The Friend Matrix: Do You Have Enemies Disguised As Friends?

One of my favorite rappers over the last several years is Wale (pronounced waah-lay). He’s a great lyricist, knows how to ride a beat, he’s very open and honest in his songs, and much like me he also loves WWE pro wrestling.

Above all else though, I love Wale because he’s a huge Seinfeld fan. He made three mixtapes based off the show, The Mixtape About NothingMore About Nothing, and Festivus, and recently released an album, The Album About Nothing.

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In his mixtapes, he includes snippets from the show or other Seinfeldian-things in every song, and bases the content of the song off of that snippet. That’s a great example of merging interests, which I call The Rock Rule.

In my last post I covered Jerry Seinfeld’s bit about why our friends are so annoying. I first heard that bit in the intro to a song on More About Nothing, called "The Friends N Strangers". In "The Friends N Strangers", the chorus includes the lines,

“Smiles and handshakes everywhere I go...I think I’ve got some enemies disguised as friends.”

In the song, Wale raps about dealing with people who are nice to his face, but talk shit behind his back, and other people who he calls his friends, but who aren’t very supportive of his goals and ambition.


How do you know if you have enemies disguised as friends?


My cofounder Martin and I firmly believe in The Average of 5 Rule, which states that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Think about that for a second. Ever notice how really successful people don’t surround themselves with people who bring them down? Or how “burnouts” hang out with other burnouts?

To get to the top, we need to constantly be around other people who want us to get to the top, and want to get there themselves as well. That means we don’t have enemies in our 5--we spend time with people who push us forward, not pull us back.

Pulling back disguises itself in a number of ways. From straight up throwing hate

“That’s stupid...why would you do that?”


to euphemizing it


“Oh why don’t ya go blog about it?” (said condescendingly)


to distracting us from our goals


“You need to slow your role and chill out. Let’s go do THIS instead”


You are the company you keep. If your company keeps you down, you’ll have a much tougher time rising to the top.

So, do you have enemies disguised as friends? Martin and I created a simple tool to figure it out called The Friend Matrix.


The Friend Matrix helps you:

  • Take an honest look at who you spend time with
  • Break down your 5 and quickly see if you’re in a group that pushes you forward, or pulls you back
  • Find if you’re acting as an enemy to your 5

What up! My name is Rajiv Nathan and I'm the Cofounder of Idea Lemon. That banana peel you slipped on to land here came from me. That's because I fancy myself a human Curious George, and the yellow hat I chase is life's authentic moments. I share my chase one story at a time through this blog, our email newsletter, and as a rapper.

Oh and I'm a WWE fan 4 lyf!