Our unique personalities and ways of looking at living conditions determine how we interact with others. In certain situations, we project our traits on the people around us and attribute to them behaviors or thoughts that are actually ours. With this mindset, enemies may be more akin to how we confront situations in our minds than to the circumstances that objectively occur to us.
Sometimes the worst attack does not come from the outside world, but from within, from ourselves. In some situations, we may even feel grateful for external attacks. For internal conditions include rage, impotence and social shame. Exactly these, which come from ourselves, make us feel weak and insecure, creating a breeding ground so that we can see others as enemies.
For our emotional stability, it is important to know how to redirect the anger that these situations produce in us. Knowing what situations and circumstances constitute a major complaint in our lives is crucial to identifying who or what we are confronting.
There is no doubt that the worst attack is not that which comes from the outside world. This is what is produced from within, which causes a negative self-esteem. This oppresses us as human beings. This negative self-esteem makes us our own worst enemy, as our emotional balance largely depends on our self-esteem.
“There is victory in overcoming your enemies. That victory is even greater when a person overcomes himself. ”
-José The San Martinmere
When you are your own enemy
Robert J. Sternberg, a professor at Yale University and former president of the American Psychiatry Association, distinguishes between at least two types of enemies: external and internal.
Internal enemies, as their name suggests, refer to those that can be found in us, such as our thoughts. Negative thoughts trap us in a loop and lead us toward rage, anger, and hatred. They make us see others as enemies who “produce” different painful situations for us.
The inner enemy comes from the irrational nature that all these negative thoughts evoke in us. Emotional well-being depends primarily on not letting yourself be carried away by automatic thoughts. As these tend to have very negative properties:
- They are irrational. That is, they are not based on objective facts and reality.
- They are automatic. They act as a reflex that is produced without us voluntarily evoking them.
- They are exaggerated, dramatic and always negative. These thoughts create a great deal of emotional discomfort and we can not get anything good out of them.
“Not even your worst enemies can hurt you as much as your thoughts can.”
How can I control my enemies?
Gandhi practiced a passive method of “fighting” against his enemies: constructive non-resistance. This is an active way of interacting with the enemy through positive means, a proactive way of dealing with adversity. In personal relationships, there is a wide range of situations that we have to confront. To deal with conflict, it is important to remember the following:
- Do not fight just to fight.
- Do not just fight to inflate your ego.
- Fighting should not be aimed at magnifying our pride.
- Do not fight just to beat your opponent or punish them.
- Fight only if it has a larger purpose.
- Fight to overcome your problems.
No matter how hard we try, situations full of conflict will not disappear from our lives. Thus, it is important to learn to control the effect they have on us.
“They say our enemy is our best teacher. When you are with a teacher, you can learn the importance of patience, control and tolerance. But you do not get a real opportunity to put it into practice. True practice emerges when you find an enemy. “