Keep Your Enemies Close?

sun tz“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”
― Sun Tzu

I was a teenager the first time I heard this quote. I was hungry for wisdom back then. I still am. I understood the statement when I heard it. It’s been in the back my mind, my whole life.

That’s not to say I have applied this philosophy in my life, because I have not. But there have been times in my life where I’ve been forced to mingle with someone who might be an enemy. I’ve called up this quote during those times, as a way to make the interacting more tolerable.

Recently, I changed my mind on this. Sun Tzu was a warrior. I am not a warrior. And I have decided that at this point in my life, I do not want my enemies, close. Matter of fact, I want to avoid people I don’t like, or people who don’t like me, as often and as effectively as possible for the rest of my life.

I came to this conclusion when I realized that whatever I might gain from having my enemies close, is nowhere near worth the price of the day to day strain.

On top of that, there is the whole “Lie down with dogs and get fleas” thing to consider. In my experience, this is exactly what happens so from here on out, I’m going to keep my friends close and my enemies as far away as possible.

What do you think of Sun Tzu’s quote? Does it work for you better than it does for me?

36 thoughts on “Keep Your Enemies Close?”

  1. In a work context I do think about it, but mostly I try to detach. I am not a warrior either (despite my chart LOL).

    One thing I’ve had to contend with is that I do attract enemies (Sun/Pluto) but I also have good luck. It’s just a constant balance for me. Getting burned and regenerating is part of my life path and it’s gotten less painful as I get older.

  2. If I hear someone use that phrase, I make an effort to stay away from them. I never keep enemies close. I retain whatever info I can about them, and yeah I have to mingle sometimes with them, but I draw the line there. My experience has been that people who really do keep enemies around are very capable of becoming an enemy as well.

  3. i agree with you elsa. i am not a warrior and, in general, i try to keep my “enemies” as far away as possible. which seems to drive them nuts. they can’t get to me and they hate it.

  4. this is situational..if you find yourself suddenly in the midst of enemy,keep them close,be watchful and be friendly(or at least not confrontational)until you can get out fast…I can see some situations where one would need to do that.but as far as keeping enemies close to you all the time, no way. I cant live with my guard up all the time!

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    I used to keep everyone close. I simply had schardbtime believing anyone was my enemy until they stabbed me a couple times (Neptune conj DSC)

    But saturn conj ASC from 12th has progressed to conj my ASC and told my Neptune to get to work… Fine tune its talents… Quit just “believing” the best if people and trust the felling its getting instead…

    I have a smaller circle of friends around me now but I sense the enemy and while I can’t always keep them “out” of my life all together, I don’t allow them as “close” as I used to

  6. I would rather avoid them all as well. I can see a certain logic behind this, which works if you want to keep engaging in a cold/private war with them. I do not!

  7. Haha, I would rather avoid them altogether too. It’s just safer and healthier to stay far, far away.

    However, if I have to be in proximity, I want to know what they’re up to. I want to know what the **** they’re going to do (to me) next. I want to know their next move… intel, damn it!

    While listening for intel or potential intel, I always hear things I don’t want to. 🙁

    I have Mars-Merc in the 8th, so there ya go.

  8. This sounds like Mars in Scorpio.

    I have Mars/SN in Aries and I prefer to carry on my merry way and take out enemies when required.

    I don’t ‘avoid’ so much as I just detach my energy from theirs as quickly as possible. I learned a long time ago that some people are just spoiling for a fight and I will not be that person if I can help it.

    One of the highschools I attended was really rough. I remember being about 14 and this gang of girls asking me if I wanted to fight. My response was a calm “no thank you, you’ll probably win.”

    Hahahhaha. They had no idea what to do with me. They left me alone after that. Which was all I wanted in the first place.

  9. I never used to believe I could be disliked, stollen from, misguided, gossiped about, back-stabbed but I was.

    Cancer with Libra rising, I want to hug everybody and make all things good. And, you can have anything I have.

    Then I went through chemo, had to keep working, in the desert, in the summer, and one August day was stuck in an inescapable situation and walked smack into satan, in his hell, I could have exploded from the heat, I said, “Here I am, blow me up, this is your chance”. I stood there solid as a rock and nothing happened. So, I said, “Ok, chicken-sh.. mother-fu…., then I never want to see you again”.

    Now, I can actually see and hear others who I know do not have my interests at heart. They’re not very far away from where I am at any given time. I just keep moving. Mind my own business. It’s the mind my own business that has had the most profound effect.

