“Enemy” is a word that reeks of negativity, there is no doubt about that for sure. Even if you tried your best, you would probably not be able to think of anything positive to associate with an enemy. And if someone ever told you that your enemy, in fact, can be your best teacher when it comes to self-improvement, you are perhaps just going to break into laughter right to his face. So, go ahead, and start laughing. Because it’s exactly what we are here to tell you.
But once you are done laughing and have regained your conscious, we’d like to further the discussion and accentuate a few of the reasons why we think your enemies can actually help a great deal for your self-growth. In the simplest of terms, an enemy would be defined as someone who has an aim to lower your morals, bring you down either privately or publicly, or someone who is always in search of an opportunity to hurt you in some way. Of course, it is understandable for you to not believe that such a person can actually be of any help for your self-improvement.
In all honesty, though, it’s entirely a matter of perspective. And that’s where we come in. We have collected the information that is likely to give you a whole new perspective that will enlighten you to the ways that you can actually use your enemies for your personal growth. Enough with the curiosity, let’s dive deep and see how do we justify our aforementioned claim.
You Are Not Perfect
The first and the foremost lesson that you get to learn from your enemies is that you are not perfect. More often than not, all of us wish to live in our imaginary world where it is next to impossible to associate a flaw with ourselves. It is not always convenient for your friends and family to break that bubble for you and accentuate your flaws or the shortcomings that you should put an effort into improving. Of course, your close ones are doing it for the sake of protecting you from getting hurt. But that’s one aspect that your enemy doesn’t care about.
Your enemies are the first one to highlight your shortcomings. If you tune into it, they’d even be able to let you know of the tiniest flaws that you never thought you even had. But isn’t that an important component of self-improvement? Knowing what you are lacking and seeing the room for improvement? After all, how do you possibly plan on improving anything about your personality if you are totally oblivious of the fact that it needs improvement in the first place?
When one of your enemies is pointing out your flaws, there are three ways for you to respond. Firstly, you can be hurt, go in the corner and cry about it. Secondly, you can choose to be denial and refute that you have the shortcoming, to begin with. And lastly, you can analyze where he is coming from. Is it purely out of hatred and anger, or does it actually have some weight? In the case of the latter, you are now aware of your shortcoming and can put an effort for improvement that translates directly into personal growth in the long run.
Patience And Tolerance
Let’s face it. We are not living in the movies where the only appropriate response to your enemy who is trying to bully you is to go up to him and punch him in the face. This is real life. The rules are different here. Being a well-educated, civilized individual, you are expected to act in an appropriate fashion. Being violent and letting it all out just makes you the bad guy regardless of how hard you try to explain the circumstances that provoked you to activate the attack mode.
And that’s where your second lesson is concealed that serves its role for your self-improvement and personal growth. Since your enemies have a way of testing your limits, you can use the scenarios to learn the virtues of patience and tolerance and make them a part of your personality. You get to learn to keep your calm in the worst of scenarios. In this time and age where it is practically a fashion to lose it, someone who is in control of his emotions and clings to patience and tolerance regardless of how bad the situation gets, is destined to succeed in both his personal as well as his professional life.
Forgiveness Is A Great Virtue
This brings us to our next lesson that our enemies can help us learn for our personal growth. As mentioned earlier, we are living in the civilized times where violence is not an option. Besides, you can find an enemy in any set up at all. For instance, you may end up making one at work because someone got too jealous of your superior performance and all the recognition that you have been getting lately. What are you going to do about such a bully? Being aggressive is totally out of the question as it ruins your entire reputation and can even put your job at risk in the worst case scenarios.
The only legit option at your disposal is to enhance your skill of forgiving others. Not for the sake of being more likable for them. Not with a hope of getting anything out of it except your mental peace. The sooner you forgive them for what they did, the sooner it disappears from your mind, and the sooner you start to feel better again. In response to the hatred that your enemies throw at you, you get an opportunity to practice forgiveness and learn an important skill to move on. Being stuck in a moment is the root cause of overthinking that jeopardizes your mental health in the long run. Learning to forgive, however, helps your personal growth by turning you into a better and stronger person who has the ability to move on from a situation that is no longer working for him.
