5 Signs Your Friend is Really a Frenemy

Our generation, the trailblazers that we are, will leave a lot of different marks on this world, but none more significant than our ability to create new (and fabulous, mind you) words. Sexting. Legit. Facebooking. Fab. Whatevs. Whether we’re abbreviating them or combining them, we’re creating them, and we’re creating them with very specific purposes in mind.

How else would you describe a friend that acts like your enemy? Someone who you think you can trust, but you really can’t? Someone who makes you feel worse while she pretends she’s trying to make you feel better? This person is not your friend. But she’s not exactly your enemy either.

She’s your frenemy.

But how can you be sure of that? How do you know that it’s not all in your head? That this person is really doing all the things you think she’s doing?  Is she really the massive bitch you’ve made her out to be? Maybe you’re just over thinking this. Maybe she’s really not that bad. Is she? Yes, she really, really is. If you’re thinking it, it’s probably true.

But just for the record, here are a few tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with a frenemy.

1. She’s a master manipulator. They don’t want what’s best for you. They want what’s best for them. But somehow they’ll convince you that what you want is what’s best for them, and what’s best for you. So really, what you wanted was wrong, what she wants is what you really want. You just didn’t know it. Confused yet? You should be. This is what a frenemy does. They will switch everything around, and have you changing your mind before you even realize it. They are master manipulators.

2. She’s in constant competition with you. Over guys. Over clothes. Over grades. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that she is winning and you are losing. And she’ll make sure that you know that. And you should be happy for her, shouldn’t you? After all, she’s your friend. And you don’t want to be a sore loser. It doesn’t matter that she had no interest in entering that essay contest until after she heard about if from you…

3. She’s only around when she needs something. You haven’t heard from her in weeks, but now, suddenly she needs a wing woman for her double date with this really hot guy. Is his friend hot too? Not so much. But that shouldn’t matter. You’re just helping her out. And she’ll return the favor, won’t she? Too bad she didn’t answer your texts/phone calls/bbms/Facebook messages when you needed her.

4. She can compliment you and insult you at the same time. “That top looks great on you, way better than the stuff you normally wear!” “It’s so great, the way you don’t care about the way you look when you leave the house.” “Cute bag! I had one like it…in junior high!” “Wow, makeup can really do a lot, can’t it?”  I could go on, but I don’t think I need to, really. You get the point. And so do they.

5. She’s never honest. You’ve caught her in a lie more than once. But you’ve never brought it up to her because when you think about confronting her it sounds petty. Really petty. But it didn’t seem petty at the time. Or the time before that. So she told you she was sick when she was really out hanging out with that bitch from Bio Chem. So she’s dating that guy you met at the bar last week and she never told you. It’s little stuff. But it does sort of add up. Doesn’t it?

What are some other ways to spot a frenemy? Do you deal with them often? And if so, what do you do about them?



  1. Brittany says:

    The best way to get rid of a "frenemy" is to punch her in the face. Easy.

    1. whatsaysyou says:

      Stay away as many miles as you can is the best way to get rid of her too.

  2. lynn says:

    oh, the frenemy. the worst part is when you start questioning YOURSELF!! about how you might be wrong and doing all kind of sneaky stuff to her and she's the true victim.
    i've been there twice, there's nothing else to do but cutting all the strings and protect yourself quickly and effectivly as possible, since those bitches are really good at their supposed "pay back for all the nasty stuff you did to them"

  3. Katy says:

    I have a hard time trusting because of those bitches. It can make you go crazy because sometimes people don't believe the person can be that bad when you KNOW they are. That's the worst part, you being the only one that knows.

  4. […] 5 signs your friend is really your frenemy. […]

  5. papageek13 says:

    Aren't #2 and #4 just standard survival skills all girls learn in junior high? ;)

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is true…people who pretend to be friends just want something from you.

  7. Alexandra says:

    After a long flabbergasted and hurt time, I try to fight back with logic – so far her bitchy comments have failed, leaving her dumbstruck and embarressed. It sounds mean and hypocritical, but the worst thing you can do is letting her get away with it.

  8. Sarah says:

    Oh my god…my Maid of Honor/roommate is a frenemy…

  9. mag says:

    I have this friend that got married to my brother -in-law and it seems she is turning my mother-in-law around I think she is.up to something but I don’t know she only calls when ever she needs me and lies to me about her fight with her husband she turn everything like she is the victim and I don’t know what to do anyone has an opinionabout all this please.

