Last week I got a call from my best friend Afifa. She seemed anxious because there’s a girl on her street who acts friendly one day and mean the next day. That didn’t seem right to me because I know friends are meant to be loving and supportive. To me this girl seemed like a “Frenemy”. A “Frenemy” is someone who pretends to be your “friend” but in reality they act like your enemy. My big sister taught me how to spot them ages ago so I taught Afifa how to do the same. Here’s what I told her:
The user vs The giver
A Frenemy pretends to be your friend when they need something from you.The moment they get it, they don’t care about you anymore. Like one day you are helping them with homework and the next day you hear they are calling you names behind your back. #notcool Real friends are all about giving and sharing.They are happy to give without expecting anything in return. They are there for you during the good times AND bad times.
The troublemaker vs The role model
In public a Frenemy pretends like they don’t know you but in private they ask you to do bad things for them in the name of “friendship”...like steal money from your parents to buy them credit. On the other hand a real friend makes you feel important whenever they see you. They also don’t ask you to do things that could put you in trouble. Instead they encourage you to be good and do good.
The critic vs The encourager
A Frenemy criticises you - you’ll often hear them say things like “You’re so annoying”. “You’re so bad at this, I don’t even know why I asked you for help” or they comment on your appearance...“Your hair looks ugly like that, change it.”
Real friends do the opposite. They encourage you and say positive things to you. When you spend time with them you don’t leave doubting yourself. Instead you leave full of energy and confidence.
Afifa was so grateful I shared what I knew with her. She realised the girl was a Frenemy and she made the choice to stand up for herself and only hangout with positive people. I’m proud of her for using her voice and being confident. Now she has no more friendship drama.
I’m also happy she came to me for advice and I had the chance to support my bestie. I love being a good friend so before she dropped the phone I said one more thing: “Afifa always remember that you’ll always have me as a friend and I’ll be here for you whenever you need me”