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Do you have a frenemy?


the frenemy solution

The other day my friend was talking to me about her friend Carrie. Carrie was often overly sensitive, demanding, jealous and competitive. In short, she made my friend miserable. At first, I tried to give her some advice, but upon closer inspection, I realized this was no ordinary friendship problem: this was a case of The Frenemy.

Almost everyone I know has at least one frenemy she regularly hangs out with. What’s up with that? I’m the type to hope that these relationships will just fade away on their own, but that—judging by the sheer number of people who tell me about their frenemy problems—doesn’t seem to happen very often.

So, if you’re in this situation, what to do? My friend Marie has a foolproof solution…

She breaks up with bad friends.

At first, it sounded so harsh, but when she explained how she does it, I was intrigued. By the time she gets ready to break up with a friend, she says she’s already given the friendship a number of chances to get better. When it’s clear it’s not going to get better, or it’s just getting worse, she sits the friend down. There’s a lot of “it’s not you, it’s me” talk. She’s “not sure how things went so wrong.” And like a classic rom com break-up scene, she insists she just needs some time right now… alone. She’s not sure how much time she needs, but when she’s ready she’ll let the friend know. Then—and this was what really blew me away—she just never follows up. As she says, “bada bing bada boom”: frenemy break up complete.

Is that the craziest solution for a bad friendship you’ve ever heard or the absolute best? Have you ever done anything like it? I hope I’m not on anyone’s frenemy list!

(image by Goelia via Sterling Style Tumblr)

Last modified: January 10, 2019