The Enemy of My Enemy is a Better Friend to Me Than The Friend of a Friend

People are unnecessarily negative about negativity, at times. We have to be shiny happy people who write posts that trumpet “Happy, happy, joy, joy.” There’s a lot of pressure to be positive in the usual ways people understand positivity. But in truth, negativity itself can be a good thing. For example, when people hate the same person, that shared enmity is a stronger group bonding agent than shared goodwill. We can unite against a common enemy, and it almost doesn’t matter with whom we join forces. Hence, we, the United States, had an alliance with Stalin against Hitler during World War II. Many say that as far as atrocious dictators, Stalin could give Hitler a run for his money–two very bad dudes. Knock Hitler out of the picture and we had the Cold War. Is there anyone reading this post who saw Rocky IV who didn’t root for Rocky to beat the Russian? I thought not. Totally predictable, yet enjoyable, and I know I wasn’t the only one who felt like chanting U! S! A! during the movie.

How To Apply the Unifying Power of a Shared Enemy

Is your relationship suffering from feelings of separation? Find someone or something to hate. If you don’t have a common enemy, invent one. Don’t listen to the people who say you can’t effectively be “anti” any cause. For example you can’t be anti abortion you have to be pro life. It’s not about the cause, but the effects of fighting for the cause.


People often “triangulate” (a therapy word) without realizing it because the behavior is automatic. Parents against the kid. Alliances shift and it’s one parent and the kid against the other parent. I’ve seen alliances shift, form, break up, reconstitute, all within a single conversation, unbeknownst to the people locked in the family dynamic. If you’re going to use this “enemy of my enemy is my friend” tactic to build a bond be aware of who/what is left out in the cold. Don’t burn any bridges. Yes, I’m advocating manipulation. Manipulation is merely attempting to move people the way you want. We do it all the time. I’m saying be a mindful and strategic manipulator

That’s relationship advice you won’t get in your standard self help article. I’m nothing if not unconventional. That’s why you read this blog–for points of view you never would have imagined!

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