This post was inspired by Charisse, we don’t see often but whenever we do we really jam! Shout out to you my sis!
So Charisse shared a link on her Facebook wall with the title Frenemies. I read it. And of course while reading I did a mental check of my friends to see who- if any had morphed into a frienemy.
A few years ago I discovered a friend had become a frenemy, actually in fairness to her she had always been that, its just that Toks was so accommodating and a tad bit naive to call a spade a spade. The final nail was hit when she passed a comment that was hurtful (like most of her previous ones) and constructed to cause harm. And it hit its mark. I wrote this poem signalling the end of our relationship as we both knew it.
A frenemy is a friend that has morphed into an enemy but still retains the same qualities that endeared you to her in the first place. There are two classes of frienemies. Intentional and unintentional, or types A and B. The intentional frienemy as her title suggests is determined to hurt, pull you down or step on you to get to the top. To you she’s a friend, to her you are a rung on the ladder she’s climbing to the top of her game. She will not pull you up if you are down, but is gifted at using ‘words of encouragement’ which suggest you’ll always be where you belong- at the bottom, while she sympathises with and is there for you. She is very insecure- though it may not be very obvious, so she has developed a unique way of gaining security. How does she do this? She takes yours. She grabs your pride and dignity and dismembers them right before your very eyes. Words are her tool, either through salacious gossip or by embarrassing you with cutting remarks in front of others under the guise of humour or innocence.
An unintentional frenemy is less aggressive You are also a rung on the ladder, but she has no intention of climbing over you. The trouble is you ain’t going nowhere. You are the rung she holds unto to keep you from going forward in life. Ever heard the saying ‘misery loves company? She, my dear is Ms Misery. She is negative, whiny, forever discouraged. Type B frenemy thrives on sharing her woes and like a vampire bat, she wants to suck your strength. She does love you but she’s a user. When she leaves your presence you can tell because you feel drained, tired and a dark cloud of despair and hopelessness now looms over you. Did I mention she’s a user? She not only drains your emotional strength, but possibly takes from you without ever giving. She’s manipulative and would blackmail you emotionally for gain.
Perhaps a sub-class of the unintentional frenemy will be the one that loves you, loves your company but not enough to see you excel in life. They want to be ahead of you, always. When opportunities for growth arise they’ll keep it from you. These types do not share vital information just in-case it causes you to become successful. In this relationship, you may not have been told but you are in a race. You see them as a friend, they see you as a rival.
So how do you deal with frenemies? Without a doubt type A needs to be cut off. No ifs, no buts. They’ll never change. Talking to them is pointless, are you God?
Type B requires wisdom. It’s up to you if you want to cut them off, but if you choose to keep them, the phrase Know thy enemy is your weapon of choice. You need to set boundaries, both emotional and physical. Do not let them get into your head, don’t buy their sob-stories. Refuse to be moved, refuse to be manipulated. Play your cards close. More tactics can be found in The Art of War by Sun Tsu. If like me you can’t be bothered to read that epic book solely for the purpose of finding out how to deal with a ‘friend’, just cut them off.
A friend is none of these things. A friend sticks by you regardless. She is there for you and helps you get to the top. She is truly happy for you when you succeed, even if things are not perfect for her. I am blessed to have some really good friends, they know who they are.
Finally after my lesson on frenemies, I decided to look deep into my heart to determine if I had inadvertently become one. That voyage led me to do a personality test and the results blew my mind.
Another post, another day.
What’s your take on frenemies? Do you have any in your life?