Enemies teach you what you need to knowAuthor: jasmineQ
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
Turning to self-help is admitting you don't quite know how to drive a regular human life. It's like designating yourself with a voluntary "special needs" status.
None of us are born knowing how to drive. It's probably not unusual to feel like you've never been taught quite how to steer a human life competently, but it may be unusual to admit.
A quote I've heard attributed to Benjamin Franklin - "You should love your enemies, for they tell you of your faults". Our loved ones and acquaintances usually won't tell us our faults, and yet, this is what we need to be working on to improve ourselves. Perhaps not considered one of the foremost of philosophical minds, but I think Stephen King put's it well, "Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty".
These days, rather than trying to be perfect each day, remember that there are lessons you must learn that can only be learned in the crucible of adversity, pain, and difficulty. Of course, it is easier to talk about this abstractly. It is much harder to love our enemies on a daily basis. We are to love those who despitefully use us and abuse us and victimize us again and again. It's not easy to do this in any case, but it is much harder to love when we feel deeply and repeatedly violated and our trust has been destroyed.
Greet your enemies. One part of loving our enemies is to greet them graciously when we see them. Sometimes (often, perhaps) instead of turning the other cheek, we turn away so we won't have to say hello to someone who has hurt us. Some of us have been quite adept at looking the other way, ducking into a room, crossing the street, or even using Caller ID to keep from greeting those who have hurt us. But if we only greet our friends, what benefit is that? Do not even sinners greet each other? One part of loving your enemies is to greet them instead of avoiding them.
You can disarm your enemies them by doing the very thing they least expect. You do it by speaking well of them when no one expects it. General Robert E. Lee was once asked his opinion of a fellow officer who was widely known as one of Lee's greatest detractors. The general responded that he thought the man a very fine officer. "General," his questioner replied, quite perplexed, "I guess you don't know what he's been saying about you." "Oh, yes I do," replied Lee. "But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me."
Doing good to your enemies means seeing beyond your pain and their meanness to their humanity. "Doing good" means that you do what will promote their healing despite the way they have treated you. The idea is, you make the first move. You send the e-mail. You pick up the phone. You make the contact. You bridge the gap. You set up the appointment. Be kind to them. Show them you don't want to sink to the foul level that they're on. I just mean speak to them with respect, just not like you would speak to a true friend. Offer to help but don't be extremely friendly.
First off, as much as you think you're a great guy and that everyone loves you, I'm telling you that you have enemies. Everyone has enemies. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. A skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates. Be aware of the incredible leverage a person has by learning how to let life happen and respond calmly, rather than trying desperately to control what happens. The basic difference between happy people and sad people is that the happy people concern themselves with what they can do on their end. Sad people concern themselves with everything else.
How do you think people cope in life? They stand up for themselves. If you don't stand up for yourself, as an adult you won't be able to take an insult. Show them that they have no right to treat your day the same way that they are treating you. For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
There are also some fundamental techniques in handling people. First principle is to not criticize, condemn, or complain. Second principle is to give honest and sincere appreciation, and the third principle is to arouse in the other person an eager want. Albert Einstein said that "A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be." He was a great thinker and perhaps there are lots of things you could learn from him just reading Albert Einstein quotes and many other Quotes of note from different authors.