  10. Jeanie says:

    The worst is when they compete with you but act like you're the one competing with them. #1 and 2 combined.

  11. […] hard to identify because they are masters of masquerading around as good friends. However, College Candy offers five warning signs that you should look for if you think you may be rubbing elbows with a […]

  12. T.Ferrell says:

    Interesting article, I believe there is a great degree of truth to it! Beware the fr-enemies!

    HR Director
    CBA Solutions

  13. Ashleigh says:

    "Oh, you're taking [insert class here] next semester? I took that last year, it was so boring…but you might be okay with it, I just already knew all of the stuff we were learning."

    "Well, at least you can WEAR tops like that. My boobs are just too big to pull that off."

    "I think you're a good match for him. He really needs someone who he can tell what to do."

    –actual quotes from the girl I can't believe I hang out with.

    1. whatsaysyou says:

      I am so sorry to read that you hung with a frenemy but want you to know that you're not the only one.

    2. Joyce says:

      Hey, I'm also well endowed on top and I have also used the "my boobs are just too big to pull that off" line before; but never with the intention to offend, never! I mean, honestly, there are some really cute tops that we cannot use because they will not do us any favor (say, there are clothes that would either made us look fat or will not provide enough support) and they look better on girls that are B or below.

      Oh yeah, I'm also guilty of overusing line #1 (the one about the class). But again, my intention was/is never to offend, but I've known people that had taken it that way. Sometimes, somebody you may think is a frenemy is an actual good person who has poor social skills (I'm usually a loner and I suck with verbal communication, so I had come off as rude to some people without actually meaning it).

      About line #3? I'm more likely to say "do not go out with him; I slept with him last year".

  14. Connie says:

    I agree with your article, and I definitely learned the hard way. One person who I considered as one of my best friends ended up not to be. I can't say I had a good plan in getting rid of her. I couldn't find the words to have a heart-to-heart with her, so I wrote her a letter explaining how I felt, that I thought that her rude behavior was unacceptable and how I felt when she did those bad things. She decided that she didn't need me in her life anymore and stopped contacting me. To me, that is not the kind of person you want in your life. You should be able to tell a real friend what is wrong and they should at least take it into consideration, as she/he might not even realize what she/he does.

  15. whatsaysyou says:

    Cool post and yes frenemies not just apply in high school only but also in the tertiary education and adult world too

  16. fire doll says:

    i used to be a vic of these. still i'm friends with them cause i have to be but now their words have no effect on me.
    all the above apply, also…she would always humiliate me saying all the silly habits i have & later tell me it was a joke why r u so upset?………..i can go on with this for days……….
    buy just know this…. if you feel like a friend is being unjust to you he/she probably is. just be yourself & think before you act, people r always your best friend until you get in the way of something they want , so know this & fight back!

    1. jennifer says:

      there are good people out there. if you consider yourself as a good person then you deserve to be around your own kind. don't settle for that kind of friendship. you don't need them. make new friends and make sure they know you wonte put up with anytype of disrespect. nothing but love and loyalty. best wishes xoxoxoxoxo

  17. Nina says:

    I've always been more of a lone ranger, and as the old saying goes "If you can count your friends on one hand you are lucky, if on two you are a fool." I had a friend that was nothing but toxicity, the worst year of my life ended when I cut her out of my life like a cancer.

    1. jennifer says:

      it's better to be alone then with a enemy as your company

  18. […] 14. Try to determine whether or not she’s really a frenemy. […]

  19. KupKake says:

    For the past year I have been hanging out with a girl that had become my BFF – as she said yesterday, I'm thinking Best Frienemy For-as-long-as-you-entertain-me. It sucks because I am really caring and love to have fun with this girl, but everything she does, EVERYTHING fits in with the description. It was hard for me to fully realize until I read this, she has weaseled her way into my boyfriend's best-friend's arms and now thinks we are in a quad-relationship. Can anyone advise me on what to do?

    1. jennifer says:

      well nothing really. i mean she's with your boyfriends best friend. you have nothing to do with that. if you can't stand to be around her then simply avoid going n double dates and slowly back away from her. start distancing yourself from her. explain to ur boyfriend the issues you have with her so he could be aware and help you instead of working against you……..oh n nobody weasels their way into nobody's heart, it just happens. no one can control who they fall inlove with. if we could then their wouldn't be so many sad love songs and broken hearts in the world. my point is them being together is non of ur buisness, however if you don't want her in your life simply persue getting her out of your life. my point is worry about you, not your boyfriends best friend

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  21. danielle says:

    "I just remembered im going to a (my favourite singer) gig with all of the other girl friends . The tickets cost $100 but you should come aswell. They bought me mine for a birthday present. but get yourself a ticket and join us :) "

    Her birthday was months ago. the gig is in the same month as my birthday. it was as if to say, i am liked by everyone, i get a gig ticket. but you buy your own. outcast.

