Don't Be Afraid To Burn Down All The Broken Bridges In Your Life

Don't Be Afraid To Burn Down All The Broken Bridges In Your Life

Growing up, we were always told not to burn our bridges, but if it is broken enough, set that thing to flames.
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What do you do when a person you were counting on doesn't have your back?

We don't often have to ask ourselves this question (god willing), but it does come around every once in a blue moon. We find ourselves in this heavy middle between feeling betrayed and half-expecting the abandonment. The sad part is, as much as you try to count on people, you always have to keep in the back of your mind the fact that they won't always be there for you, even when you need them.

Betrayal can incite a long list of emotions starting with anger and ending in disappointment with a full encapsulation of sadness. We tend to act out in these situations by either saying things we don't mean or saying the things we do mean but delivering them in an overly harsh manner. Because the betrayal catches you by surprise, there's no way to fully prepare for the feeling of defeat, but my one piece of advice is to just walk away.

Take time for yourself to reflect on the feelings brewing deep inside you, whether they be anxiety or ferocity. Step back and ask yourself how you would see things from their point of view in the situation, regardless of your feelings toward them. Sometimes, there really is no excuse for their disconcerting behavior, especially when all it would have taken was making you feel understood and accepted, but to be blunt, people suck. As the saying goes, the only person you can truly count on is yourself. But don't let that discourage you or ruin a friendship, just keep in mind how they acted in a situation when you thought you could count on them.

We're always told to treat others the way we wish to be treated, yet somehow, many people seem to have missed that lesson in their young, impressionable lives. One thing I have to say to you, reader: don't stoop to their level. You know better and no amount of betrayal should allow you to be lesser as a person if even for a moment. As yet another saying goes, forgive but don't forget.

In relationships, we tend to make excuses for the other person. If you try to rationalize their behavior, the situation may be even worse than you think, because no one should ever reflect their personal feelings on your hard time to make you feel lost and alone. Unless you did something wrong to them, if they don't have your back, they aren't being a good friend – it's cut and dry.

At the end of the day, you need to decide whether your friend is truly a friend. If you can sit back and feel satisfied with how they've acted over the course of your friendship with only a few minor slipups, well congratulations, you found yourself a keeper. But if all you can recognize are the downfalls and mixed emotions, it may be time to move on to bigger and better people.

Situations can be black and white if you let them, so stop clouding the air by making excuses for their poor behavior.

Go to the people in your life who you know will support you. If you run to a person who consistently makes you feel worse, it's time to move on. Discover the true friendships in your life and the ones that will stand the test of time, not falter with a small breeze. The only friends in your life should be ones you can count on, so don't be afraid to burn down the broken bridges.

Cover Image Credit: kevin laminto

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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