Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer

The phrase keeps your friends close and your enemies closer mean to keep a sharp eye on enemies beyond what one might have on their companions, to be careful about the actions taken by enemies, it’s not the best idea to trouble your enemies, be affectionate with them but stay alert, another meaning could be, don’t hurt your enemies by words or behaviour to keep them quiet and inoffensive.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

The phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” IIRC, arises from a poor English translation in Machiavelli’s letters. The quote is generally allocated to him. I could be wrong (and often am), however. Edit: FWIW, the phrase does not come from Shakespeare or Bible.

Reasons For Keeping Your Enemies Closer

In the business and organizational setting, I allude to the practical"enemy" as an individual you have to interact with, someone who’s competing for your reasonable, who doesn’t follow through on his allegiances, whom you don’t believe, with whom the “bonding” isn’t there, or who altercates with your view from the ground up.

These are also individuals whom you’ll require to get your own personal and business objectives. As a consultant and a manager, I’ve found several individuals who fit in that same box. Briefly, I’ve found Machiavelli very helpful for my success.

But there are several tremendously important reasons for keeping your enemies closer:

1. You Can Learn A lot from people You Dislike

To be sure, my most significant learning doesn’t always come from companions. Often it’s from enemies, adversaries, or fence-sitters. They bring a distinct worldview, perspective, and ideas on a subject of common interest. There are a lot of times when such an individual can assist me to better my position and thinking on a problem.

2. You Have To Keep Your Enemies Close to Understand their Perspectives and Interests

One of the effective strategies I learned from Bill Howell years ago was the significance of making a highly representative “panel” of generally about six people who would indicate the diversity of allegiances or opinions on a problem.

If I could shape my proposal in such a way to persuade the self-interests of each of those six, I was good on the journey toward success. That demand definitely, meant that each individual had to be close enough to me to be best understood. I usually comprehended my opponents better than my friends.

3. When Your Enemies Are Close, it’s Easier for Your Allies to Work With You

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Enemies are often the least supportive of exploring your ideas. Furthermore, your enemies may have just as many problems with your enemy as you, which is why you’re friends. However, your enemies will respect you and find it uncomplicated to work with you if they know you comprehend the lay of the land–and how to attract your enemy’s self-interest.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Forming the motives of your enemy includes a significant amount of assumptions. One of the ideal ways to get to know that individual is to listen to how he goes about convincing others. Humans want the world to be consistent with their assumptions and their predictions.

So when they endeavour to convince others, they utilize strategies that would be persuasive to them. Notice them, listen to them and examine what they say and how they say it. From that, you can frequently figure out their values and their interest.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: Finally, it required to be said that you can’t keep your enemy near to you except if you realize how to disagree pleasantly, comprehend and share at least some of your enemy’s values or interests, are often clear with your disparities and are willing to interact with that individual in a social circumstance. In such settings, it’s necessary to discover what that individual wants that you can provide them. Secondly, it’s just as essential to figure out the assets you have to bring them so that they’ll provide you with what you need. Don’t forget that some of the assets each of us have our data and contacts.

:diamond_shape_with_a_dot_inside: In summation, if you look inside enough, there are always a few values and interests you share with your opponents. Many of us like to talk about our disparities, but we are all far more similar than different. Naturally, also, that means that you know how to speak. However, this also suggests that you can observe and listen as though that individual is the only other individual on the planet. Machiavelli is front lobe stuff: keep your friends and enemies close.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” in " the Art of War""

TheArt of War is a seminal work on warfare strategy authored by the ancient Chinese military strategist Sunzi (also known as Sun-Tzu). It is one of the first known treatizes on combat strategy in history. In Chinese, this handbook is referred to as Bingfa.

It contains information on numerous warfare manoeuvres and tactics and strategic advice on gathering information about the enemy’s position and battlefield topography before invading.

