Repairing Bridges

Can it be done? Can some do it better than others? Does it matter?

I spent too many years of my life burning bridges before I crossed them. I used to joke that not only did I burn bridges, I sought out the architect and killed him before the damned thing was even on the drawing board. It was all mostly in my professional life (which is the reason I’m so successful today) but there have been one or two occasions when it happened in the scene – most notably about a month before I met Sandy. I was in communication by email and IM with a woman, getting along nicely, when a misunderstanding erupted (it was my fault). I handled it poorly, I think, and the budding friendship went south.

More than once I’ve seen people have those moments – what I normally call “career ending moments”. It’s usually prompted by a foot being inserted directly into a mouth that is moving faster than the brain allegedly controlling it. Stupid remarks, anger and hurt feelings all around. Sometimes this stuff feeds on itself and the person who made the dumb remark quickly finds him or herself ground up in the rumor mill. Once this starts, can it be fixed?

I wish I had a set answer for this but I don’t. I’ve seen people get blacklisted because of behavior or inappropriate remarks who then end up irrevocably branded in the scene. I’ve also seen misunderstandings cleared up and forgotten. I suppose severity of “infraction” has a lot to do with it coupled with a desire (or lack thereof) to want to make amends. One or more sides of a dispute have to be willing to swallow a bit of pride and reach across the table. On some level, it also has a bit to do with popularity. If ten people like someone and one has an issue, it’s usually safe to assume that it will eventually blow over (at least as far as the overall community is concerned).

What do you folks think? If a man or woman acts like a jerk or a whiner or simply says something that doesn’t sit well with others, do they have a chance at some level of “redemption”?


4 Responses to “Repairing Bridges”

  1. If they are usually a normal person, and had a moment of flaming irrationality, then I’d like to think they have a second chance with whoever they unloaded on, and the sincere desire for redemption and resolution, followed by a resumption of a better relationship.

    If they are usually a jerk, and were just being a jerk, then they probably don’t know what they are doing that turns everyone off, and will never seek redemption, not believing such is needed.

  2. radagast Says:

    I wanted to make sure that I was not writing about anyone specific and no one specific was the intended subject. But it’s interesting that some people have a much easier time of being “forgiven” (if forgiveness is the warranted) while others are allowed only one strike.

  3. Rad – When I first started out on line for “real” in the summer of 2005, I was corresponding with a man named “Stephan” (not his real name). All was going swimmingly, until he insisted that I send him a picture. I had my husband take one (he’s all for my “new” lifestyle as long as he doesn’t have to participate!) and I sent it to Stephan. I got an email back saying I was “too old”, and not what he was looking for. This after I told him I had gray hair, and was 50…and fond of cookies and cakes and carbs.
    So – I said “fine”, and I went to my first Paddles OTK night, and I had a blast, and I forgot all about Stephan.
    Fast Forward 3 months – he emails me and says perhaps he was too hasty – well – by that point I was having way too much fun, and had met the Top whom I would meet with monthly for the next 2 years – so I politely told him that I appreciated his correspondence(dance??), but I was happy and didn’t need him. He was gracious, and said that he might have been too hasty in his rejection of me, and wished me well.
    I haven’t thought about him since then, up until your topic…but it was a bridge that couldn’t be rebuilt.

  4. radagast Says:

    Unfortunately, some people have a very narrow view of what good looks are. Foolish people. And I agree – being insulted in such a personal way out of the blue is a good way for a person to end up on the shit list.

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