There is a saying that I’ve never really understood, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” What does that mean? I guess it means that if your enemies are close then you know what they are up to. However, it me, it also means they are close enough to glean a lot of valuable information about you (that they can later use against you) and, of course, they are close enough to stab that knife deep into you back.
For me, the saying should say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies as far away as possible.” To me you should keep good people close and ethical, loyal and positive people even closer. Surround yourself with people who see the best in you and who you can encourage and support as well. Basically, you should see the best in each other.
I try to keep the time I spend with spiteful, negative and jealous people to a minimum. This has not been easy but it’s been worth it. There are people I have known since grade school that I’ve slowly moved out of my circle. After a series of events, I realized they didn’t want the best for me. In fact, in a couple of cases they actually went out of their way to see me fall and then kick me when I was down. Sure, we’d known each other forever, but how much is that worth when the outcome is so detrimental?
I didn’t make a scene or have a dramatic confrontation; I just slowly stopped calling and seeking out their company. I also closed down when I did see them (we ran in the same circles). I didn’t tell them about who I was dating, what job I was applying for or confide in them about any family issues. I was polite and friendly but on a very surface level. Eventually, I moved to another city … which made it avoiding them a lot easier! LOL!
This also applies to family. Choosing your family isn’t an option but how much time you spend with them and how much you share with them is up to you. A close family is a beautiful thing but when that close family specializes in tearing you down, harping on your mistakes or verbally harassing you it ceases to be a thing of beauty. There are members of my extended family that are very extended and that is a very intentional decision.
Luckily, I don’t have too many enemies but for those few, I want to me be so far away that they’ll have to throw that dagger if they want to stab me in the back!