Do you know the difference between friends and frenemies? Do you believe everyone who helps you in difficult times is your friend? Is everyone who does something wrong to you is your enemy? This is common thinking among most people. But that is not the real picture.
What exactly is a frenemy?
“Frenemy” (also spelled “frienemy”) is an oxymoron and a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that refers to “a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry” or “a person who combines the characteristics of a friend and an enemy”. The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. This term also describes a competitive friendship.
Types of frenemies
Frenemies can be divided into different categories based on their behaviors:
- One-sided frenemy: When one person reaches out or meets another person only when s/he needs help or a favor, then s/he can be considered as a one-sided frenemy to the latter person. This person doesn’t care about the life of the other person and doesn’t have any interest in what is going on with the other. Also, they do not show up in time of the other’s need. So, it is a one-sided relationship.
- Unfiltered/Undermining frenemy: This type of frenemy insults his/her friend, makes fun of them, cracks sarcastic jokes about them so frequently that it gets hard for them to tolerate. S/He discloses their secrets in public. So, that person will eventually start to hate this frenemy.
- Over-involved frenemy: This kind of frenemy gets involved in his/her friend’s life in ways that they might not approve. S/he reaches out to their family, friends or significant others in inappropriate ways without their permission to find something out. Their over-involvement bothers and irritates the friend.
- Competitive work frenemy: This kind of frenemy is basically a competitor of one person. Since they work in the same place or area, s/he behaves well, makes compliments and acts as a well-wisher, but in reality, s/he never wants something good to happen to the other. S/He never wants them to become more successful than him/her.
- Ambivalent frenemy: This kind of frenemy has both positive and negative qualities. Sometimes they can be helpful and polite but sometimes they also act in a selfish or competitive way.
- Jealous frenemy: Jealousy can turn friends into frenemies. A person may become jealous of his/her friends because of their raise, success, beauty, personality, humor, social status.
- Unsure frenemy: When one does not know exactly the status or closeness of their friendship. For example, they are not sure if the other person likes him/her or not, if they are real friends or just business friends, if the other will consider inviting him/her in family programs.
- Passive-aggressive frenemy: They make mean remarks and give backhand compliments, but never directly to one’s face. They can leave a person feeling confused about whether they have done something wrong.