    I believe the little girl grew up and will not be a pushover for those walking on the dark side.

  10. Recently, I changed my mind on this. Sun Tzu was a warrior. I am not a warrior.
    The are of war is an excellent book, but people forget that it was written about how to effectively fight and win battles to ultimately win the war. Even Sun Tzu recognizes the shadows of war.

  11. I have an ambition that requires me to thrive in a competitive environment. I don’t like to keep my enemies close. Maybe it’s why I’m not succeeding on one level. But on MY level, I’m succeeding for this very reason, that I don’t get caught up in the dramas of people who don’t support me.

  12. This is wisdom from knowledge attained. The knowledge to know to keep your enemies closer but the wisdom to discern who this knowledge is intended for and which area/part of life it must be used. Don’t cast pearls to swine.

  13. I interpret this philosophy as keeping the door open for diplomacy. Sometimes, though, I think there are people I’m acquainted with that are friendly only because they see me as the enemy. Is it wrong I find this both sad and amusing?

  14. these two last posts hit be totally spot on! A family member blew up on me yesterday, so pissed that I don’t live the “right” way according to her… Luckily it was just in time for me to back out on a plan where I would depend on her. Thank you for showing me that it is so much better to stay away from some one who does not like you, even if it means less material security!

  15. My enemies are people who hurt me or have done me harm in any way. I can hardly be civil to them, let alone keep them near – I simply haven’t the stomach for this, they make me physically ill. But life is war and the wise thing to do is as Sun Tzu says. This is probably one of the reasons I am constantly losing my battles.

  16. The reasoning behind Louis Quatorze’s compelling the aristocracy to spend time at Versaille every year. It did pacify the elements, however. It succeeded. Friends that become enemies are sad cases though, it all stems from jealousy. I always figure, it’s their karma.. what can you do. Backburner them and don’t allow them to taint your existence.

  17. I had a really difficult boss a few years ago and the intermediate supervisor made that same quote concerning him. I thought, “jeez, you’re both losers” but I never said anything. Each one thought they were playing the other but in effect they were just making the rest of us miserable. I can see through a Scorpio point of view that it is a powerful tactic in a game where what goes on behind the scenes really determines the results.

  18. What Kash said. *nods*

    I give my enemies no energy, no attention. It’s my way of showing them just how contemptible I find ’em — and that works out pretty danged well for me. 😉

  19. I stick to my friends whenever possible, and avoid my enemies unless I absolutely have to deal with them. If I have to deal with an enemy, then I have to be wary of what an enemy could do, and implement self-preservation strategies.

  20. It’s not worked for me, either. The hubs gave me a copy of the “48 Laws Of Power” book when we were first dating. He thought it was the best book and I should know all about it. I didn’t agree with it then and I still don’t for exactly the reason you said (being able to live a day to day life of peace & happiness or at least of sanity)

  21. Sorry, I forgot to put in there that this was one of the laws. I did see the logic in most of them (I never did finish reading it, though I at least read the titles & summary of each law), but not the wisdom in the application. It seems I’m on a more peaceful and solitary journey this time around anyway, so, so far, so good,

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    When we keep your enemies closer than our genuine friends, i call it having ‘Frenemies’.

    When we keep our frenemies close..we can be certain that danger is even closer. & i personally am not one for putting myself in dangerous situations anymore.
    Life is much to short for that.

  23. I don’t think that by keeping your distance you are actually “protected”. Sure… avoid them when possible & don’t engage in any way, but it’s been my experience that they can still do you a massive amount of damage, even if you don’t see them around you for an age.

    That’s my argument for keeping them “close”, I believe you need to know what they’re up to, otherwise, you can be dealing with consequences they’ve created for you, even in your absence =(

  24. If you control your own words, that is your huge advantige and wisdom too. You should know when to say what to whome. Always. They can Keep you close and get nothing.

  25. Totally agree with you Elsa. Enemies are a waste of time. A major distraction it is to live in a world of fear of what might happen. Must have beauty in life. It is really the only experience worth having. But then again, I am one of those crazy old people. What do I know. 😀

  26. PS. So glad to read you today. Being an empath (all those water planets of mine) can be painful. But hit my core ‘responsibility for someone else’ relationship. Ouch!!! More work on a tough nut to crack.

  27. No, recognise the person who is an enemy and then steer clear. Life is too short to waste on people who don’t have one’s best interests at heart!

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