After last week’s article on Frenemies, I got feedback from people that showed that it was something that resonated with them .
As I thought about the sequalae, and what next to write, I suddenly remembered what a friend once told me about her dad. We were talking about something and the name of a government official came up. This man was among the first five men ruling the country at that time. She shocked me when she said “that man was my dad’s friend. He used to visit our house”.
I was really surprised that they knew such an influential person in the corridors of power and before I could probe further, she informed me “immediately the man started progressing, my father cut him off”. This puzzled me further and then, she gave the reason in the lines of “my dad does not seem comfortable when people are prospering around him “.
I did not get it then. I wondered why I would want to cut off a friend because he or she is better or making progress. However, as I encountered frenemies, I noticed it was one of their characteristics.
Do you have a friend who cannot seem to be around whenever you are making progress or let me put it in the way it usually happens.
Do you have a friend who will find something wrong you have done and keep away from you when they are going through one challenge or the other? People do go through stuff and sometimes want to have some time alone. But I am talking about that friend who appears to have been offended by you whenever things are not going on as they planned. Somehow things are better for you than for them (in their eyes), and because they are not real friends, it is hard for them to contain. They would probably not pick your calls or reply your messages, even on their birthday. Of course, they will not make contact with you even when something terrible happens. Somehow all communication is shut from their end.
However, for whatever reason they were offended, as soon as they get a break (or even their children), you are forgiven and suddenly they now pick up the phone to call you. Since they have not been answering your calls for a while, you are flattered and pick up the call to see what is up. They sometimes start with the need for reconciliation stating what you have done wrong but quickly move on to other matters about themselves. You want to rejoice with them but they have used a false sense of guilt trip on you and you end up not really letting them know that their silence was hurtful. You have mixed feelings but rejoice with them as a true friend.
The phone call ends and you realize that the real reason they called was because they had something to shine about and truth be told, you never really offended them. They only contacted you when they felt there was an edge, they had over you.
Somehow in their minds, they always expect to be at the top as far as your friendship is concerned. Sadly, as I have grown, I have encountered friends like these who in reality are frenemies.
I am not talking about a one off event but a pattern that continues in your friendship with someone.
Frenemies begin to make you wonder if there is some sort of competition or rivalry going on. True friends are genuinely happy when you make progress and understand that life is full of ups and down . They are able to truly share in your joys/sorrows as well as vice-versa.
And I think part of the problems of frenemies is a sense of entitlement. This sense of entitlement makes it difficult for them to be humble enough to share their sorrows. If the world is not dancing round them , then that world should not exist and unfortunately , it includes you .
And to be honest, I have been there. I have had to tell myself the honest truth as I have had to review some friendships and tell myself “No more”. Am I offended? No
Am I keeping malice? No.
I have just learnt that as part of loving myself is giving my time and my energy to people who are truly friends. I have learnt to look beyond the words and be informed by the actions, especially when it is repetitive.
I have learnt that friends who are in a state of perpetual jealousy cannot be good friends. I have learnt the hard way that disregard for my person and time is actually a reflection of the heart and not a busyness issue. You see, my loyalty can be extended to frenemies to ensure that I relate with them for whom they truly are.
And it is quite possible that you also have some frenemies. Lets hear from you about any other things you have noticed about these friends who in reality are frenemies.