Your Enemies Are Here to Teach You

What can you learn from rivalry?

Brandon Bell
Mar 1 · 6 min read
Photo by Nick Wang on Unsplash

You may not realize how many you have but we all have enemies. It’s definitely a choice that is up to you but you probably know someone who you don’t gel with immediately when you see them.

Having an enemy is one of the worst feelings in the world but it can give you a sense of motivation to prove them wrong. Are you really trying to prove them wrong or are you trying to prove yourself wrong? What’s interesting about having an enemy is that when you’re explaining to someone what they’ve done to you, it never comes out all that bad.

You know that they’ve affected you in a negative way but you can’t explain it. All they did was show you something that you already knew about yourself but never wanted to admit. In this sense, it’s okay to have someone you don't get along with but it’s not okay to let them take over your whole life.

Instead of viewing your enemies as people who are trying to take you down, look at them as teachers. This probably sounds weird to do and maybe hard to do but it will make your life a lot easier. Have you ever asked yourself why that person is your enemy?

When answering this question, be honest with yourself and see where that anger is coming from. Some people are rude and have no sense of empathy but usually, if you find something wrong with a person it’s because they’ve made you question your morals.

In life, there are going to be many external factors that make you question your principles but you have the option to listen or not to. Enemies are obstacles, and what do obstacles do the best? They test you, they even make you stronger most of the time.

Does this mean that enemies are good to have? Well, that’s totally up to you at the end of that day but the more enemies you have the more stressed out you will be. Choose the option to have fewer enemies in your life and more teachers.

Enemies take up a lot of thought, most of those thoughts are negative but need to be thought about in order for you to grow. It’s like seeing a question on a test where you think you know the answer but none of the choices that are provided match your answer. Your enemies are going to question you, how will you take this from now on?

They Show You Your Bad Side

You have a bad side within you, you may be more familiar with this being your temper. Do you have a bad temper? If not, then that's great and you should do your part to try and help others with strengthening this trait but it’s hard when everyone else has a bad temper too.

I’m guilty of having a lousy temper, I may not be so vocal about it but you can definitely see it in my facial expression and in my nature. I get quiet, I don’t talk to anyone and I ignore whatever energy someone tries to put onto me whether it’s good or bad.

Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of our bad side because it puts us more in control of it when it does want to pop back out. Enemies do an excellent job of doing this and you need to start seeing this as an opportunity to control your temper instead of feeding it onto them.

Our enemies want you to yell back at them and they want you to disagree with them so you can feel bad about yourself. Whether you see it or not, you’re doing the same thing to your enemy as they’re doing to you when you feed into their negative energy.

You need to know how you act when you get angry, for the sake of your future and for the sake of your safety. We tend to not give much thought to our actions when we’re angry, we could end up hurting ourselves if we’re not able to control it.

The next time you’re confronted by your enemy, let them talk bad to you all they want but do yourself a favor and don’t feed into that energy, instead be aware of the anger you’re feeling and don’t put it onto them.

Talk to somebody else who you can trust about how you feel and take deep breaths. These two techniques will help you control your anger more and help you to be stronger when facing your enemy in the eye.

You’re human and you’re going to get angry sometimes, just don’t let anyone else be the one to get you angry all of the time, this will make you more resilient for future obstacles.

You’re Not Always Right

Who doesn’t like being right? Be honest with yourself, do you not like it when you’re able to prove someone else wrong? Especially your enemy? While there will be instances where you will have the opportunity to prove someone wrong, it’s ideal to keep in mind that you will not always be right either.

Enemies have a habit of letting you know that you’re not right, this is where you start to become angry. How silly does that sound though? Why are you getting so upset because someone else is thinking differently than you?

Be smart enough to know that there is a possibility that you will be wrong some of the time. When you can accept that you don’t know everything there is to know about life then life will become a lot easier and will become more understanding as well. Being wrong just means you have an opportunity to learn, everyone is wrong every now and then so don’t feel like you need to be right all of the time.

When in the moment, you may want to say something to defend yourself against your enemy but that just causes more arguing between the both of you and the solution never gets solved.

If someone calls your bluff or says that you’re wrong, nod your head and let the other person explain to you why you’re wrong. Be subtle about it though, don’t holler out “ Why am I wrong?” Instead, say something like “You know what, you have a point but can you explain a little bit more of why you think that?”

Your enemy will be surprised and they will start to feel like the actual villain in the situation. The point of a conflict is to come to a resolution about the problem, not to create another one.

People will prove you wrong every now and then so don’t be the one to try and prove why you’re right because this just makes you less likely to be understanding when life shows you when you’re wrong versus when a person does.

Not Everyone Is Going to Like You

You probably already know this by now but it’s always good to remind yourself of this. If you feel like you don’t remind yourself of this enough then don’t worry, your enemies will definitely remind you.

You shouldn’t strive to have everyone have a liking of you, that's just not healthy and it’s not realistic. You can put out all of the positive energy that you want but not everyone is going to receive it, believe it or not, you will sometimes get back negative energy.

When putting out good energy like this, don’t expect positive energy in return, just do it because it’s the right thing. Your enemies will sometimes see you giving out positive energy and they will try to take it away from you. Protect your energy at all costs and understand that not everyone is going to like you.

View your enemies as teachers and kill them with kindness. Look out for them and understand that they’re a human just like you. I’ll leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi that says

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.”

Curious

Find out what others have already figured out. Follow to join our community.

Brandon Bell

Written by

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Brandon Bell

Written by

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Curious

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store