The Linda B James Blog

How To Tell A Friend From A “Frenemy”?

Feb 16, 2014 8:52:00 PM / by Linda B James

Frenemy or Friend?

Look around you…

Not everyone you think is in your corner is cheering for you.

You will meet a handful of devoted friends and many fake friends in your lifetime.

Hopefully, the number of true friends outweighs the number of bad friends.

To your dismay, your friend might actually be your “frenemy.” Frenemies are jealous backstabbing saboteurs.  They want something you have such as: a relationship or a career.  They don’t want you to have something they desire.  Their attitude is “if I can’t have it, neither can you!”

It is disheartening when someone you admire and thinks is a good friend turns on you.  Perhaps they were never a friend after all.

Maybe you had detected something was amiss. Did you uncover lies they’ve told?  Did you hear rumors about them backstabbing others? Did you noticed a “got to have one up on you’’ attitude?  Did you hear a “what can you do for me” tone of voice? Did you notice an “I am holier than thou and you are unimportant” look in their face? Did you catch a micro-expression of displeasure that made you pause?

If so, your frenemy detector is at work.  It is warning you.

You are observing everything they say and do.

If you value the friendship or want to confirm your suspicions, here are five ways you can confront the situation:

  1. Set a date - Plan a mutually convenient time and location to speak.  Planning also gives you time to organize your thoughts and devise a strategy to address the matter.
  2. Remember the three “C’s” - Stay calm, controlled and constructive.  You may be approaching hostile territory.   With all the planning in the world you still can't predict the outcome.  Stay positive and on point.  If the conversation gets out of hand, politely excuse yourself and reschedule the meeting.
  3. Three is not a crowd - invite a mutual friend who cares about both of you.  Make sure the person is a neutral party.  If the frenemy feels that the two of you are “ganging up” on them then the discussion will be a lost cause.
  4. Just the facts - It is absolute folly to confront a foe without hardcore facts.  Have proof.  Don't rely on the “rumor mill” to verify accusations.  Keep written notes of what you see and hear.
  5. Kiss and make up - Know what you want to accomplish beforehand.  Do you want an explanation for their actions, to vent your frustrations, confirm your feelings, to part ways or mend fences? Keep in mind your anticipated outcome might not be what is best for the relationship.  Be open-minded and make your decision based on the conversation.

Friendship is an important part of your personal journey.  The people you choose to bring in your life have a tremendous impact on your growth.  Lifelong friendships are rare and to be cherished. Choose your friends wisely.


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Topics: Personal Growth, RELATIONSHIPS - Friends and Friendship, RELATIONSHIPS - Resolving Disputes, RELATIONSHIPS - Love and Intimacy

Linda B James

Written by Linda B James

Radio/TV personality, speaker, media coach and lifestyle expert. Known as The Lady With The Moves and the author of the Simple Treasures series.