Friends and Frenemies/Frienemy

Friends and Frenemies/Frienemy
Friends and Frenemies/Frienemy

We all have friends, some of us have out-and-out enemies (maybe not that you’re aware of) and then there are the good old frenemies.

When I first heard the term “frenemy”, I chuckled as I began to think about which of my acquaintances would fall into that category. By definition, a frenemy” (alternately spelled “frienemy”) is a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that can refer to either an enemy pretending to be your friend or someone who really is your friend but is also a rival. They are everywhere: work, the gym, the neighborhood, everywhere!

All of us slip up occasionally and say stupid things. A real friend might hurt your feelings on accident, but a frenemy means to say something to bother, annoy, irritate or hurt you. A frenemy will comment on everything from clothes, to boyfriends, to your career. I like to think of them as side-ways compliments. “That’s a great outfit for someone your size.” “I’m so happy about your promotion. You almost make as much as I do now.” “You should just be happy a guy like that would pay attention to you.” When you call them on their behavior, their first response is usually, “I didn’t mean anything negative by it.” or “You’re so sensitive.” Yes, they did, and no you’re not.

It may be difficult to tell when your friend really isn’t on your side. Sometimes, it takes a while, and rarely is there one specific event that creates a betrayal. Instead, frenemies say supportive things and pretend to be there for you, but are pretty quick to throw negative energy and hurtful remarks into the mix. Your first clue that someone is a frenemy may be nothing more than a feeling but I’ve learned that trusting your gut can carry you a long, long way. Trust that feeling and go with it.

A frenemy will ruin a positive moment for you with careless words that diminish your achievement, gossip about you behind your back, finds it impossible to be totally happy for you, is constantly comparing her life with yours or competing with you in EVERYTHING, throws out compliments mixed with criticism, and hurls out hurtful words followed by a hug or big smile.

Should you continue the relationship you have with the frenemy? You’re an adult and you are in control of the persons you allow in your most intimate circles. Ask yourself if you want to waste your time and energy going back and forth with this woman and her slights. Some days, we’re a little more sensitive than others. Are you up for her remarks about your clothes? Probably not. Surround yourself with people who are true friends, who have your best interest at heart but will be honest in her criticisms. Don’t waste your time on someone who’s main intent and purpose is to make your life miserable.

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