15 Unconventional Ways To Turn Your Worst Enemy Into Your Best Ally

15 Unconventional Ways To Turn Your Worst Enemy Into Your Best Ally Shutterstock

If war has gifted us one lesson, it’s that allies aren’t always friends.

Consider WWII. Russia swapped teams mid-way through the global crisis, joining the Allied Forces, but even after their victory, Russia wasn’t buddy-buddy with America or Britain. That’s not to say we should use or manipulate people, implementing selfish tactics to get what we want. However, we can discover allies in unexpected places. In fact, bad guys can make us even better good guys.

This is why our enemies can become allies. However, we must understand how to use friction, tension, disagreements, and classic high-school bullying to our advantage.

1. Let their pride do them in.


I’m convinced that pride is mankind’s ultimate demise. We think we’re just big enough, cool enough, rich enough, tough enough, whatever enough to rule the world. We walk all over others, using whatever tactics grant us the quickest access to our goals, and never consider the damage we leave behind. If your enemy has a nauseating ego, use that to your advantage. There’s no need to beat them at their own game. You get to kick your feet up, sit back, relax, and let them do themselves in, paving the way for you to succeed without the rubble and ruin they like to create.

2. Let their name-calling reinforce your self-worth.


No doubt, you’ve been called a few names. We all have. It’s an unfortunate part of the human experience. However, when the enemies in your life use these words to tear you down, use this as an opportunity to reinforce your self-worth. The reality is that if you weren’t a threat to them, no matter the means or capacity, they wouldn’t come after you. There’s something about you that either intimidates them or makes them jealous. Remind yourself of that and give yourself the confidence booster you deserve.

3. Let their gossip remind you to hold your tongue.

We might enjoy gossip—let’s be real—until the joke is on us. Then it stings bad. When your enemies want to talk about you behind your back, let that serve as an encouragement for you to hold your tongue. The advantage here is you get to see just how nasty they are by gossiping. You see the template for what makes a mean, inconsiderate person. Remind yourself to be the total opposite. Be better than them.

4. Let their influencer status level your relationship with social media.

If your enemy is one of the hot shots, one of the typical jocks, they’re probably some sort of obnoxious influencer on social media. Whether they post reels doing stupid stunts or promoting some chemical-packed makeup company, let them stay self-absorbed. Let them feel the need to constantly show up on social media, exhausting themselves to stay trending and relevant. Allow their influencer status to level your relationship with social media, reminding you that so much life is happening around you—beautiful life—so put down your phone and enjoy it.

5. Let their front grant you freedom.

If your enemy is putting up a front, whether it’s being the tough guy or the homecoming queen, let this be your ticket to freedom. They are going to be fake, they are going to be jerks, so long as it complies with the image they’re trying to uphold. But you aren’t stooped to that level. You have the freedom to be genuine and kind. Compassion is a beautiful, freeing weapon against the mean things in this world. Don’t be afraid to use it.

6. Let their motives make you the good guy.

woman talking to frustrated male colleague

If it’s your word versus your enemy’s word, it often feels like you’re the odd one out. If nobody believes you, don’t panic. Use their motives to your advantage by letting them self-destruct. Whether they get caught in the web of lies they weaved or they show their true colors to the wrong person, eventually, everyone will know who’s who. Let their motives showcase that you’re the good guy.

7. Let their stubbornness cushion your indecisiveness.

If the enemy in your life is ridiculously bullheaded, plowing over everyone else, then good. Their stubbornness will force them to blaze a trail, whether it’s the right or wrong one. If you weren’t sure which path to take, you have their stubborn decision as an example. Get out of their way and let their crash-and-burn mentality show you which way to go.

8. Let their trash talk about you elevate your reputation.

If they gossip about others, they’re gossiping about you. Their choice to trash talk you isn’t a reflection of you; it’s a reflection of their lack of character. No matter what they say about you, remember that. Their hateful words, name-calling, and judgmental attitude will only elevate your reputation.

9. Let their inner circle show you who to trust.

awkward networking conversation

If your enemy is Mr. Popular, take note of his lackeys. Who are the dudes sacrificing their reputation and life goals just to please him? Once you’ve identified these guys, use this list to your advantage. You’ve been handed a free guide for who not to trust. These guys find their purpose in appealing to a jerk, which means they won’t mind selling you out to keep their measly gold start of approval from the bad guys.

10. Let their hidden low self-esteem serve as your reminder.

colleagues chatting in business meeting

Most of your enemies, the bad guys, act the way they do to shield their low self-esteem. Whether a rough childhood made them hate themselves or a bad break-up has allowed them to redefine their worth, let this serve to your advantage. Let their self-destruction be a reminder that no matter what we face in life, we should never let situations destroy our self-esteem and cause us to drag others down with us.

11. Let their hurt be your healing.


Even if your enemy has a legitimate excuse for their behavior—you can see why they are the way they are—you don’t want to go that route. No one wants to become their enemy, but it’s easy to do when we are blinded by hurt and brokenness. Remember that what’s hurt can be healed. It might take some time, sure. But resolve to be the person whose response to hardship is hope rather than hate.

12. Let their treatment of you prepare you for the future.

The tough reality is that you will have enemies throughout your life. Even if you recover from the playground bully of your elementary days, you’ll meet a coworker who will do whatever he can to beat you out for the promotion. You’ll date the manipulative cheater. You’ll meet the monster-in-law of your nightmares. Let the lessons you’ve learned from each of these people carry with you as you face new enemies. Use the past to your advantage.

13. Let their successes be a sign of your maturity.

Sometimes, your enemies will win. They’ll be crowned homecoming queen. They’ll get the promotion. They’ll mature and become a fantastic husband and have a wonderful family. Let your response to their success be a sign of your maturity. Don’t allow the hurt you’ve experienced to make you so bitter that you forget how to enjoy your own life. Trust me, being free of resentment and bitterness is a huge advantage in all areas of life.

14. Let their apology be your chance to be the bigger person.

If your enemy truly changes and wants to apologize for how they’ve harmed you, this is your chance to be the bigger person. This is your opportunity to prove that you are all about forgiveness and healing. When you can respond to their genuine repentance with maturity, you have the greatest advantage of all—the advantage of being someone defined by goodness.

15. Let their legacy be a learning lesson for your children.

Whether your enemy made a change for the better somewhere down the road, or they lived their entire life as the playground bully, let their legacy be a lesson you teach your children. Recall all that you learned about self-worth, resilience, and forgiveness, and use that as a huge parenting advantage. One day, you’ll have little ones who need the life lessons you learned, and what greater privilege than to remind the next generation of their worth and the chance to be the better person?

Peyton Garland is a boy mama and Tennessee farmer who loves sharing her heart on OCD, postpartum life, and hope in the messy places.