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Why You Must Learn to Hate Your Friends and Love Your Enemies

posted 15 Sept 2010, 07:41 by Mpelembe   [ updated 15 Sept 2010, 07:45 ]

The world is cruel and your friends are there to cushion the pain and suffering. I guess you're wondering why I wrote this article and most importantly why you must apply this "crazy" concept if you want to gain power in life. If you look closely, you have more to fear from your friends than your enemies. Ironic isn't it?

Here's why. Your so-called friends usually say yes to whatever you say or do in order to avoid any conflict. Even if you're wearing the most hideous outfit they will still say you look good.

Unfortunately, there's no way to really tell how they feel. Moreover, your close friends know the most intimate details of your life and they have the power to use this against you when things get sour. The world is filled with stories of betrayal and I'm very sure you've experienced this same feeling at certain point in your life.

If you're interested to gain power and wealth, it is a fatal mistake to hire friends just because you trust them. Generally, hiring friends will limit your ability to expand your reach and gain more power. One reason is they may not have the right skills needed to accomplish your objectives. Moreover, there's a tendency that they will get envious as you continue to soar. Crab mentality or the notion "if I can't have it, neither should you" starts to surface.

Moreover, working with your friends blurs the line of professional distance. Most work requires a certain distance between the boss and his people. Unfortunately, it's hard to do that with your friends for it can breed tension, jealousy and even ingratitude.

This is where your enemies come in. First, allow me to define an enemy - they are the people that you have conflict with or disagree with. I'm not referring to a typical enemy that you want to fist fight at bar. I'm referring to those people who don't share your opinion or sentiment. An enemy can also be abstract such as laziness, indifference or lack of passion.

In the book 48 Laws of Power, the author says working with your enemy is an untapped gold mine that you must learn to exploit. Why? Simply because they will do basically everything to prove that they did things right. Try to make it a policy to work with people who disagree with you. This will open up new perspectives, spark creativity and avoid the dreaded groupthink.

Having an enemy will keep you alert at all time. There's a constant need to do things right. When there's no enemy we tend to relax and grow lazy. In the words of a prose writer and Spanish Jesuit, Baltasar Gracian, a wise man knows how to profit from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

If you happen to be a really nice guy who doesn't have any enemy, try to make one. I'm not suggesting that you pick a fight against random people. Instead, choose a worthy enemy in your life or workplace that will help you improve your performance.

Use them as your benchmark to measure your success. If they share any opinion, contradict it with your own opinion but make sure it makes sense. Don't just say yes for the sake of peace. Man up and be ready to engage in a more intellectual and meaning conversation. Be prepared all the time.

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