

        Caren White 

        4 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

        One good thing about growing older is that I realize I don't want to waste any more time or effort on idiots. I don't bother with burning bridges. I just walk away. I only want positive people in my life now. My life has turned completely around now. It's wonderful.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        JayWill - Thanks for stopping by.

      • JayWill profile image

        Jay Williams 

        4 years ago from Austin

        Another witty, clever story. Good job.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Lybrah - I'm delighted that it registered that way with you! Thanks for the feedback!

      • profile image

        Lybrah 

        4 years ago

        I loved this hub. It was excellent, well written, and funny.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        csmiravite-blogs - Thanks for the kudos. After awhile, you'd wonder whether the toxic trolls would get a hint that there's something that needs fixing 'bout them bridges.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        CyberShelley - Those troll relationships are tough teachers. Glad you've learned from each one. Thanks for the kind compliment and for sharing.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Jodah - Glad you enjoyed it. Anyone with a real backbone has burned a bridge. I worry about those who say "never."

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        4 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Funny but useful hub Flourish. I too have burnt bridges once or twice, and love a song called 'burning bridges' by Jackson Brown. Thanks for this hub and the videos...'take this job and shove it..' Is good too.

      • csmiravite-blogs profile image

        Consolacion Miravite 

        4 years ago from Philippines

        I love your style! I love your spunk! I love how you tell people that you're out of their shitty lives! How I wish I can be as upfront! Ah nah, probably too old for that! Lol!

        Voted up! :D

      • CyberShelley profile image

        Shelley Watson 

        4 years ago

        It the experience and wisdom that comes with age, toxic relationships must be cut, if one cannot change the relationship, change the circumstances and baby burn that bridge! I've done it a few times, sometimes it felt really good other times I wished it could have been different. But today I know I am better for each burned bridge! Great, great piece here - so enjoy your writing. Up, interesting, funny, beautiful and shared!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Sheila - There's nothing wrong with lighting someone up who really has it coming! Thanks for reading.

      • sgbrown profile image

        Sheila Brown 

        4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

        I have to admit that I have burned a few bridges in my time, but they needed burning. Now there are a couple, I wish I had burned...I think I just scorched them a little! Great hub! Up and useful! :)

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Martie - May the glow of such a burning bridge warm your heart as you walk away unscathed. Let that ole' toxic troll find someone else to pester. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • MartieCoetser profile image

        Martie Coetser 

        4 years ago from South Africa

        Hear-hear! Thank heavens we finally reach the stage where we are able to distinguish between essential bridges and dilapidated, high-maintenance bridges leading to Nowhere.

        Burn the damn bridge and move on!

        We are on the same page, FlourishAnyway :)

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Liz - I think you can only do that once in a lifetime. I do wonder what they did as their next job.

      • epbooks profile image

        Elizabeth Parker 

        4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

        Very entertaining hub. I loved the videos and the styles of quitting. Priceless!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Thanks, Mari!

      • profile image

        dragonflycolor 

        4 years ago

        Very well put, Flourish!

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        KawikaChann - I couldn't agree with you more. Save the bridge burning for the very vile ones!

      • KawikaChann profile image

        Kawika Chann 

        4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

        Yep, burned a few in my time, but happy that I held back on the matches for most of them, they have become super-highways that I traverse with ease. But for those that I burned, my what a delightful flame they made. Thanks for the memories. Upvoted/useful. Peace. Kawi.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        ologsinquito - That's my preferred mode if it's hard to make a clean break -- ignoring the little buggers and allow the relationship to die from starvation. I wish you the best as your turn your back and find another route across the river. Thanks for commenting, sharing, pinning.

      • ologsinquito profile image

        ologsinquito 

        4 years ago from USA

        This is funny. Although, right now, I am choosing distance in one relationship, it won't end with a flourish. (Pardon the pun.) I am simply letting the relationship fizzle out, and, if asked, I will say exactly why, in a polite way. The main thing is, in my mind, I've decided it's hit a point of no return and the investment is no longer worth it. This was not a rash decision. I've debated doing this for a few years. Thanks for a great article. Voted up, shared and pinned.

      • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 years ago from USA

        Bill - I think I'll keep you as well. ;-) Have a great day.

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