Although the precise date of composition of The Art of War is unknown, most academics believe it was between 475 and 221 B.C.E., during the Warring States era. Scholars are similarly uncertain about the aauthor’sbiography,

Sunzi, but believe he served as a commander for the Wu state. Whatever his life experiences, it is apparent that Sunzi possessed a wealth of information regarding fighting and tactical training.

The Art of CConflict’sconcept is that diplomacy should be used to avert war. If it is unavoidable, it should be fought tactically and psychologically to minimize collateral harm and resource depletion. Armed conflict should be used as a last resort because entering combat implies an admission of defeat.

SSunzi’sapproach to opponents was a mix of gentle and forceful combat. This is consistent with Taoist yin and yang principles (or opposing but complementary forces). Sunzi advocated for all leaders to adhere to the Tao (or natural order of the cosmos) as a critical component of effective leadership.

:small_red_triangle_down: CONTENTS OF THE ART OF WAR

No Content Name
1 Laying Plans
2 Waging War
3 Attack by Stratagem
4 Tactical Dispositions
5 Energy
6 Weak Points and Strong
7 Maneuvering
8 Variation in Tactics
9 The Army on the March
10 Terrain
11 The Nine Situations
12 The Attack by Fire
13 The Use of Spies

The Art of War has several detailed warfare techniques and recommendations. It places a premium on war preparation, including climatic and fighting terrain planning, understanding the enemy manoeuvres and weaknesses, and adequately training soldiers.

Simultaneously, it suggests being adaptable, as the battlefield is so unexpected. It serves as a disincentive for generals to engage in siege warfare, as it prolongs the struggle and consumes resources. Additionally, generals should show respect for captive troops and vanquished soldiers.

The Art of War has stayed relevant over the centuries due to its emphasis on strategy and tactics rather than particular fighting technologies.

It has inspired leaders worldwide, not just in battle but in various spheres of life, including business. Modern leaders, such as Mao Zedong, a former chairman of the Chinese Communist Party and one of the founding fathers of the PPeople’sRepublic of China, have credited The Art of War as a source of military success.

How Can You Keep Your Enemies Closer?

You can keep your enemies closer in the following four ways.


:small_blue_diamond: Encountering your enemies is generally a waste of time and a bad talkative move. TThey’vegot their perspectives and, in a great percentage of cases yyou’renot going to alter their mind anyway. You may feel comfortable encountering them, but that wwon’tmake the issue go away. Sure, there are adventures when confrontation is convenient, but they are infrequent. And sometimes encountering is another form of suicide.

:small_blue_diamond: Furthermore, disregarding these people is also a wrong move. I was an associate minister to a great guy who disregarded his enemies, expecting tthey’dultimately be shown incorrect and fall on their faces. Instead, they worked behind his back, building support for their perspectives and commitments—and made it difficult for my partner.

:small_blue_diamond: Years of experience indicates that the ideal way to deal with your opponents is with compassion and care. Yale law professor Stephen Carter says that compassion is the only way to deal with these individuals. That’s a bit much for me, but I’ve found it necessary to move in that direction rather than capitulate to the inclination of disgust and anger. That relentless makes me a personal worst. It charges my emotions and makes it hard for me to concentrate on life’s strategic and compact matters.


Meet your enemies with heartfelt, empathetic listening—an unearned gift to that individual. Usually, enemies are not ideal men (or women). ActuaTthey’resadlonely frequently arises from injured pride and a feeling of being disregarded. IIt’svery necessary that they be heard. So, repeating what they say and then paraphrasing is infrequently overdone.


If you listen diligently, you’ll regularly find things of great value to yourself. YYou’llgain fresh insights that you’ve to add and miss to your store of data. I’ve taught many business people who believe their opponent has nothing of value. So, they go through the listening process entirely to conciliate their enemies. TThat’sseriously superficial, ruinous conceit.


Keeping your enemies closer can often lead to your enemy becoming a valued partner, if not a friend. One of the astonishing, but general responses, is that your opponents can become very defensive of you. On various occasions, even though my former “enemy” continued his dissent, they were the same individual who protected me from his colleagues.

