be (one's) own worst enemy

(redirected from be their own worst enemies)

be (one's) own worst enemy

To do things that complicate one's life and/or keep one from success; to be self-destructive or self-sabotaging. Of course Tommy started skipping school again—he's his own worst enemy. She always sabotages a relationship when it's going really well because she's her own worst enemy.
See also: enemy, own, worst
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be your own worst enemy

act contrary to your own interests; be self-destructive.
1993 Richard Lowe & William Shaw Travellers We convinced ourselves that everything was against us but the truth was we were probably our own worst enemies.
See also: enemy, own, worst
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be your ˌown worst ˈenemy

be a person who often creates problems or difficulties for himself/herself: He spends all his money on clothes, and then finds that he’s got nothing left to live on — if you ask me, he’s his own worst enemy.
See also: enemy, own, worst
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

own worst enemy, to be one's

To be the major source of one’s own difficulties. The Greek philosopher Anacharsis (ca. 550 b.c.) already was stating this idea: “What is man’s chief enemy? Each is his own.” Cicero said it of Julius Caesar (Ad Atticum, 49 b.c.). In more recent times, cartoonist Walt Kelly expressed the same thought through his main character, Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”
See also: own, to, worst
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Northern communities may be their own worst enemies when it comes to economic development.
However, rural areas also have some peculiarities, not the least of which is they tend to be their own worst enemies. The local power structure, often a "good ol' boy" network, runs the town like Hooterville.
This past autumn, however, I began to wonder if my friends didn't have it at least partially right in suggesting bishops can be their own worst enemies.