    I had a nephew and she said "oh its a boy?! thats a shame"

    And when I got the job of my dreams, they all booked a holiday together and hardly spoke to me.

    Some friends. I've ditched them.

    i've just cancelled them all out of my life.

  22. […] to find out now, but, honestly, it’s never a good time to lose a friend. But giiiiiiiiirl!!! She’s SO not your real friend. I mean, even if she wasn’t taking your new “relationship” with a former FWB […]

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  25. former patsie says:

    I have a friend who is my friend when no one is looking, if you get my meaning, she will only answer facebook messages privately and tries to make sure she isn't real friendly with me when others are around. Yet she talks about these others when it's only us. She is a user and I need to dump her.

  26. BabyBlus says:

    Ugh… I had a BFF as a frenemie for 2 years… It’s so hard bc the whole time she was competing w me. I have small breasts. She had huge ones. It didn’t bother me but shed always be talking about how my figure was awesome and she was totally jealous bc guys would only talk to me if they liked my personality. Then shed smile n pump up her cleavage…. I ignored it… But then she started flirting w my boyfriend bc I was going out w a hot guy. She couldn’t handle that I was going out w him n started trying to get him alone n increasing her enemy level w me. She dates professional athletes n rich men… She couldn’t even handle I was dating a physically attractive guy who worked as a Gardner…. I freaking yelled at her one day n she laughed at my face n told me I was pathetic and not worthy of being her friend… Freaking mean girl. She did all this covert aggressive stuff made me feel crazy for feeling bad about her n blamed all her bad behavior on ME.

  27. hardwrkn 1 says:

    Not the kind of people I want in my life but when two of your frenemies are sister in laws, it can make life "interesting". Luckily I only have to spend two holidays per year with them, and I worked it out to a few hours each day. Life is so much more pleasant now!!!

  28. use-ee says:

    frenemys can be so hard to ditch when they're friends with your friends. and when they are a convincingly 'good person' when they want people to notice. a user needs someone to use, so they like to keep their use-ee 'happy'.

  29. Alisa says:

    Me: "This man is just absolutely gorgeous, but ah the women he's been with, not so much" –

    Frenemy: "Well that should increase, your, chances"

    As a self-confident and secure woman, I typically find I just can't stand the company of other women who usually in the span of a few minutes try to passively insult me a few dozen times. It is more than anything a reflection of her own insecurities than it has anything to do with anyone else, and I think a disgrace to the female sex.

  30. @Skvyrene says:

    They are everywhere and they are good at pretending! seriously I experienced one and from then on i'm not trusting people the way I do before I met her.

  31. I have a best friend but I have to hang out with my frenemy because she is friends with my BFF!!! all these facts describe her!!!! A_L_A_I_N_A!!!

  32. jazmin says:

    i have a frenamy who is my so called “BFF” she is very sneaky :(

  33. jazmin says:

    what should I do? :twisted:

  34. shehu malami says:

    Trust and loyalty are quite important in friendship but should they be at the cost of self-preservation?

  35. justme says:

    I was friends with someone for 10 years, thinking all along it was me who was paranoid when a "great friend" was secretly happy when unfortunate things happened to me or my family. Some examples (when I got sick and started to lose my hair, or when I lost something or broke something of mine…I began to take notice of sneaky little smile that she couldn't hid, when something happened in my life that was wonderful, the rage in her was under the radar but peaking out . Her public persona is "saintly" and always helping others. No one would ever believe me, but I always believe people out themselves and over time others see it, no need to spread the word. I live in a small town, and have learned to never gossip……I am not as trusting with people, but I think it has enabled me to be a better judge of character.

  36. Anna says:

    I have a frenemy. The way she acts towards me, proves that she doesn't like me. I don't know what to do :( help!!!!!

  37. claire says:

    so I have 2 friends that I’m pretty sure are frenimies, they are constantly writing notes back and forth to each other,and I see my name often, and I also try to write notes in school, but they write yes and no, but they don’t with each other, and always when the other friend is absent, they get her work, and won’t let me help, and then it makes me a look like loser because they show it to her mom, and then she’s like oh thank you megan! they also go over to each others houses all the time, Nd when they invite me over, they force me to,and every day I come home from school and go to my room and cry. what should I do? Ive known one for like all my life and the other for like 4 years what should I do??

