It’s Time to Ditch the Frenemy

Women TalkingWe’re women.  It is our job to occasionally be critical of our friends.   However, when that criticism is consistently destructive and hurtful rather than friendly and helpful, it’s time to ditch the frenemy.  A frenemy is someone who is both a friend and an enemy—a friend who is overly hurtful, disparaging or competitive.  This is the friend who, whenever you’re talking about something good in your life, has to one-up you in order to feel better about yourself.  She’s the friend who is constantly elevating herself by being negative about you.  She makes you feel bad about yourself.  Frenemies aren’t your friends—they’re enemies who smile and pretend to be nice while simultaneously digging your grave.

Frenemies are basically emotional vampires.  They feed off of turning your positive emotions into negative ones.  And no matter Woman Looking Sadhow long you’ve had this person in your life, you’re better off ditching the frenemy than pretending that she is your friend.


Your “friend” is a frenemy if she:


  1. Delivers only (or a majority of) backhanded compliments.  These are the compliments that are really insults in disguise.  You know, the “I really love your shoes—they’re so much nicer than the ones that you wearing yesterday!” or the “You looked great in that top I loaned you last week—sooo much better than in your usual clothes.  Why don’t you dress like that more often?”
  2. Is interested in being a good friend only when she needs you. This is the friend who is your BFF when she needed your help moving into her dorm room, or when she cried on your shoulder after her last break-up, but is never willing to help you in return.
  3. Extremely Manipulative, and is more concerned with having you shape your life to suit her rather making sure that you are happy. Don’t delude yourself—your frenemy cares about herself, not you.  She enjoys spending time with you because you provide her with a source of support (emotional or otherwise) and provide her with an easy way to boost her feelings of self-gratification.  Be suspicious of friends who encourage you to do something that makes you unhappy because it fits in with their life plans.
  4. Two-faced.  This is the friend who, to your face, is going to rave about your cute new bag, and then will turn around and say that it is the ugliest thing on earth.
  5. Uber-competive. Anything you can do, she can do better.  This is the friend who, when you’re telling her about that romantic weekend or family trip to Florida, interrupts with stories of her exploits in Milan.  If you just got a long-sought promotion, she got the corner office with a fabulous view or got to design an entire product line by herself.  If you just had a great date, she just had a romantic weekend away with the guy of her dreams.  NOTE: The point here is not the stories themselves, but how she relates them.  She isn’t just telling you about her life—she’s not-so-subtly indicating how much better her life is than yours.

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