But what if you don’t know who is which?
A frenemy is an enemy who appears to be a friend, or a person who acts as both an enemy and a friend at different points in time. It might seem that spotting such a person would be simple, and getting rid of them would be even more simple. But in my experience, most people who have frenemies are not aware it. Other times, people have a hard time getting rid of them because although the frenemy sabotages you in various ways, they also add value as companions. But the frenemy’s so-called friendship is ultimately a toxic relationship, and should be abandoned as soon as possible.
So how do you recognize such a person? Here are some tips on spotting the frenemy:
1. Pay attention to the tone of their words
Some frenemies will use a sarcastic or blunt tone. Their words may seem innocent, but the tone used will reveal their disdain. In particular, note the tone they use to discuss you when you’re not around (or they think you’re not around).
2. Watch their actions with others
The frenemy tends to be an unfriendly person in general. Note the way the person in question behaves with other people. Do they subtly, or worse, actively, try to tear other people down?
3. Pay attention to their words.
In some events, the frenemy will actually make negative remarks about a person, disguised as helpful comments. In one clear frenemy situation, the frenemy remarked to their so-called friend who was down about their appearance, “Of course, people like you aren’t seen as beautiful by most people. But you win some and lose some.” The comment went over the so-called friend’s head.
4. Note the things they say about others
Related to their general unfriendliness, the frenemy will often make negative remarks about other people. If a person is constantly putting others down, they are more likely to be putting you down as well.
5. Trust yourself
Do you think that the person is causing more harm than good? If you feel that the person is constantly putting you down or making you feel less than your best, trust yourself: you are probably dealing with a frenemy.
Do you have any experience with frenemies? How do you deal with them?