    1. Advise Girl says:

      hey claire same here sista! My "friends" as i quote use me to get answers, and they treat me like they little slave. I ignore them and try to hang out with my true friends and one of my true friends is my mom. people say its embarrassing to have ur mom as ur best friend but she raised u and she probably know everything about you. another one of my true friends just recently met me and shes 2 years apart from me but its already been a year pretty much and i can trust her with my guts because she trusts me. trust should be one of the most important keys to a friendship. Just keep it cool with ur frenemy and causually talk to them. dont trust them too much or tell them to many info and dont pay attention to what they do because if you show that that bothers you theyll call you jeaulous or just keep on doing it. just chill with your closest friends and show ur frenemys that you dont need them in ur life to survive that you can find ur own friends that can be 5xs better than they are. but if they are comprehensive and you think that if you tell them that what threy re doing is bothering you tell them in a friendly way if it really is bothering you like alot. GOOD LUCK GIRL!

    2. Dee says:

      Hi Claire,
      My personal take is that love doesnt hurt. True friends dont hurt. I personally get active by joining other clubs and activities, a place with positive like minded people. No time for drama . What do you think are your best options ?

    3. Advise Girl says:

      hey Dee,
      that's really good! I like you ur positiveness and how you look at the bright side of things! Your idea is a great way to find other friends. Claire you should try those ideas Dee and i and other gave you. GOOD LUCK GIRL!

      p.s. i hope u resolve the problem cause trust me i hate fake, two face people especially when they're my friends or how i should say frenemy :)

      Your advice giver,
      Advice Girl

  38. mini says:

    so true !

  39. Angel says:

    Yeah,i have friends,and they really suck after reading this.

  40. @FrenemyTest says:

    Number 6. Because my Frenemy Test app says she's your frenemy :) Seriously I love the article and I can't tell you how many times I've had to deal with frenemies. I now try to keep my group of close friends very small. I find it's easy to know who your friends are if you don't have too many to keep track of.

  41. YINITHZA says:


    1. Harry Decker says:

      You're an idiot. Oh, and stop screaming.

  42. jeuneet says:

    after reading this, i kinda think that my bff is my frenemy. I've been thinking quite a lot about our friendship lately, and have had this doubt for all time, but not quite sure. she contacts me when she needs me, like when she gets bored or there's no one that she could reach to, then she would tweet me, or text me. when i really need her help, often times she could not be there, even for the smallest thing, like when i got really bored and would like to hang out at the mall, she'd come up with excuses like, "oh i can't leave my house right now" or "sorry, i plan to go with my cousins this afternoon", but when she needs a shopping buddy, she'd contact me without any hesitation at all, asking me to accompany her. and, if I want us to meet at a certain place, she is the one who choose the place. she would say "oh sorry, i can't if not at B" or "C is too far from my place, i can't". Reading this actually really opens my eyes, please tell me what to do :(

    1. chicacollegeboound says:

      Wow. This actually is the same thing that I'm going through. It's always what's convenient for my friend. Basically her way or the highway. I've been pondering about this for a while now. And to finally see a comment similar to what I've experienced, is definitely confirmation.

      I know for me, I have made a decision not to confront my "friend". But, to just subtly move on. A friendship should never be one-sided like that. Don't worry about what your friend may say or think, just do what's best for you!

      Slowly distance yourself and just allow yourself to be open to the possibility of creating new friendships and acquaintances. Embrace this new season in your life :)

    2. ANON says:

      Sounds like a 1 way friendship. I'd consider dropping her.

  43. ObsessedOverCupcakes says:

    My bff is a soccor-obsessed, vegetaria-freaked, crazed-about-things-like-transfat-and-hydrogenatedoils- girl who just loves to look down on my hard work that I would put over for her and just act like it’s something really bad. I made her a CD one time and I had some music videos on it, but that was before I had an editing system so the song was actually playing as I filmed the video. It didn’t come out nicely on her computer so she slapped the laptop shut and began laughing. She’s really irratating, especially with her saying, “Life isn’t a story.” I write a lot and I throw my emotions of (sort of) getting bullied into them and she just whines and says I complain and talk about it a lot… but sometimes we can really love eachother, even though I don’t WANT it anymore…
    The good thing is that she’s a grade below me andI’ll be off to middle school next year and won’t have to see her everyday…
    But I’ve known her sisnce I was three so it’s kinda hard. ;(

