The Difference Between Frenemies And Friends

The Difference Between Frenemies And Friends
(Last Updated On: January 17, 2023)

Do you know the difference between friends and frenemies? Do you believe everyone who helps you in difficult times is your friend? Is everyone who does something wrong to you your enemy? This is common thinking among most people. But that is not the real picture.

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Frenemies And Friends

We all know friendship makes our society a functional and comfortable place to live in. Good friends help us be the best version of ourselves we might be. We can’t choose our parents, family members or work colleagues (most of the time), but we can choose our friends.

Good friends make us successful and ensure that we live longer. But when an intruder pretending to be a friend, but is actually an enemy, can drag us down from the success ladder and damage our life. In this article, let us discuss the difference between frenemies and friends.

What exactly is a frenemy?

“Frenemy” (also spelled “frienemy”) is an oxymoron and a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that refers to “a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry” or “a person who combines the characteristics of a friend and an enemy”. The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. This term also describes a competitive friendship.

Types of frenemies

Frenemies can be divided into different categories based on their behaviors:

  • One-sided frenemy: When one person reaches out or meets another person only when s/he needs help or a favor, then s/he can be considered as a one-sided frenemy to the latter person. This person doesn’t care about the life of the other person and doesn’t have any interest in what is going on with the other. Also, they do not show up in time of the other’s need. So, it is a one-sided relationship.
  • Unfiltered/Undermining frenemy: This type of frenemy insults his/her friend, makes fun of them, cracks sarcastic jokes about them so frequently that it gets hard for them to tolerate. S/He discloses their secrets in public. So, that person will eventually start to hate this frenemy.
  • Over-involved frenemy: This kind of frenemy gets involved in his/her friend’s life in ways that they might not approve. S/he reaches out to their family, friends or significant others in inappropriate ways without their permission to find something out. Their over-involvement bothers and irritates the friend.
  • Competitive work frenemy: This kind of frenemy is basically a competitor of one person. Since they work in the same place or area, s/he behaves well, makes compliments and acts as a well-wisher, but in reality, s/he never wants something good to happen to the other. S/He never wants them to become more successful than him/her.
  • Ambivalent frenemy: This kind of frenemy has both positive and negative qualities. Sometimes they can be helpful and polite but sometimes they also act in a selfish or competitive way.
  • Jealous frenemy: Jealousy can turn friends into frenemies. A person may become jealous of his/her friends because of their raise, success, beauty, personality, humor, social status.
  • Unsure frenemy: When one does not know exactly the status or closeness of their friendship. For example, they are not sure if the other person likes him/her or not, if they are real friends or just business friends, if the other will consider inviting him/her in family programs.
  • Passive-aggressive frenemy: They make mean remarks and give backhand compliments, but never directly to one’s face. They can leave a person feeling confused about whether they have done something wrong.

Source: Wikipedia Frenemy

Moral Story Of A Little Bird And Cat

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold that the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field.

While she was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on her. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung she began to realise how warm she was.

The dung was actually thawing her out, she lay there all warm and happy and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the birds singing and followed the sound. The cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung and promptly dug her out and ate her.

Morals of the story:
1: Not everyone who does something wrong to you is your enemy.
2: Not everyone who helps you out of trouble is your friend.

Friends for only benefits

We can see some people who make us feel like friends on our happy days and leave us on sad days. They look for people having money and status and are ready to do anything for them.

Their aim is only to get benefits. Once the person loses his money and status, these friends will not help or even meet him.

Who Are Real Friends?

Some friends are different. They will be always with you on your happy and sad days. They never look for their benefits but will sacrifice anything for you and will be in the front to help you with your trouble. They will console and encourage you to move forward to success.

Loyal friends always make us feel better about ourselves. When we are feeling down, they lift us and when we are in the wrong; they call us out.

Genuine friends identify any negative influences in our lives and point them out mildly and guide us to correct them. They will always support and encourage the positive aspects of our lives.

Good friends are sincere and honest about their own problems and expect you to be the same as yours. The best gift a good friend can give you is their precious time and energy. Real friends never gossip about you behind your back.

In case of any issue with you, a good friend will raise it with you directly because they want you to be a better person for your own sake. Real friends will stick around as you grow older, bring out the best in you, and nurture your confidence.

Real friends will praise you when you feel that you have earned it and will not offer you fake compliments.
Good friends will not feel comfortable criticizing you, and if they do, it will be mild and private. They will never criticise you publicly.

Some make you feel enemy

Apart from the above, you can find another type of person who does not smile or talk much. Their behaviour makes you feel they are your enemy. They do not bother about your status or wealth.

But when they see you in trouble, they will extend their helping hand and make the necessary arrangements without your request. They will not even wait for your thanks because they are not helping you for any benefit.

It’s tricky to identify frenemies, but once detected, keep a safe distance between yourself and that person as they are not working to your advantage. Frenemies feed from your energy and live close to you, but don’t have the best intentions at heart.

Now you understood a frenemy is somebody who appears to be a friend but is actually a rival, let’s take a look at how to spot a frenemy.

Since they are often being supportive and complimentary, it is difficult to detect frenemies at first. But at some point, their ulterior motive will rear its ugly head. Until detected, a frenemy can be a relationship vampire, draining your energy with passive-aggressive behaviour.

Genuine friends know that building a relationship takes time and is more of an organic process. But frenemies often thrive from intimate relations and soon after you met, they want to be your best friend.

By offering help, a frenemy is depositing into the bank and expects to be paid back by you with interest. But good friends are more guarded about their personal life and allow you to be the same.

Recognise real friends

So, we can see many types of people around us. The only problem is that we do not recognise or understand them. We judge people by looking at their looks and behaviour, but we do not look at their hearts. This is the reason we fell in trouble with the wrong friends.

We trust people, give them freedom, invite them to our homes, and tell them our secrets and family problems. They make you feel they are true friends, but when they get a chance they pull our legs down. 

The Difference Between Friends and Frenemies

Qualities Of True Friends

  • Always be there to help you in trouble
  • Always ready to do anything for you
  • Never judge you
  • Forgets and forgives you when you are wrong
  • Never jealous of you
  • Sad to hear anything against you
  • Happy about your success
  • Keeps his/her promises and makes you keep yours, too.
  • Neither leads nor follows but walks with you
  • Share problems with you rather than just words

Read Never Keep Bad Friends

A true friend is someone who neither leads nor follows but walks with you Click To Tweet

Read Forgiveness Leads To Light, Love And A Joyful Life

How do you spot a frenemy?

  • Never think good of you
  • Happy to see you face problems
  • Try to hurt you in any manner which is bad for you
  • Sad about your success
  • Talk rubbish about yourself to others
  • Try to put you down

This doesn’t mean all who are not friends are enemies.

While making friends and telling your secrets make sure you have a really true friend and not a frenemy. Click To Tweet


While making friends and telling your secrets make sure you have a really true friend and not a frenemy.

What is your view about true friends?

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