I think it was a few years ago when this term was coined and left many of us looking a lot more closely at our friends to determine who was really more of a frenemy than actual friend. For some of us, admitting that we had one or two in our circle was more difficult than anticipated and it left us wondering how to handle our relationship/friendship moving forward. Thinking about my own friendships over the years, I realize that I've never really had that many female friends to begin with because I made a conscious effort to avoid them; I found them to be a tad dramatic and overly sensitive (all the things I was myself, lol) and the saying that "you are what you attract' would often come to mind. This forced me to take more of an indepth look at myself and now I can say that the friendships I have are nothing but loving, uplifting and supportive. If you read my post on friendships https://ibogirlliving.blogspot.com/2018/05/when-friendships-of-your-20s-dont-make.html
I expressed not stressing over friendships that end and that's because if I'm okay with not wanting to pursue a relationship with you any longer, then it is in part because there is a level of toxicity you bring to my life that I prefer to do without.
Having a friend or friends who also carry the same characteristics of an enemy can be a truly draining relatinship to have in one's life. Pretending to be a friend when in actuality they are more of a rival who only seek to compete with you (in an unhealthy way) isn't anyone to keep around you. Frenemies are not just in your personal circle but they can also be in your professional space. They display signs that can be initially hard to identify because they are masked in fake interest, inauthentic compliments and ingenuine offers of help. However, it usually doesn't take long for their true colours to come to light but if they go unidentified, they can become something of a relational vampire that drain one's energy through their passive-aggressive behaviour.
If you happen to be one of the people who can't easily identify whether you have a frenemy in your life, I will attempt to share at least 5 indicators that let you know for sure if you do or not and these are listed below:
1. Their criticisms are often disguised as humour - I had one such friend who enjoyed just being critical and putting others down in front of me and so it was a no brainer that if she was doing that in my presence about others, she would be doing the same in my absence about me as well. Frenemies love to be sarcastic and will use humour as a cover to plainly insult.
2. They give back-handed or fake compliments - They pretend to be giving compliments when in fact they are putting you down. A frenemy is the type to compliment your outfit but then say it does nothing for your figure or compliment your make-up but in the same breath tell you it would have been better suited for a different kind of event.
3. They feed on negativity - Frenemies are always enthusiastic about digging for dirt. If you shared something you were struggling with the day before, you can be sure they will bring it up the following day just to keep interrogating you on the subject. While real friends will give you some privacy as you sort through your issues and be there should you need them, frenemies will open up old wounds only to pour some more salt on them.
4. They incite drama - Frenemies are the ones who always cause problems within a group. They thrive off making statements that cause friction and fracture to relationships. If for instance, you share a concern you have about a 3rd party with them, it's a given that they will repeat it to the person when you are all together in a bid to make you uncomfortable and then feign interest in wanting to merely get to the root of whatever problem you are having with them.
5. They set off your sixth sense - We all have that gnawing feeling we get when someone or people in our immediate circle is/are untrustworthy or have an ulterior motive. I say always listen to your gut because it almost always will never lead you astray.
If there is a sense or feeling of apprehension you get around anyone you call a friend, then it is almost certain that individual is more frenemy than friend. They do not belong anywhere in your life and you will be doing yourself a great disservice by keeping them around.
Have you had frenemies in your life and could you identify them easily? How have they affected you? Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comments.
See you on Saturday!