An enemy becomes a real friend.
I had a colleague whom I thought of as the bane of my existence for five years. I had reason to believe that this person, who wielded considerable power in the structure of my workplace, was determined to get me fired, so I avoided all contact, constructing an invisible wall around myself, all the while feeling unsafe and resentful. Meanwhile the hostile colleague continued to lob things at me over the wall. During a time when we served together on a committee, my colleague came under attack for a very minor transgression, an awkward social gaffe really. My spontaneous response to this was to speak out in defense of my “enemy” – something I didn’t think out in advance and never expected to find myself doing. Almost overnight, this person’s negativity towards me melted entirely away. Gradually, we became more and more comfortable with each other, and today (many years later) we remain very good friends, sharing many common interests. Strangely, it now feels to me that the attacks this person aimed at me were actually a way of seeking connection, though not one that I would recommend. Underneath all the negative drama was love, trying to emerge. This experience has been for me one of the great lessons of my life.