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Enemy Quotes That Will Make You Want to Cut Ties With Your Frenemies

Danielle Dahl, Managing Editor
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The enemy quotes below will help you figure out how to spot an enemy hiding within your friends.

Enemy seems like such a strong word, but having a true enemy is a big deal.

Let us know your favorite enemy quote in the comment section.

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According to a study by the University of Colorado, up to 40% of friendships are likely to end at some point, often due to betrayal, disloyalty, or simply growing apart.

These findings suggest that not everyone we call a friend is true and that we should be mindful of those who may not have our best interests at heart.

What are the benefits of reading these enemy quotes?

An enemy is defined as “a thing that harms or weakens something else.”

These enemy quotes will help you answer questions like:

  • How do you beat your enemy?
  • Should you make your enemy your friend?
  • How can you spot an enemy?

Maybe, you don’t think you have enemies but want to know what you should say to the haters in your life.

We can all use a little less of those things in our lives, and hopefully, these enemy quotes will give you the inspiration to rise above and just leave the haters behind!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.

Enemy quotes on the differences between friends and enemies

Research by the University of Cambridge found that people who have negative, antagonistic relationships with their friends are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

This highlights the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive influences, and cutting ties with those who bring us down.

1. “A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” ― Baltasar Gracian

wise Enemy Quotes

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2. “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde

forgive your Enemy Quotes

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3. “Your friends will believe in your potential, your enemies will make you live up to it.” ― Tim Fargo

Enemy Quotes about friends

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4. “Your Worst Enemy Could Be Your Best Friend && Your Best Friend Your Worst Enemy” ― Bob Marley

worst Enemy Quotes

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5. “Friends ask you questions; enemies question you.”  ― Criss Jami

Enemy Quotes and sayings

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6. “The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Enemy Quotes about knowledge

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7. “Never explain―your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” ― Elbert Hubbard

Enemy Quotes about explanations

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8. “I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.” Oscar Wilde

Enemy Quotes about choices

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9. “There’s ways you can trust an enemy you can’t always trust a friend. An enemy’s never going to betray your trust.” ― Daniel Abraham

Enemy Quotes about trust

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10. “When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend” William Blake

Enemy Quotes about sinister people

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11. “An honorable man is fair even to his enemies; a dishonorable man is unfair even to his friends!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

Enemy Quotes about honorable men

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Enemy quotes on how to fight your haters

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that friends who are overly critical, competitive, or jealous can have a detrimental effect on their mental and physical health.

This emphasizes the need to be discerning in our friendships and to prioritize those who support and encourage us.

12. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” ― Abraham Lincoln

Enemy Quotes about friendship

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13. “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Enemy Quotes about love

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14. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” ― George Orwell

Enemy Quotes about change

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15. “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Enemy Quotes about religion-15

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16. “The truth may not set you free, but used carefully, it can confuse the hell out of your enemies.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton

Enemy Quotes about truth setting you free

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17. “The greatest win is walking away and choosing not to engage in drama and toxic energy at all.” ― Lalah Delia

Enemy Quotes about winning

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18. “A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.” ― Aesop

Enemy Quotes about doubtful friends

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19. “Enemies are either defeated, befriended or bypassed.” ― Stewart Stafford

Enemy Quotes about defeating

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20. “Your enemies cannot make you hate them, define you, or make you obsessively think about them, only you can do that.” ― Carmine Savastano

Enemy Quotes about your choice

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21. “I transform my enemy to a friend with my pen.” ― Debasish Mridha

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Enemy Quotes about writing

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22. “Keep quiet and the enemy will reveal himself.” ― Bangambiki Habyarimana

Enemy Quotes about keeping quiet

23. “Don’t fight with your enemy’s brains, fight with his heart” ― Bangambiki Habyarimana

Enemy Quotes about the heart

24. “True strength isn’t being able to knock your enemies down, it’s being able to hold yourself upright against their blows.” ― Toni Sorenson

Enemy Quotes about strength

Enemy quotes on the makings of an enemy

According to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2021, 82% of Americans reported having at least one toxic friend.

