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7 Signs You're Dealing With A Frenemy

Frenemies — most people have had one at some point in their lives. They may run in the same social circle as you, or share a work desk. They say something nice to you one minute, then turn to the nearest person to talk smack. They say things that may come off as rude, but no one says anything because it's " just their sense of humor." That my friend, is a frenemy. Not sure if someone falls into the category? There are several signs someone is a frenemy and should not be trusted.

Having frenemies is not something that just pops up immediately once someone hits adulthood; it actually has its roots in adolescents. According to Psychology Today, kids who were somehow both rude and kind have the beginning signs of being a frenemy. These children are specifically called bistrategic controllers. They try to maintain their social status on the playground through manipulation, and they are nice to people only when it is convenient for them. They understand their peers and use this tool to their advantage. Doesn't that sound like a few people everyone knows?

So, how does one tell a secret hater from a true BFF? Here are some telltale signs that there is a frenemy in sight.


They Overshare Everything

According to executive speaker and author Michael Nichols, frenemies tend to overshare early on. Additionally, they aren't as invested in other people's problems as they are their own. Usually they try to become close quickly because they expect to be repaid for any good deeds threefold.


They Need Attention

Nichols also noted that frenemies often crave instant attention. Anytime they need something or are having a problem it's all about them. As soon as someone else needs a little help though, they are nowhere to be found. According to a Psychology Today interview with Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne this is an obvious sign of insecurity.


They Undermine The Accomplishments Of Others

When something amazing happens to someone other than themselves, frenemies seem less than thrilled. They always try to downplay other people's success, and never give people proper credit. According to experts from Psychology Today doing this may actually stem from insecurities about their own failures.


They Give Backhanded Compliments

At first what they say seems nice, but then they have to add a kicker that knocks you down. According to a licensed social worker Signe Whitson told Psychology Today, frenemies usually use this passive aggressive tactic because it's a somewhat socially acceptable way to take a jab at someone.


They Point Out Flaws In Others

According to Reader's Digest, when something bad happens to someone, frenemies will want to hear all about it. At first, it just seems like they are concerned, but in reality they will use this info against people. Experts from Psychology Today claim that people do this in order to deal with their own insecurities by looking for the insecurities in others.


They Make Everything A Competition

Author, columnist and blogger, Christine Coppa noted that no matter what frenemies are doing, it turns into a competition. For them, one upping others is their way to feel superior, and they love to use their successes to make everyone else feel bad.


They Sabotage Other People

Everyone else is Mariah Carey, and they are the people in charge of her ear piece. Brent Beshore, CEO of, a frenemy loves to intentionally sabotage others, in an effort to be the best. It's isn't uncommon to find them trying to sabotage different aspects of your personal and professional life.