Keep Your Friends Close and Enemies Closer In Cyber Security

“Keep our friends close, and keep your enemies closer” is a proverb attributed to Sun Tzu. Online, our opponents continue to draw closer while our allies stay close by. Facebook and LinkedIn connections could not be what we initially believed them to be. The enemy is placing us all in danger by wanting to be your cyber-friend and crewmate.

Stay With It If It Works.

AAmerica’senemies have been using the internet for years, realizing the level field provided by available and public cyberspace. In conventional land, sea, air, and domains, the U.S. Navy and U.s. The naval team has a level of unrivalled kinetic strengths, but cyber is different. It only takes one cunning cyber operator with internet access to conduct artificial intelligence (HUMINT)-enabled cyberspace operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

:one: How Do I Ignore My Enemies?

Ignore comments, or behaviour enemies use to taunt you or evoke a reaction from you.
Reject any negativity they project on you.

**1.**Don’ttake this to heart.

2. Think of positive thoughts, experiences, places or people.

3. Be the master of your happiness. You decide who to avoid and who to listen to.

:two: How to Defeat Your Enemies?

Try to comprehend your enemy. All of your enemies have not been created the same.

  • Observe them carefully

  • Avoid your enemy as much as possible

  • Turn cold towards them

  • Learn to defend yourself

  • Find out their weakness

:three: Why Should We Love Our Enemies?

When we love our enemies, they put us on our knees more often in prayer. Your friends will not signify your faults. However, your enemies will. That will assist you in the long run. Your enemies will make you see what must be modified in your life, whereas your friends will overlook your faults.

:four: How do you talk to your enemy?

List of talking to your enemies:

  • Listen before you judge.

  • Start with respect.

  • Be honest.ItIt’sOK if you disagree.

  • Find whatever common ground you can.

:five: Is it possible for an adversary to become a friend?

Whatever the cause, having enemies is invariably unpleasant. Fortunately, you may be able to convert your adversary. Begin by contacting them to initiate the process, and then work on healing your friendship.

:six: Who said keep your friends and your enemies close?

The proverb"Keep your friends close; keep your enemies close" is tributed to Sun Tzu. While our friends stay close, our enemies continue to grow in proximity.

:seven: How do friends become enemies?

The same variables that generate friendship chemistry in the first place may also be a factor in why close friends become enemies. Frenemies frequently form due to a sense of betrayal on one or both sides.YoYou’refurious, upset, and received.YoYou’renot sure you’ll ever trust that buddy again.

:eight: What is the distinction between an adversary and a foe?

A person who seems to be close to you and befriends you just to put themselves in a position to ruin you and your character, and a person who is openly hostile to you and eager to wage war against you to dominate you.

:nine: Why is it necessary to keep your enemies close?

When your enemies are close, it makes collaborating easier for your allies. Allies are frequently the least useful when examining your thoughts. Additionally, your allies may have just much difficulty dealing with your adversary as you do, which is why you’re friends.


:small_blue_diamond: The phrase keeps your friends close and your enemies closer means to keep a sharp eye on enemies beyond what one might have on their companions. The phrase " eep our friends close and your enemies closer" IC arises from a poor English translation ofMaMachiavelli’sletters. There are several tremendously important reasons for keeping your enemies closer:

  • You can learn a lot from people you dislike
  • You have to keep your enemies close to understanding their perspectives and interests
  • When your enemies are close,itit’seasier for your allies to work with you

:small_blue_diamond: You can keep your enemies closer by respectably encountering your enemies. Second, meet your enemies with heartfelt, empathetic listening, an unearned gift to that individual. Third, if you listen to them diligentlyyoyou’llregularly find things of great value to yourself. Fourth, keeping your enemies closer can often lead to your enemy becoming a valued partner.

