Wikipedia describes Ã¢â‚¬Å“frenemyÃ¢â‚¬Â (alternately spelled Ã¢â‚¬Å“frienemyÃ¢â‚¬Â) as a portmanteau of Ã¢â‚¬Å“friendÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“enemyÃ¢â‚¬Â that can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or to a partner who is simultaneously a competitor and rival.
The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. You probably have a few of these in your life, but how do you make the most of associating with them?
These supposed friends like to know about you and what is going on in your life so that they can use it against you, copy you and take the credit or celebrate your faults and mishaps.
This alone makes frenemies a confusing bunch because one day they are there for you and the next day, they are competing with you for the most important thing in your life. Having them in life and not knowing who they are can be quite stressful. So, here are some facts on dealing with them.
Psychologist Sandra Mapemba gives the following characteristics of a frenemy:
1. They may tell you about their own problems and even seek your help to redress them, but when it comes to doing the same for you, they seem to always have a plausible excuse Ã¢â‚¬â€œ too busy, urgent call and so on.
2.Ã‚Â A frenemy may also have a fiercely competitive streak, which you can make out when they seem able to do anything to get ahead in their professional capacity.
3. A frenemy is a person who seizes the opportunity to show you in poor light or to make disparaging (but seemingly innocent or humorous) comments about you.
She says someone is your frenemy if you feel tense when you think about the person, you have a hard time being yourself around this person, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enjoy this personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s company and you are in dire need of a self-esteem transplant whenever you see this person.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If stressed out is what you want to be Ã¢â‚¬â€œ have a frenemy because you will give all and get nothing in return. What is given will come with a price and expectation of pay-back,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mapemba, whoÃ‚Â advises that you steer clear of such people.
Another psychologist, Chiwoza Bandawe, says it is much easier for one to spot an enemy than a frenemy because enemies never hide their true feelings, thus making frenemies the most dangerous people you can associate with.
He says, to spot them, the first thing is to pay attention to the insecurities that you feel. He says the problem is that most people tend to allow their minds to override that gut feeling, warning you of the person next to you.
If you want to keep such people in your life, Bandawe advises that you must first accept that life will bring you the good and the bad. By doing this, you will not be too surprised by what Ã¢â‚¬ËœfrenemiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ are capable of doing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Such people are the most dangerous because they come across as if they want to help while sabotaging your life. You might have a gut feeling warning you of a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s intentions, but keep making excuses for their behaviour. By the time we realise they might not always have our best interests, it is often too late.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Friends will always come side by side with enemies in life, they are part of the parcel. So, should you choose to keep them in your life, get used to their actions and prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and physically,Ã¢â‚¬Â advises Bandawe.
In her article, Four Tips to Dealing with Frenemies, sourced on www.articles.base.com, Dr. Diana Kirshner says when people in your inner circle become negative, pessimistic, competitive, jealous, or donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t show you appreciation and/or encouragement, it inflames your own doubts and fears.
If you are in a new love relationship, these reactions can come on suddenly, or they may be familiar and ingrained parts of lifetime relationships that are so subtle that you may not even be fully aware of them.
Once you have identified these people, Kirshner advises that you stop whining. Often you are unconsciously encouraging your frenemies to be negative by complaining to them about what is wrong with your life.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Make a list of what you need from frenemies. For example, you may need your best friend to stop complaining about how awful men are. You may need your dad to tell you what he really likes about your new boyfriend.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Be straight and honest. Tell them you want to have a positive outlook about love and you need them to be positive too. Most will respond. With the few who do not and continue being negative, move to a more distant, yet polite relationship with them. You have to protect yourself and your own hopeful outlook on life,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Kirshner.