“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.
I hope I’m not misquoting whoever came up with this ridiculous notion. A notion that when uttered in context might make complete sense and not just be a maleficent, jealous-sounding phrase.
Unfortunately, that is what it’s become. Keeping a closer eye and spending more of your brain power on people who might cause you harm; toxic friends, manipulative lovers or sarcastic co-workers can all be seen as the real baddies in your everyday life. But it seems these aren’t the people who the phrase often refers to.
Instead, I’ve heard so many people (particularly women in my experience) use it as a form of revenge-seeking after their other half has liked someone’s Instagram photo or spoken to the ‘wrong’ person at a party. ‘Keep your enemies closer’ being a personal mantra and an excuse for watching over this person’s every move on social media or even becoming ‘friends’ with them purely to know what they’re up to. Why spend the energy even giving your so-called enemies the time of day?
If you have reason not to trust someone close to you, look at them rather than the third party.
I think the phrase should be used in a more abstract fashion. Taking learnings from the people who have actually hurt you, forgiving them in your mind and using their mistakes as a silent reminder that you are a stronger person for it.