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Optimized By Nasreen Azeem at 27/6/2022

“Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer,” says Sun Tzu. Online, our adversaries get closer while our friends stay the same. Social media connections like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook may not be who how they seem.

:eight_pointed_black_star: “Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer” Meaning & Origins

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” indicates that while friendship is crucial, staying on top of your enemies is much more critical since it helps you to protect yourself in the event of an attack. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a quote from one of the most well-known books of all time, “The Art of War.”

Sun Zhu, perhaps one of the greatest Eastern philosophers of all time, wrote “The Art of War.” Many eastern faiths and systems of thinking have been influenced by his teachings.

While most of us associate early philosophers with Plato and Aristotle, they were as preoccupied in Asia with understanding how the universe works and the essence of existence. “The Art of War” is one of the most highly regarded philosophical works to this day.


Sunzi was a Chinese general who is perhaps best known as the author of The Art of War, one of the earliest works on military strategy. Although Sunzi penned this essay thousands of years ago, it has had an impact on a number of international leaders during the last century.

:eight_pointed_black_star: “Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer” in The Godfather

The Godfather is one film that makes use of the phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” One of the most enduringly popular films of all time.

The GodFather is entirely focused on the gangster. As you may guess, being in the gangster is a hazardous lifestyle that requires knowledge of your trade-in order to live. The gangster is perpetually “at war” with someone, whether it be with lesser gangs, companies, or governments.

The Godfather: Part II demonstrates that a sequel may actually be better than the original, continuing the narrative of gangster lord Michael Corleone as he tries to maintain control of his underground empire.

Additionally, the sequel provides flashbacks to his father Vito Corleone’s early years in Sicily. This comment occurs following Michael’s murder attempt when he encourages one of his underlings to appear to be friends with the man who ordered the hit.

Being familiar with the rules of war is critical in that line of employment. This might explain why a character in one scene says the famous remark, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

:eight_pointed_black_star: Why Is It Important to Keep Friends Close and Enemies Closer?

This well-known maxim was not initially expressed by Michael Corleone of The Godfather. Indeed, Machiavelli derived it from “The Prince,” the canonical tutorial on how to be a tyrant. There are several critical reasons to keep your enemies close:

  1. You may learn a great deal from someone you despise. Indeed, my finest learning opportunities are not usually through friends. Frequently, it comes from antagonists, adversaries, or fence-sitters. They contribute a unique worldview, perspective, and/or ideas to a shared subject. There are several instances in which such a person can assist me in refining my thoughts and viewpoint on an issue.

  2. You must keep your enemies close in order to comprehend their points of view and objectives. One of the persuasive methods I learned from Bill Howell years ago was the significance of assembling a diverse “panel” of around six persons to reflect the range of commitments or viewpoints on a topic. I was well on my way to success if I could design my proposal in such a manner.

  3. When your enemies are close, it makes it easier for your allies to collaborate. Allies are frequently the least useful when it comes to examining your thoughts. Additionally, your allies may have just as much difficulty dealing with your adversary as you do, which is why you’re friends. However, your friends will respect you and find it simpler to cooperate with you if you demonstrate a thorough understanding of the terrain—and how to appeal to your adversary’s self-interest.

Determining your adversary’s motivations requires a large degree of guessing. One of the most effective methods to learn about someone is to see how he persuades others. People desire the world to conform to their expectations and forecasts.

As a result, when they seek to convince others, they employ strategies that are compelling to them. Observe them, listen to them, and evaluate their words and their delivery. This frequently reveals their hobbies and ideals.

Naturally, this need meant that each individual had to be close enough to me to be understood. To be honest, I frequently understood my enemies better than my friends.

Finally, it should be stated that you cannot keep an enemy close unless you understand and share at least some of your adversary’s interests or beliefs, are occasionally upfront about your disagreements, and are prepared to communicate with that person in a social context.

