Separating the Friends from the Frenemies

Posted on September 17, 2010


Let’s say, after reading these posts about Frenemies, you think you’ve got one. As I cautioned earlier, it’s best not to quickly jump to conclusions about anyone’s character, especially when you’ve just made a big change that may have them feeling kinda threatened. So how, exactly, does one separate one’s Friends from one’s Frenemies?

How do you know those negative remarks or rude comments about the changes you’ve recently made are the result of ill-intentions (and not just temporary envy)? How does one know whether the actions of another are indicative of another’s insecurity or are meant to sabotage you?

The answer is quite simple. So simple, in fact, it may astonish you. How does one deal with people who have said and done things that are-ahem-quite unsupportive of the changes you’ve made?

You ask the other person to stop.

Yes. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. You ask them to stop saying or doing the hurtful, rude things they’ve been doing. As in:

Please stop telling me all these horrible statistics about marriage and husbands cheating. I’ve finally found someone I want to spend the rest of my life with and I was hoping you’d be happy for me.


I know we’ve always spent a lot of time together but I’d really like to do a better job of devoting more time to my dating life. Your consistent accusations that I’m trading in our friendship for a romantic relationship is hurtful and just not true. I love hanging out with you but it’s impossible for me to do so every Friday night.


I’m crazy about X. She’s the first woman I’ve met in a long time who I really enjoy. Please stop making fun of her.

One you state your request, Friends will stop their unsavory behavior (and hopefully offer up an apology for it) and Frenemies will not. It really is that simple.

What’s not so simple is coming to terms with the fact that you may have mistaken some people for Friends who are actually undeserving of that status in your life. More on how to deal with those unfortunate people later.

Posted in: Change, Frenemies