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They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Perhaps the frenemy was born out of that line of thinking. A frenemy receives the privileges and insights of both friends and enemies. You confide in a frenemy the way you do a good friend, and then that frenemy can use the information you give them to act as an enemy. Frenemies are truly one of the most dangerous types of characters in your life. In a perfect world, people who mean you harm would be upfront about it. Well, in a perfect world there wouldn’t be anybody who meant you harm. But, fortunately, for the most part, many selfish, ill-meaning individuals out there aren’t smart enough to conceal their agenda. The frenemy is dangerous because she’s smart and she can misdirect your attention. Here are signs of a frenemy.

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She plants doubt in your head

When you’re excited about a plan—a plan to ask for a promotion, or ask a guy out—your frenemy plants doubt in your head. She subtly reminds you of the things that could go wrong. She makes you feel insecure about your plan, under the guise of “Just protecting you.” Really, she doesn’t want you getting the things you want in life.

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Strategic invitations/hangout initiations

A frenemy is very strategic about making plans. She’ll find some way to meet your wealthy, famous, or well-connected friend. She’ll invite you places or to be with groups where you somehow make her look better.

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She tells you mean things people say about you

A frenemy tells you the mean things other people say about you, all under the façade of “Being a good friend” or “Being honest with you.” But really, knowing this information doesn’t help you in anyway—it only hurts you and brings down your self-esteem a notch. But that’s what a frenemy wants.


She speaks down to you under the guise of helping you

A frenemy often seems like she is speaking to you as if you’re a child or her student. She does this under the guise of helping you or arming you with the knowledge you’ll need, but she really makes you feel dumb when she does it.


She brags a lot

A frenemy talks a lot about all of her accomplishments and all the things going well in her life. Frenemies tend to want to make you feel jealous or inferior. Good friends don’t spend your entire hangouts bragging.


She finds the negativity in your positive events

When you get a promotion, a frenemy points out the fact that now you’ll have to work more hours and that’ll be bad for your relationship. When you get a new, fabulous apartment, your frenemy mentions how hard it will be to keep that place clean.

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She copies you but does it better

A frenemy copies a lot of what you do, but she always takes it a step further. If you get really into Spinlates, so does she, but she becomes the teacher’s assistant. She finds ways to make herself superior or some sort of authority in the things you take an interest in.


She encourages your unhealthy behavior

She encourages you to binge eat, binge drink, text an ex, buy things you shouldn’t, and gossip. She is always ready with a handful of reasons as to why you should do bad things.

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She contacts you a lot

Frenemies gain power by always knowing what you’re up to and being in the know about every detail of your life. Frenemies reach out a lot. They text several times a day, and comment on everything you post on social media.

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She is too complimentary at first

Frenemies are very complimentary when you first meet them. Frenemies usually identify targets this way: they find a woman of whom they’re the most jealous, and in order to take that woman’s guards down, they shower her with compliments. Once they’re in the inner circle, they start creeping in with the negativity.

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She talks badly about your other friends

If a “friend” talks badly about everybody else in your friends’ circle, she absolutely talks badly about you when you aren’t around. Frenemies aren’t just frenemies to some people—they’re frenemies to all.

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She is too helpful at first

Frenemies are very helpful at first. They’ll offer to do you favors that, typically, only your family or close friends would do. This is another way to get in your trust, get close, and start to bring you down. It’s also a way for them to earn “credit” and ask you for favors later.


She’s there when you’re down, and gone when you’re up

A frenemy is there the second you get dumped or lose a job, but she is mysteriously gone for the dinner celebrating your promotion or for your anniversary party with your boyfriend.

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She gets in the way of your relationship

A frenemy doesn’t like you to have supportive, encouraging, and energizing relationships in your life. So she’ll find ways to get in the way of your relationship, like demand your attention when she knows you’re having date night with your partner.

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She often “forgets” to tell you helpful information

A frenemy conveniently forgets to tell you about events that would have been really fun or even beneficial for you.

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