Keep Your Enemies Close and Your Friends Closer

Have you ever noticed that your friends are the ones you tend to be in the biggest competition with?
I’ve seen this so many times, especially when it comes to material things: “Who can have the largest quantity or best quality of something, or body image? Who can have the best looking body to show off?

Competition between friends can be a source of harmless fun, however it can also create a lot of pain in a friendship.  | Dominique C. Barchus/The Minaret
Competition between friends can be a source of harmless fun, however it can also create a lot of pain in a friendship. | Dominique C. Barchus/The Minaret

For example, if two guys go shopping for televisions together, they compete to pick the better TV. They want to be the one who has the biggest and best.

The thing they tend to forget about are: one, what their wives are going to think about such an extravagant electronic; two, the price of the television; and three, what their wives are going to think about such an extravagant electronic device.

In the moment, they care more about having a leg up their friend and any consequences seem worth it.
With women, it’s a little different. It’s as if everything is more sneaky. They may not make it verbally obvious that they want the advantage, but the actions they take make it completely clear.

For example, when women go out to the club, they always ask their friends what they are going to wear, in order to get an idea of how they should dress.

They wont necessarily match one another, but they will try to make the sexiness of their outfits relatively equal to everyone else’s. This sounds all fine and dandy until someone decides to change their mind. Let’s say they all planned on wearing pants and last minute someone changes and wears a sexy dress and heels.

This sudden change is going to make everyone else in the group want to change because, although they do not want to say it, they now feel as if the friend wearing the dress will receive more male attention.

Girls always want the best for their friends, but when it comes to going out, it is definitely a competition as to who can look the best. Now, the girls must scramble to change their clothes and find an excuse as to why they want to change. But we know the real reason behind it all.

You love your friends and you enjoy the time you spend together, but there will always be little competitions here and there. It is all fun and games, but when it comes to certain aspects of life, competition with friends can be detrimental to a friendship.

I think one of the worst situations that can occur in a friendship is when two friends are interested in the same person.
Things begin to get a bit complicated and competitive when this innocent attraction grows stronger. Friends begin to compete against one another in order to get attention.

Tactics can range from making sure one looks good at all times, to showing off when the person of interest is around (i.e. playing a sport or dancing) to taking the initiative and going up to them, getting their number and potentially asking them on a date. These acts can cause tension between parties. On one hand you are their friend, but on the other, there is a natural instinct to compete. This kind of conflict can cause a hint of anger and quite a bit of jealousy between the two.

“I had a friend [who] told the girl we were both interested in that I cheated on my ex girlfriend in order to convince her not to go out with me. I got pissed at him for a while because this information made it back to my ex […]. So my ex got upset and cursed me out and my chances of going out with that girl was blown. Double whammy,” said Jeff Spielman.

“One night I went out with all my friends and there was this baseball player that we all had a crush on. The whole night all the girls crowded around him and, sadly, I did too, but then I found out that he was making fun of me with all the girls. Turns out I had gotten my period and you could see it on my dress. Everyone knew and didn’t tell me. Let‘s just say now I know who my real friends are,” explained Jalissa Carugno.

Competing with a friend, or anyone for that matter, for a relationship is obviously not the best idea. Sometimes these competitive situations with friends can be in fun, but sometimes they can actually cause a lot of problems in a friendship.

There is always an appropriate time for competition, but it is important to know when it is not a good idea.

Good luck loving!

Dominique C. Barchus can be reached at  dominique.barchus@spartans.ut.edu.

1 comment

  1. The original was from a Chinese General [Sun Tsui, circa 400BC] “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer…”

    My fathers take [he was a lawyer] was “Keep your enemies close, but keep your friends closer…”


    You always know that your enemies are out to get you.
    You NEVER know how your friends are going to try to screw ya!


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