In these situations, it’s critical to ascertain what the individual desires and what you can provide for them. Second, it’s critical to determine the resources you have to offer them in exchange for them giving you what you want. Bear in mind that among the resources available to every one of us are information and contacts.


If you look closely enough, you will always find a few common interests and ideals with your enemies. While the majority of us enjoy discussing our differences, the reality is that we are far more alike than we are different. Additionally, this implies that you are capable of genuine conversation. However, this also implies that you can listen to and observe that person.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Is It OK to Keep Your Enemies Close?

When it comes to analyzing your ideas, allies are frequently the most useless. If your adversaries are close, it makes collaboration much simpler for your partners.

Additionally, your coworkers may have just as much difficulty dealing with you as you do, which is why you’re pals. The Godfather quotation contains an extra aspect. However, there are situations when keeping enemies close might be counterproductive.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” famed novelist “Michael Corleone” said. The quote’s message was not simply that you must be mindful of your foes. It’s a straightforward interpretation, yet what makes this remark so effective is how it acts in another way.

By making a clear comparison between how one treats friends and enemies, the speaker demonstrates that one must treat enemies in the same manner that one treats acquaintances, if not more so.

That is not just because one must be aware of their enemies, which is true, but also for a more basic reason: one does not want to alert their enemies to the fact that they are enemies. That is why it is necessary to keep one’s enemies close to one’s family members.

That is why this quote has been ingrained in the human psyche. No prior author’s work even comes close to drawing this link.


This is why it is close to keep bringing your enemies into contact with your family members. That is not just because one must be aware of one’s enemies, which is necessary, but also for the more basic reason that one does not want to alert one’s enemies to the fact that they are enemies.

:eight_pointed_black_star: Some Useful Tips for Turning an Enemy to a Friend

Almost generally, one of the biggest and most difficult ethical requirements is to love one’s enemies. Many individuals disregard this directive as unrealistic, difficult, or even impossible to obey. One method to put this concept into practice is to understand how to convert an adversary into a friend. Here are some useful hints:

1. Sincere Sorrows

Have you ever heard an apology that began, “I apologize if I upset you,” or “I apologize but.” This form of apology will not work if you wish to win the friendship of an adversary. You must honestly apologize for your involvement in the conflict, even if you believe you are not at fault. You must accept all accountability for it. You must express regret.

2. Identify What You Have in Common.

Whether it’s a shared interest in a sport or a comparable pastime, capitalizing on shared interests is an excellent approach to connect with a potential buddy. Encourage them to share information about themselves and their hobbies. Inviting them to a game is a good idea. Convince them to join you in a pastime.

3. Forgive The Guy

Inform them that you have forgiven them for their wrongdoing. Genuinely forgive them in your heart. They may continue to be antagonistic for some time. However, with persistence and a forgiving attitude toward them, they will finally respond to your desire for reconciliation and harmony.

4. Concentrate On Their Positive Qualities

This may be difficult to believe, but it is possible to uncover positive characteristics in practically everyone. When we have quarrels and disagreements with others, it is all too easy to become fixated on the bad features of the person who provoked our reaction. This blinds us to their positive attributes.

Make an effort to go outside of this framework and you will be able to recognize their positive characteristics once again. Make this your primary objective. Praise them sincerly for the virtues you notice in them.

5. Love the Character

Yes, we have reached the most difficult stage. We believe it is hard to love our enemies because we have a misunderstanding of what love is. It is not something that happens effortlessly, without difficulty or sacrifice. This is a superficial and ephemeral form of love.

If it does not develop into something more substantial, it is not genuine love. True love is a purposeful choice that frequently takes concentration and effort. Decide in your heart to love the person you currently see as an adversary. Decide to treat them with kindness on a daily basis.

:closed_book: Concluding Marks:

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a Chinese saying from ancient times. That is, to keep abreast of your opponents’ activities. This will lessen the likelihood of an attack and prepare you in the case that one does occur. “The Art of War” is a book about military combat.

