Who hurts you more, your friends or your enemies? Most people answer that it is their friends. On first glace, that seems puzzling. According to Webster's 1913 Dictionary defines friend as "one who entertains for another such sentiments or esteem, respect, and affection that he seeks his society and welfare; a wellwisher; and intimate associate; sometimes, an attendant." That sounds pretty good, doesn't it? The problem may be that this word - friend - is used in other ways too. Possible synonyms for friend include: advocate, alter ego, amigo, associate, brother, buddy, chum, companion, crony, proponent, sympathizer, truster, upholder, acquaintance, ally, backer, bedfellow, bosom buddy, compatriot, colleague, cohort, concubine, confederate, coworker, escort, lover, mate, pal, partner, playmate, and many others.
As you can see, each of these has a slightly different feel to it. So when someone wants to be my friend, there is potential for disappointment and pain if we are not seeing the friendship in the same way. Imagine what happens when one person defines friend as playmate or pal and the other person defines it as lover.
Does this mean that I think you shouldn't have friends? Of course not. Friends are a very important part of life. In fact, I think we need to have many different types of friends; perhaps, many on this list. What I am suggesting is that saying you are friends may not be enough to avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings. The terms and limits of friendship should probably be clarified.
Our enemies hurt us and we generally don't get as frazzled since we often expect it from them. When our friends hurt us, it seems to pack a bigger punch. It is likely that this is, in part, due to our mismatch of expectations.