Accepting The Reality
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just live in a world where everyone loved us? How amazing would it be to not have an experience of hatred throughout your life? If only the people who ever crossed your path became your friends while you never knew what it feels like to have an enemy. Unfortunately, however, none of it is anything more than wishful thinking.
Your life is filled with experiences and there literally are thousands of people who are likely to cross your path through the course of your life. It is impossible for you to have a friendly interaction with each and every single one of them. Remember that people are different. And with that many experiences, someone at some point in your life is destined to disagree with you to the extent that he chooses to be your enemy.
A change of perspective here can let us find an important lesson for personal growth. The lesson that it is impossible for you to please everybody. In any given scenario, there is always going to be a bunch of people who would essentially be your supporters, and then a flock who would stand against you no matter how hard you tried to please them. This is how you learn the importance of being yourself, stand your ground, and stop being a pushover. Your enemies are essentially a reminder for you that some people are always going to hate you. They make you strong enough to face this reality and accept it. Simply put, it turns you into a stronger, more realist person over time.
The Art Of Arguing
No, arguments are not always bad. As long as it doesn’t turn aggressive or violent, an argument is just a way of standing up to something that you believe in. Having the wits to argue while keeping your calm, in fact, presents you as a more confident and knowledgeable individual; a skill that is pretty much essential to land you the promotion at work. If you have ideas but are not confident to argue their vitality, there is hardly going to be anyone to take you or your idea any seriously.
As mentioned earlier, your enemies are likely to test your limits. This implies that engaging in an argument with them will eventually become a hobby for you. On the other hand, however, since violence and aggression are taken out of the equation, you are left with patience, tolerance, and rationale as your ammunition to win the argument. Merge all of it into one and you have a perfect opportunity and an impeccable platform to practice arguing and get better at it without losing your calm.
Regardless of what line of work have chosen as a career, be it politics or academia, economist or healthcare, technologist or accountancy, the art of holding a healthy argument improves your chances of success in your professional life up to multiple folds.
Snap Judgments Can Be Wrong
You can tell yourself all you want that you are not judgmental in any way but it will not stop being false. Being judgmental is a part of the human experience. Some of us are more judgmental, others are less prone to it. But we all make judgments at least to some extent. Your judgments based on the thorough analysis of the facts are fine. But the snap judgments which are based on insufficient information are synonymous to jumping to conclusions.
Look around yourself and try to think of the one person that you have the highest opinion of. If you are being honest, your answers would be “Yourself”. And yet there are people who are not reluctant in showing their hatred for you. This is what makes you wonder what is it that you are doing wrong? Since you have a higher opinion of yourself, you are likely to shake it off with a, “He has that opinion about me because he doesn’t know me”.
With sufficient opportunities as provided by your enemies, you learn to reciprocate the same courtesy to other people. Instead of making a snap judgment and putting them in the list of people that you dislike, you start to tell yourself to stop being judgmental and get to know them better before you make your opinion.
In other words, having enemies help a great deal in making you less judgmental in the long run that is a crucial component of self-improvement for anyone who is looking forward to giving a little boost to his personality.
We are confident that the above-mentioned information must have given you a different perspective to look at your enemies. The food for thought is likely to suck the negativity out of such experiences and focus on the positive as well as the things that you are getting to learn via your day to day interactions with your enemies. You know what they say, if you dig deeper, you can always find something positive about all of your experiences. And it applies perfectly here. You would perhaps have never thoughts of anything that you can actually get to learn from your enemies. But here you are now realizing that they are actually your best friends when it comes to self-improvement and personal growth.
Remind yourself of what you are getting out of your enemies from here on and you would surely transform such a negative experience into a delight for yourself. It’s time that you actually tricked your enemies into helping you grow and improve your personality over time. They can continue their hideous acts without even realizing the favor that they are actually lending you. As always, we welcome your feedback and a healthy discussion about whether or not you found the content useful and to what extent do you agree with it.