Keep your friends closer and enemies closer is the best quote from Sun Tzu that means keeping your enemies close to knowing them better.

What’s most dangerous about an enemy is when they have a genuine grievance that can’t be assuaged. If someone has wronged you personally or professionally, it’s often best to forgive them – but sometimes we can’t afford to do so because doing so could be even more costly. Consider if there’s a way to deal with your grievances in some way other than revenge.

The Best Ways To Feel More Grateful with Enemies

Here are some tips on how to make sure that if someone says they appreciate something or someone they mean it: This is especially good if you have a hard time feeling grateful to enemies. Because it can help you remember all of those things in life that have made you happy.

• Write them a thank-you note! This is one of my favourite ways to show gratitude because there’s just something so personal about getting an actual letter in your mailbox instead of an email or text message.

1. Always Have an Escape Plan

It’s easy to get caught up in a heated negotiation, but you should never let things escalate to violence. And even if you do come out on top, jail time for manslaughter is probably not what you had in mind when you were dreaming of making millions from selling widgets. Instead, plan an escape route and take it at once if negotiations begin to spin out of control. A simple phrase like No deal!

I’m going to get some advice from my attorney, or I think we should walk away before things turn ugly, can go a long way toward diffusing tension. You may lose a customer, but you won’t end up with a criminal record. For that matter, make sure you always have an emergency contact handy in case you need help getting out of a dangerous situation. In many cases, that person will be able to contact law enforcement on your behalf without escalating matters further.

2. The Lesson from The Godfather

The famous line from The Godfather is a great lesson to be learned. Don’t keep people close who can hurt you. It isn’t worth it. Distance yourself from these kinds of people, instead surround yourself with those who will support you and lift you rather than bring you down. Keep close to you those that would go to sleep with dogs if they have to, but they don’t like dogs; don’t go out of their way to make friends with them, either.

Use Anonymity To Get a Leg Up

While there are lots of benefits to social media, one of its downsides is that people can often hide behind their usernames, leading to more name-calling and fewer face-to-face interactions. If you think someone might want to get even with you for something you’ve said on social media or in real life, try following them anonymously (and vice versa).

Chances are good you’ll find out why they’re so upset with you—and if it’s worth apologizing for. It could also end up changing how two of your friends interact with each other. The best part? The same goes for friends who have been feuding: Social media makes it easy to keep tabs on what they’re saying about you. But going a step further by getting a little anonymous action may be just what you need to put an end to things once and for all.

Use Common Ground To Establish Relationships

Establishing a relationship with an enemy can be extremely challenging, but if you can manage to find common ground with them, it’s possible to gain a new perspective on old problems. This will allow you to build relationships that may eventually lead to peace. Just remember that conflicts do not need to be resolved for you to coexist peacefully.

So don’t let frustration get in your way; instead, look for ways that you two can work together productively. In addition, keep in mind that enemies tend not to make good friends, so try not to get too close; it’s best to keep enemies at arm’s length if you want everyone around you to stay safe. When all else fails, follow these guidelines: Play nice when needed and never forget about respect.

Let Them Know You Care

Letting them know you’re keeping an eye on them also serves as a deterrent. Studies have shown that most people feel less committed to acting unethically if they know they will be held accountable. This works on micro and macro levels. If you’re meeting with a fellow professional regularly, you can use these meetings to make sure you are up to date with what they are doing in their business.

In addition, while they may not admit it, they will probably feel more ethical in their dealings knowing that someone is watching over them. You don’t need to go overboard here; just keep track of their progress from time to time and let them know how things are going for you. You might even offer advice or insight into some issues they may be having if it doesn’t violate any confidentiality agreements.

Show Gratitude

Appreciation is one of those things that makes people feel good. It’s a great feeling to know someone you care about feels grateful for you. Gratitude has been linked to better relationships, higher job satisfaction, and even physical health improvements. So be grateful more often! For more ways to boost gratitude in your life read How Gratitude Can Change Your Life.