This statistic suggests that having frenemies is a common experience among Americans, and it may be helpful for readers to know they are not alone in this.

25. “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” – Winston Churchill

Enemy Quotes about the enemy within

 26. “An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.” ― Thomas Jefferson

27. “A man who lies about beer makes enemies” Stephen King

28. “If you have enemies, good that means you stood up for something.” ― Eminem

29. “They say you are judged by the strength of your enemies.” – James Bond

30. “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.” ― Paul Newman

31. “Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you.” – Yassir Arafat

32. “It doesn’t take but a few words to turn your best friend into your worst enemy.” ― Marlan Rico Lee

33. “If every mortal looks at others as their friends, not as their enemies, the world would be a much better place, wouldn’t it?” ― Morgan Rhodes

34. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

Wise enemy quotes

A survey conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that individuals who cut ties with toxic friends experienced a boost in happiness equivalent to doubling their income.

This finding suggests that the benefits of cutting ties with frenemies extend beyond one’s mental health and can have a positive impact on overall life satisfaction.

35. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

36. “Love your enemies, for they tell you your Faults.” ― Benjamin Franklin

37. “The life of the enemy. Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy’s staying alive.” ― Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

38. “He will never have true friends, he who is afraid of making enemies.” ― William Hazlitt

39. “The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.” – Marcus Aurelius

40. “A man falling off a cliff to certain death will stretch out a hand even to his worst enemy.” ― Robert Jordan

41. “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

42. “I love my enemies for two reasons: they inspire me to recognize my weakness. They also inspire me to perfect my imperfect nature.” ― Sri Chinmoy

43. “Seeing the enemy as human. A general’s ultimate nightmare.” ― Sabaa Tahir

44. “We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.” – Aesop

45. “A genuine enemy is more useful than a fake friend.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of fake friends quotes to help you deal with deceptive people.

46. “If video games have taught me anything, it’s that if you encounter enemies then you’re going the right way” ― Ali G.

47. “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli 
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Machiavelli quotes to give you an intellectual look at the themes of power, morality, and more.

48. “Never Hate your enemies, they teach you lessons.” ― Bharath Mamidoju

49. “People who are two-faced, usually forget which mask they are wearing at some point in their life.” ― Anthony T.Hincks

50. “You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.” – Eric Hoffer

Best enemy quotes

According to a study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, individuals who had stronger social support networks reported lower levels of stress and better physical and mental health.

This statistic highlights the importance of cultivating positive relationships and cutting ties with toxic friends for one’s overall well-being.

51. “Enemies are people who’s story you haven’t heard, or who’s face you haven’t seen.” – Irene Butter

52. “Despise the enemy strategically, but take him seriously tactically.” – Mao Zedong

53. “Keep quiet and the enemy will reveal himself.” – Bangambiki Habyarimana

54. “Sometimes the simplest solution out of conflict is becoming someone’s friend.” – Shannon L. Alder

55. “The enemies of your enemies are not always your friends, but they can still be useful.” – James D. Sass

56. “A polite enemy is just as difficult to discredit, as a rude friend is to protect.” – Bryant H. McGill

57. “You cannot defeat an enemy you do not admit exists.” –  Michael T. Flynn

58. “I like to have powerful enemies. Makes me feel important.” – Leigh Bardugo

59. “A bullet can kill the enemy, but a bullet can also produce an enemy, depending on whom that bullet strikes.” – Tim O’Brien

60. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Enemy Quotes and Sayings

A study by the University of Amsterdam found that the way people respond to enemies can vary depending on their cultural background, with individualistic cultures more likely to respond with aggression and collectivist cultures more likely to seek reconciliation.

This statistic highlights the importance of considering cultural factors when analyzing the enemy dynamic and may encourage readers to approach the topic with a more nuanced perspective.

