How To Deal With The "Mean Girls" In Your Life

Illustrated By Anna Sudit.
By Deanna de Bara

We’ve all had that friend. The one who has nothing but good things to say to your face, but talks behind your back. The one who makes passive-aggressive comments about your job, your appearance, or your significant other. The one who makes fun of you in public, and then says you’re overreacting if you get upset. You’re not quite sure why you keep her around, but you can’t seem to get rid of her. Yes, I’m talking about the frenemy. Sure, she may have some redeeming qualities. Maybe you've been friends since high school, or she makes a great wingwoman on a Friday night. But, at the core, she brings you down. Here are some of the most common types of frenemies — and how to deal with them. 

The High School Frenemy: This frenemy has been around since you both sported braces and *NSYNC T-shirts. She knows all of your secrets, and she's the first person you told when you got to second base. She also regularly uses those things against you. You usually keep this frenemy around because it’s hard to cut someone loose with whom you have so much history.

The Work Frenemy:
 This frenemy works at your company and usually inhabits a cubicle nearby. You're on similar career paths and commiserate about your crazy boss over happy hour cocktails. But, she also regularly undermines you to said boss and other coworkers in an effort to propel her career forward. While you may have a lot in common with her, she's no ally and will frequently use you to get ahead.

The Proximity Frenemy:
 This frenemy is part of your group of friends: She's probably really close to one of your besties. She's also possibly jealous of your relationship with said bestie, and might try to drive a wedge between you two.

Illustrated By Anna Sudit.
Why You Should Ditch The Mean Girls
Frenemies have the tendency to make us doubt ourselves. We thought our new romper looked great until our frenemy gave us the once-over and asked, "Are you going to wear THAT?" We were ready to sign up for a big project at work when our frenemy pointed out that we probably aren’t qualified. We were thinking about submitting an application for grad school until our frenemy told us we're "too old." 

Do you see a pattern here? Frenemies are toxic. They bring you down, usually under the guise of “trying to help” or “being a friend.” But, they're really just acting out their own insecurities and jealousies. It’s time to cut this deadweight loose. The most effective way for us to find happiness, fulfillment, and success is to help each other achieve our goals, not bring each other down. Even one genuine friendship is worth a million frenemies.

How To Get Rid Of Your Frenemies
The best way to ditch a frenemy is to focus on the relationships in your life that make you better. Surround yourself with people who love and appreciate you for exactly who you are. Don't tolerate judgmental, condescending, or hurtful behavior from anyone, especially someone who calls herself your friend. Perhaps most importantly, be a good friend yourself. Treat your friends with respect. Celebrate their successes. Be genuine. Follow the Golden Rule, and embrace those friends who do the same. 

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