FRENEMIES EXPERT: Hilary Katz SSW, MSW, LCSW Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services (t) 267-861-3685
- A FRENEMY DATES YOUR EX? HOW DO YOU HANDLE A SITUATION LIKE THAT? I think the key to dealing with frenemies overall is to stay as dignified as possible and not feed into their drama and need to compete. If a frenemy is dating your x, so be it. Handle it with grace and vent to friends you can trust.
- A CO-WORKER FRENEMY UNDERMINES YOUR WORK - DOESN’T TELL YOU ABOUT MEETINGS, STEALS YOUR IDEAS; OR YOU JUST START WORKING ON A PROJECT AND YOUR FRENEMY SAYS, “I’VE BEEN WORKING ON THAT FOR THREE WEEKS.” I think there is some truth to the old saying “kill em with kindness”. The frenemy clearly feels a sense of competitiveness with you, so you have to tread lightly in terms of putting them on the defense. I would confront this person in a way that is kind and non-threatening (even if you want to scream!). In the meantime, I would have a confidential conversation with your supervisor and again be dignified and cautious. You do not want to come off as gossiping or equally competitive.
- A FRENEMY IS THE ONE-UPPER. YOU GET TO WORK AT 7 AM, THEY GET IN AT 6 AM; YOU WORK OUT FOR 90 MINUTES, THEY WORK OUT FOR 2 HOURS? Again, so be it. You focus on yourself and the importance of maintaining a strong sense of self. You don’t have control over anyone else, but you. It becomes toxic to allow the frenemy to intrude on your own self esteem. The minute you feed into them, they win. · THE PERSON WHO SAYS I DON’T WEAR THAT STYLE OF DRESS OR HAIR STYLE BUT TELLS YOU IT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU. OR, YEAH, THAT GUY’S NOT MY TYPE – YOU USUALLY GO AFTER GUYS LIKE THAT. First I would ask yourself, “How can I spend LESS time with this person?” If it cannot be totally avoided, it is important to remember these kinds of friends/enemies are jabbers and competitive. Their jabs are not facts and certainly not really about you. It has everything to do with their own self esteem. Laughing it off seems to be one of the best defenses for coping with these comments. If you have a strong sense of self, you should find it humorous more than anything else and if you are feeling hurt, it’s time to reevaluate why this unsupportive jabber is effecting our sense of self!
- THE PERSON WHO BETRAYS YOUR TRUST - TELLS THE BOSS YOU’RE PREGNANT, YOU’RE GAY, YOU’RE HUNG OVER, YOU DIDN’T FINISH THE TASK. Again, this is one that needs to be confronted in a way that does not put the person on the defense, but rather invites them to explain to you why they did what they did as well as give you the opportunity to set a limit. These kinds of people enjoy the confrontation which is why they take these risks. You have to tread lightly but make it clear it was not okay what they did. Moving forward, I would share little to nothing with this person and be cautious around them overall.
- THE PERSON WHO INVITES YOU TO A DINNER AND REMINDS YOU NOT TO EAT – BIG DINNER PLANNED BUT THEY KNOW YOU’RE A VEGETARIAN. THERE ARE NO VEGETABLES IN THE HOUSE ANYWHERE. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice shame on you! Eat when you get home and either never go there again or always bring your own dish! ☺