Thursday, November 15, 2012

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)


Rachel said...

I never thought of it as breaking up, it was always more of a "I'm not gonna call her to hang out anymore" type deal. I think I like it!

Enjoy grace! said...

Hurting people, hurt people. If we can't be honest with ourselves, we can't be honest with another person. "It's sad, so sad. It's a sad, sad situation..."

Anonymous said...

Frenemies come in different packages. Unfortunately one solution doesn't work for all.

There are frenemies who will try to bring you down and trash your name if you break up with them. These are the mean, conceited, deceptive frenemies. For these types, you can't just break up with them. You maintain a civil acquaintance with them and just try to avoid them at all costs.

For the sake of a work frenemy or family or in-law frenemy, the distancing method seems to work best too. Share very little, remain respectful, but keep your guard because they will inevitably be in your life for a certain amount of time.

Then, there is the frenemy who WAS a best friend or close friend and time/life has changed not only how they act or treat you but who they are. They may mean well but hurt you more than they help you. These are the ones that you should break up with, and break up with honestly. Don't leave them hanging. Tell them that you value you the time you had with them but you feel like time has drifted you apart and you mutually feel it's best if you no longer stay friends.

Sobrina Tung said...

good call soulspire, every friendship is certainly unique!

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