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Frenemies – Are Your Friends Really Your Friends?

Life Is Too Short for Fake Butter and Fake People

Frenemies come into our life and tend to stay for a long time. They drain our energy and take advantage of us. This may sound like a toxic friend, but it’s more difficult to notice. Toxic people are easy to point out and walk away from. It’s easy to say no to a toxic friend, and put up a barrier. But what about a frenemy? Keep in mind a frenemy can be a friend, classmate, work colleague, family member, romantic partner, boss, or acquaintance. The thing about frenemies is that is takes you a long time to notice, and when you do, you start to question whether that person was always a frenemy or if the friendship evolved into one.

FrenemiesDid you know they are 3 types of frenemies?

  1. Ambivalent Frenemy: This type of friendship is where you get great things out of the relationship, but the negative outweighs the positive aspects. For example, you both are constantly competing or putting each other down.
  2. Long Term Frenemy: This type of friendship stems from knowing each other for a long time. You both have a history together, but now the friendship feels like a drag. You feel guilty ending the friendship because of all the experiences and good times you’ve had together.
  3. Involuntary Frenemy: This type of frenemy is difficult to stay away from. For instance, this person is part of your group of friends or even a coworker. In this case you are affected because if you try to distance yourself from this person it will affect your other relationships.

How to pinpoint a frenemy

  1. FrenemiesDream Killers: Frenemies try to deter you from your dreams in a deceiving way. For example, they may say something like: “I don’t think it’s a good idea, I don’t want you to get hurt” or “I don’t think that will work, but what if you do this instead”?
  2. Undermining Your Accomplishments: When something exciting happens in your life, frenemies won’t give you credit. They may say something like: “You’re so lucky”. Instead of acknowledging all the hard work you have done.
  3. Passive Aggressive Comments: This is when a frenemy says something sarcastically mean and you don’t know whether it was intentional or a joke.
  4. Inappropriate Compliments: Frenemies may start out by saying something nice and then twisting it at the end. For example, “That dress looks so beautiful on you, you don’t look fat in it”.
  5. FrenemiesDisappear When Needed: Frenemies will be the kindest and most lovable people when they need something from you. They will compliment you, make you feel important. But when you need help, frenemies tend to give convincing excuses not to help you.
  6. Unnoticed Emotions: This happens when you aren’t fully aware of the negative feelings you have towards your frenemy, but after you spend time with them you may feel anxious or bad about yourself.
  7. Constant Competition: It doesn’t matter what you and your frenemy are doing, they always turn it into a competition. For example, you are playing basketball with them and they try to make a deal on who wins.
  8. They Aren’t Truly Happy for You: A true friend will mirror your excitement, but a frenemy won’t.
  9. FrenemiesQuestioning If It’s Fun: When you are hanging out with a frenemy, you might catch yourself thinking: “Is this fun”? or “Am I having fun”?
  10. You Aren’t Sure If You like them: This occurs when you don’t like your frenemy, but you try to convince yourself that you do. You look for reasons why this friendship benefits you.
  11. You Feel Drained: During and after hanging out with a frenemy you feel completely drained of your energy. Its as if you have been running a marathon all day.
  12. Feelings of Guilt: This happens when you don’t want to be friends with your frenemy, but you are scared of hurting their feelings. This usually happens when it’s a long-term friendship, and you don’t know how to end it.

What to Do?

  1. FrenemiesAsk yourself:
    1. What keeps me connected to this relationship?
    2. How does this person make me feel?
    3. Do I trust them?
    4. Are they truly happy about my achievements?
  2. Speak Up: When a frenemy says something hurtful towards you. Don’t stay quiet, you won’t be able to control their behavior but you sure can stick up for yourself.
  3. Say NO when needed: You can still say no, and be a kind person. There is no shame in not wanting to do any favors or even hanging out.
  4. Limit Information: Don’t tell your frenemy about new goals and if you do, don’t give out too much information.

Staying away from frenemies isn’t easy especially when it’s an involuntary relationship, or when you don’t notice. But we need to remind ourselves that we have the liberty of picking out our friends. You under no obligation, need to stay with a frenemy. I’ve always kept this quote close to my heart: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

Also, feel free to check out Psych2Go’s Book: Mental Illness Recovery Series. It’s a wonderful book that contains 100 true life stories from people all over the world. Such as the U.S., South America, Europe, Germany, U.K and much more.

5 Comments

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  1. I had a “friend” who behaved in this manor and it would just throw me off completely. She enjoyed manipulating the people around her, especially her closest friends and I remember the month my dad and my uncle died and I was just in a mindset of realizing I’m wasting my life catering to Hess people who are horrible to me; life’s too short for this to be going on in my mid 20’s. And just realizing what I’m doing to myself by keeping these negative people who influence me in the worst ways possible to do bad things and who shatter my self esteem and spirit was groundbreaking for me because as much as I defended myself I still ran away from confrontation out of fear of losing these people. It didn’t help my relationship with my ex was also abusive either. It was as though these people were holding my head under water and letting me come up for air just before I was about to freak out and drown.
    This article is so important to those of us who are being abused by the people we chose to keep as friends in our lives who take advantage of our kindness. They will destroy you mentally and in turn you yourself begin to develop reflections of their own behavior and characteristics which will only exacerbate the issue at hand. Having a strong group of positive influences is so vital to ones health and if you can’t find it with them then make friends here or online- connect with others around you that haven’t given a chance.
    This takes time, of course. It took me years and a death in my family to finally just crack and say I’m done with this. But hopefully it doesn’t take everyone else that much to do the same! You’re strong and you’re not a bad person for saying enough is enough. Take a stand and spread the truth of your feelings, if they don’t listen, leave them.

  2. I have this “friend” who talks to me in an unpolite way and as far as i can see, she talks nice to our other friends in our circle of friends except to me. I understand that she talks to me like that because we had a quarrel but she’s been like that even before we had our quarrel. Every time we had a small argument, i always end up saying sorry even if sometimes it’s both our fault and even if sometimes it’s her fault. I know to myself that my feelings and say are being set aside when we’re having an argument, because as a guy i must be a “gentleman” and always try to understand her point but she, sometimes, doesn’t listen to what i say. She can always make me feel guilty after every argument and also upset because she’s my friend but at the back of my head, i know that I’m right and i should not tolerate her but i can’t do it. She’s kinda angry at me because she thought her boyfriend is losing time with her because of me (her boyfriend is my bestfriend). Now, we had an argument and she keeps on telling me “i don’t want to talk to you” then i said “okay if that’s what you want” but then she replies every time i reply to her reply. At the office, she’s not talking to me, so i am to her because that’s what she told me then later that night, she posted “i feel so alone” so now I’m feeling guilty again but I’m trying hard not to. Now i just want to ask, can this be considered as “frienemy” or something else? And is this situation unhealthy mentally?

    Nice article guys, really timely for me 😊 many people can relate to this especially in our generation and thanks for the infos that I’ve been gaining becuase of your articles and posts 👌👍👍

      • Thanks for the concern. I don’t really want to lose my inner peace (which is already lost) but i also dont want to leave her, she’s my friend. What should i do?

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