” Someone who is both friend and enemy, a relationship that is both mutually beneficial or dependent while being competitive, fraught with risk and mistrust. ”
Do you have a frenemy? Do you know what I mean when I say “Frenemy?”
As depicted in the above quotation, a Frenemy is someone who isn’t quite your friend but you associate with, while hiding thoughts on stabbing them with a rusty fork. In the eye.
They are the people who actively sabotage you and your goals, consistently run you down and basically kick you when you’re lying in the gutter.
Frenemies are most prevalent in teenage friendships. They are the friends who are lovely to you when you’re in a group, but still manage to exclude you from any activities.
So how do you tell when your friend has become a frenemy? For me, the big notice was when I was needing help and she was too concerned with being drunk and getting laid than what was best for us both in the situation we were in. It took me a long time to begin to notice that this particular friendship had become toxic, and that we were friends more out of habit than an actual friendship feeling.
Frenemies are generally the people who smile to your face, that you have coffee with, hang out with, but who hold no bars back when pointing out your flaws, your weaknesses, and the things that they
are jealous of don’t like about you.
They may be the ones who tell you that they support your weightloss goals, while subtly handing you the tools to destroy your hard work.
They may be the ones that compete against you, and constantly “one-up” you.
They may be the ones who you trust with your life and soul – but who you really shouldn’t.
To differentiate my “girls” from my “frenemies”, I generally have four questions I ask myself.
1) When was the last time they called me to say G’day, instead of finding out gossip?
2) Do I miss them when I am not around them?
3) When we talk, is it equally about both of us, or is it all of their achievements/thoughts/theories.
4) When I need them, are they there?
My “girls” fit all these brackets. I have slowly and systematically been removing the ones who don’t fit it over the last two years. Yes, dumping your friend isn’t a nice thing, but if it has to be done for your sanity and well being, then so be it!!!
I have friends who I don’t speak to for months on end but who I can pick up a convo with in a matter of seconds as if no time had passed. A phone call with the words “I need help” are all that is ever needed. They comprise my “girls” too.
I do, of course, have the special friends who are above the “girls” and who are the main people who keep me sane and happy. These are the ones who dry my eyes, listen to me whinge, tell me when to STFU, help when I’m down and who let me be a part of them as much as they are a part of me. And generally, they tell me what I need to hear about everything – even if it is a toxic girl who I am close to, it is them who will shake me till I wake up from myself.
Frenemies are not a nice thing. They are devious, sly, hurtful, distrustful and just plain ol’ mean.
They will actively hurt you, sabotage you, and get you so that you are on their level of depression.
But people often ask, “how do you stop the friendship?”
Well, I (and bear in mind, I am often too outspoken and don’t hold back) basically told this girl to GTFO of my life, because as far as I was concerned she didn’t exist any more. My life has been so drama free since I terminated the friendship – I don’t have high maintenance friends. Not because I can’t be bothered, but just because my friendships are all so open and honest that there is no room for drama.
But for tactful (read: normal) people, there is a method which is tried and tested.
Don’t return their calls or sms’s immediately.
Give yourself time to breathe, and start making plans which don’t include them.
Slowly, start denying their coffee dates or shopping plans.
Hopefully, by this stage, your frenemy has realised that they are no longer central to your life, and leave it quietly… or, they may do it with a loud BANG in which you have to decide what steps to take next yourself.
An old saying has been brought up to date: keep your friends close, but your frenemies closer…