Bye Felicia: The Counterfeit Smiles of Frenemies

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Just like friends are a normal constant in our lives, as are frenemies. Even before that concept of a relationship was given a name – it was there. It’s always been there, and we’ve all had one. Think as far back to elementary school. Was there a guy or gal who was super nice to you to your face, but a total butthead (elementary school’s biggest burn)? That my dear, was likely your first frenemy in life. Sadly though, they don’t go away as you grow up. We encounter them until the day we die. Why? Because that’s how we roll as human beings. Even when we don’t like someone, we somehow think they need to be in our lives for some reason. We’ll get back to that in a second.

When I wanted to be a matchmaker, I frequented  a little too much and they noted on how to determine if your friend is more on the frenemy side, “A frenemy will make constant suggestions that seem helpful, but she really only makes them to buttress her sense of self-superiority. When it comes to clothes, she may suggest that you wear something, and then smirk and say that she’d never wear something like that herself. When it comes to dating, a frenemy may constantly encourage you to date guys or gals who are really wrong for you or whom you may not even find attractive or interesting. Your frenemy may hint that the person you have the hots for would never stoop to dating someone like you. Whatever they say, frenemies tend to talk to you in ways that chip away at your self-esteem.” That’s just some of the ways to tell if this person is throwing counterfeit charm your way.

You have to be careful though because remember in the should-have-won-an-Oscar Mean Girls, when you try and take down the queen bee who is the ultimate frenemy – you may just turn as evil as them. So be careful when dealing with those pals you can’t really stand. Because honey, it’s not cute to be that petty when you’re a grown ass adult. I get that talking shit is fun. I’m the first to cut into some juicy gossip like a $25 steak dinner – but there’s a time and a place and it isn’t every day of your life. Wine night with the girls, that’s fine. Out with the guys for drink – yes. Every day at work? Maybe cut it down a bit and stop being as petty as the frenemy you swear is horrendous because in reality – you’re on their level when you don’t cut it down. It’s hard though, I get it. When you don’t like someone – it eats at you to just talk, talk, talk about them as much as you can to anyone with the ability to hear. Hell, you’d even learn sign language to get a new audience in some cases.

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Back to the idea of why we keep these people in our lives. If we legit do not like them, why do we force ourselves to make nice? Maybe it goes along with the idea of keep your enemies close and your frenemies closer. In a lot of cases, these frenemies are people you may’ve been close with at one point and have told things too in late night confessions and you don’t want that boat rocked and them to talk. So you play nice. You play as nice as a couple of bible thumping kids at Jesus camp. Or perhaps it’s gotten to the point that we have the need to know what everyone is doing, even people we can’t really stand, so we stay connected.

Frenemies, we have had them since we started socializing and the fact is, we’ll have them until the day we become too old to leave the house. Having a friend you sort of cannot stand is oddly as normal as having a best friend at this point. But with age, hopefully comes a sense of maturity to deal with them and you can paint that smile on when they’re around to make things easier on everyone because you don’t want to be the Cady and become a total bitch just because you went too far with the shade.

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