61. “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.” George Patton

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62. “The noblest revenge is to forgive.” – Thomas Fuller

63. “Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” Mario Puzo

64. “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill

65. “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” – William Blake

66. “There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself : an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.” – Antisthenes

67. “Kill them with success, and bury them with a smile.” – Keisha Keenleyside

68. “Pay close attention to people who don’t clap when you win.” Leonardo DiCaprio

69. “Take the stones people throw at you, and use them to build a monument.” – Ratan Tata

70. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Be smarter than your enemy quotes

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 45% of Americans believe that having enemies is an unavoidable part of life, with 34% saying that they have had a personal enemy at some point in their life.

This statistic underscores the commonality of the enemy dynamic and may help readers feel less alone in their experiences.

71. “Know thyself, know thy enemy.  A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” -Sun Tzu

72. “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” -Mahatma Ghandi

73. “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” -Desmond Tutu

74. “A man who has made no enemies is probably not a very good man.” -Antonin Scalia

75. “A man cannot be too careful in the selection of his enemies.” -Oscar Wilde

76. “If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

77. “No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.” -Daisy Bates

78. “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” -Woodrow Wilson

79. “Be loyal to those who are loyal to you. And respect everyone, even your enemies and competition.” -John Cena

80. “Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.” -Antisthenes

Enemy quotes to keep you aware

A study by the University of Arkansas found that forgiveness can lead to improved physical health, including lower blood pressure and reduced levels of stress hormones.

This statistic emphasizes the benefits of letting go of negative feelings towards enemies and finding ways to forgive them.

81. “If you treat people with dignity, respect and friendliness, you can turn enemies into friends. An enemy is nothing but a friend in disguise.” -Ted Turner

82. “Everybody you fight is not your enemy and everybody that helps you is not your friend.” -Mike Tyson

83. “Never interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself.” -Napoleon

84. “If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.” -Paul Newman

85. “Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” -Malcolm X

86. “You cannot defeat your enemies until you know who they are.” -Anthony Horowitz

87. “If you have an enemy, then learn and know your enemy, don’t just be mad at him or her.” -Denzel Washington

88. “Enemies are just people whose stories you haven’t heard, or whose face you haven’t seen.” -Irene Butter

89. “Rejoice not at thine enemy’s fall- but don’t rush to pick him up either.” -Jewish proverb

90. “Your enemies are people too, and maybe they don’t have to be enemies if they’re that much like you.” -Joe Weisberg

Enemy Quotes On Success In Life

91. “Treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy, and your enemy as if he will one day be your friend” — Warren G. Harding

92. “The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.” — Joseph Heller

93. “The enemies of the future are always the very nicest people.” — Christopher Morley

94. “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

95. “I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” — Walt Whitman

96. “I don’t have a warm personal enemy left. They’ve all died off. I miss them terribly because they helped define me.” — Clare Boothe Luce

97. “Who are enemies? Those who oppose each others will.” — Mary Caroline Richards

98. “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never peril.” — Sun Tzu

99. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” — Nelson Mandela

100. “What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.” — Sun Tzu

Enemy Quotes To Help You Cope With Own Enemies In Life

101. “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” — Frank Sinatra

102. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” — George W. Bush

103. “The wise learn many things from their enemies.” — Aristophanes

104. “Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There is too much fraternizing with the enemy.” — Henry Kissinger

105. “An ancient rule of ethics and politics is that you should never push your enemy into despair.” — Joseph De Maistre

106. “Let us choose our enemies well. So let us choose our friends well, since these will become those.” — Henry de Montherlant

107. “Love your enemies, for they determine who you are.” — Joseph Campbell

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108. “Anyway, just because you’re sworn enemies doesn’t mean you can’t be friends, does it?” — Terry Pratchett

109. “Noble dragons don’t have friends. The nearest they can get to the idea is an enemy who is still alive.” — Terry Pratchett

110. “He will never have true friends who is afraid of making enemies.” — William Hazlitt

Enemy Quotes on How To Live With Them

111. “The enemies you make by taking a decided stand generally have more respect for you than the friends you make by being on the fence.” ― Henry A. Kissinger