  44. I just do not understand these people who pretend to be nice to your face and then trash you and cause problems for you the first chance they get! Anyone who repeats things in conversations that they should not is a frienemy! Anyone who takes things that belong to you and then lies about it is not a friend Anyone who listens to you speak about someone that you dated and are still hung up on and then goes after him behind your back is not a friend! If a "friend" lies to you or purposely keeps information from you that is extremely important they are not a friend If someone is only around when you can do something for them they are not a friend! If someone puts you down in private or in front of other people they are not your friend! If someone takes credit for work that you did they are not your friend! If you notice that constructive criticism has been substituted with sheer insulting comments the person telling you this is not your friend!

  45. Mish says:

    My latest frenemy is actually a guy in his 40s! I'm a female in my 40s. He's ingratiated himself into mine and my partner's lives and I had no reason to doubt his friendship. But I've caught him fibbing a few times, noticed he might be controlling with girlfriends.. and now he's caused a rift between some mutual friends! All because he wants to be somebody, Mr King of the Scene. What a twat. You might act like that when you're a teenager, but as an adult? Somebody, call a psychiatrist!

  46. DE says:

    Am in my mid 50's….has taken up until the past few years to understand Frenemy's…great word…great article. This is classic narcissism. Quite often we hang with these people b/c a parent had the same issues.
    When you begin to see your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight. Thich Nhat Hanh Peace is Every Step…….. and the same is true with our friends…..yep "frenemy's"

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  49. Crescent says:

    I'm constantly confused, during math classes, my friend who sits next to me gets better grades than me and is better in math. I get low scores, usually on pop quizzes, but it's annoying how sometimes she purposely glances at my quiz as if to see how bad I got. I should be happy for her, but sometimes I get the feeling she's laughing at me…

  50. Crescent says:

    I have this BFF and we like to chat with each other and all is fun and stuff, but I get the feeling that we're like accessory friends, she talks to me when I'm the only one around that she knows, and we can never talk deep. I made the mistake of telling her that "I don't think we are BFFs" and she starts crying. I'm really confused though. My friends all know that she's immature and childish, but it's hard to cope along with her, because she gets jealous easily. Now I'm wondering if she was manipulating me because when I got close to my other friend and called her a BFF, she got mad at me and starts saying that me and her aren't best friends anymore since I have another one. She's making it complicated for me because she only wants her to be my BFF, and I tried saying that friends increase overtime but she starts getting mad if I get any closer friends. Does she purposely want me to be a loner? Is this manipulation? And when she gets a higher score than me on a test, I feel like she's secretly smirking, like she's looking down and laughing at me. How can I be sure that my intuition is right? She also hardly congratulates me when I do good, I never get any praise from her. She also constantly likes to compare with me, which gets annoying. Is she the one who is not treating me as a BFF or am I being unfair?

    1. Lucia says:

      Honestly, she may be a clingy friend who thinks you guys are best friends. Don't worry she does not mean any harm,but she may become extremely annoying. Try gently telling her that you can't be BFFs until you get to know each other better, and that you guys are still friends when you are not together. Include in some activities that you do with other friends, she she gets worse…its better to let her go. She may become more trouble in the future rather than annoying. hopes this helps.

    2. Kati says:

      I don't think she is a friend. I've been in the same position and it took me awhile to realize this person wasn't a friend, it also took a lot to let go of the friendship. In retrospect, friends should be there to congratulate you when you accomplish something, they should be excited for you! Friends should also be supportive when you make new friends instead of getting jealous. Overall, its a normal part of life to move on from friendships and make new ones. It may sound kind of lame but making friendships is like dating, sometimes you go through a couple friends to actually see what you want in a friend. Why would you want to be friends with someone who is negative and brings you down? It's not worth it.

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  52. Young Mommy says:

    I had one of these I knew it but didn’t care I loved her we’d been friends forever… But we got into an argument.. Well we didn’t but I got drug into it and of course it was all my fault… We haven’t talked since January 29 it’s been very peaceful…. She had never said some of the things she said to me this day… Plus her husband is her boss she’s not allowed to do anything unless he oks it… If she wants to live like that it’s up to her :)

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  54. cathy says:

    I am dealing with this right now for the last two years. I have broken off the realationship. She has done so much damage to my family agaisnt me, she will never be aloud in my life again. Very Very Bad person..

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