112. “I hate admitting that my enemies have a point.” ― Salman Rushdie

113. “The worst enemy is one whose doctrines are founded in hate and are thus beyond debate.” ― Tobsha Learner

114. “It is better to decide a difference between enemies than friends, for one of our friends will certainly become an enemy and one of our enemies a friend.” ― Bias of Priene

115. “Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; revenging one make you but even with him; forgiving it sets you above him.” ― Benjamin Franklin

116. “One of the most lasting pleasures you can experience is the feeling that comes over you when you genuinely forgive an enemy – whether he knows it or not.” ― Orlando Aloysius Battista

117. “However bad a man, he will have some friends: however good, he will have some enemies.” ― Ivan Panin

118. “Always presume that the enemy has dangerous designs and always be forehanded with the remedy. But do not let these calculations make your timid.” ― Frederick The Great

119. “He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy.” ― Socrates

120. “We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbour.” ― Gilbert K. Chesterton

Enemy Quotes To Maintain a Circle of Your True Friends

121. “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” — Oliver Hazard Perry

122. “Even a paranoid can have enemies.” — Henry A. Kissinger

123. “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.” — Francis Bacon

124.”Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.” — Publilius Syrus

125. “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” — Charles Spurgeon

126. “It is difficult to say who do you the most mischief, enemies with the worst intentions, or friends with the best.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

127.”Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy.” — Henry Fielding

128. “The enemy is the necessary condition for practicing patience.” — Dalai Lama

129. “If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” — Sun Tzu

130. “Never say things to friends which you don’t want to hear from enemies.” — Harbhajan Singh Yogi

Enemy Quotes on How To Live With Your Enemies

131. “Let my enemies devour each other.” — Salvador Dali

132. “A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” — Oscar Wilde

133. “Faith activates God – Fear activates the Enemy.” — Joel Osteen

134. “No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person’s enemies say about him.” — Napoleon Hill

135. “Friends come and go but enemies accumulate.” — Arthur Bloch

136. “Memory is man’s greatest friend and worst enemy.” — Gilbert Parker

137. “That is the thankless position of the father in the family-the provider for all, and the enemy of all.” — August Strindberg

138. “If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.” — Charles Caleb Colton

139. “It is a pitiful fortune that is not without enemies.” — Publilius Syrus

140. “Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else unless it is an enemy.” — Albert Einstein

Enemy Quotes To Know How To Relate With Enemies

141. “It’s always worthwhile to recognize what your enemy is saying.” ― Daniel Thorman

142. “Some things are so bad or painful that you’d wish them on your worst enemy.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

143. “Let’s admit, without apology, what we do to each other. We know who our enemies are. We know.” ― Richard Siken

144. “When your true enemies are too strong, you have to choose weaker enemies.” ― Umberto Eco

145. “But if you look at history the great men and women of the world have always been defined by their enemies.” ― Lex Luthor

146. “Having many enemies means having no peace.” ― Derek Bryce

147. “At least he had some of the right enemies, even if he didn’t do enough to earn them.” ― Christopher Hitchens

148. “Betrayals rarely come from an enemy.” ― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

149. “Stand up for the truth and you’ll find out who your enemies are.” ― Marty Rubin

150. “Always keep a polite distance from the enemy: people.” ― Marty Rubin

What did you learn from these enemy quotes?

Before reading these quotes, I would have said I didn’t have any “enemies.”

I’ve concluded that I have to re-evaluate some friendships when thinking about it in terms of things that try to harm or weaken me.

The people in your lives should be genuinely happy for you when you break away from things that cause you misery.

Sometimes jealousy, fear, and judgments hold them back, but don’t let them get in your head!

What’s your biggest takeaway from these enemy quotes and sayings?

Is there a relationship in your life that is bringing you down?

Do you have a story about a time you beat an enemy?

Please share it in the comment section! 

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  1. Meshack Matlala

    November 1, 2020 at 1:06 AM

    Life is a journey full of endless learning and self discovery.

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