Frenemies: it's that classic on-screen dynamic. They're your London Tipton and Maddie, Angel and Spike, Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute types and they're constantly either one-upping each other or making sure the other fails under the thin guise of friendship. And yeah, it's great drama to watch on TV, but in your life? It's a serious hard pass.
Here are just a few signs that the person that you think you can trust actually has none of your best interests at heart—they're a frenemy. Sure, they're fun to hang out with, but you can't really go and prank your boss Michael with them because they'd rat you out real quick to land that Assistant Regional Manager title.
They Won't Let You Pick The Restaurant. Like Ever.
Whether it's what time you leave, the place you're going, where you're sitting, or who you're going with, if they always have to be at the helm then they're a frenemy.
If they're controlling to the point where you're scared to suggest 11 o'clock brunch instead of 10 like they planned, maybe ask yourself if this is really a positive relationship or you're just being bullied into sticking around. Real friends let other friends choose where they want to eat french toast hungover in equal parts and that's that.
You Have To Schedule Time To Deal With Their Breakup
This is the "friend" who's always on your couch crying, complaining, or generally just switching topics back to their own sob story about a guy who they went on one date with who was definitely their soul mate and then ghosted them.
Everyone has their off days, but if it's a constant thing and it's at the expense of your own happiness then they're really just a frenemy not looking out for anyone but themselves. A little distance might be beneficial for both of you... and your couch cushions.
They're Not Mad. No Really. You Guys Are Great Even Though They Just Unfollowed You
This is the passive-aggressive frenemy and I can guarantee you have one. If they're weirdly always chill and reassuring even when you messed up, yet they never fail to dish out snide remarks to you about that time five years ago you left them to socialize with other people for ten minutes at a party and they felt uncomfortable, then they're passive-aggressive.
You wish they'd just say what they mean because then you wouldn't have to spend hours decoding every little reaction and comment they make. If your friendship requires a Microsoft excel chart to analyze, then save yourself a headache and get out.
You're Always!!! In Crisis!!! Mode!!!
Frenemies, as you may have guessed, have written the book on toxic friendships. They're the first ones to spot smoke, whether it's real or not, and they're willing to devote true time to decoding that one text message you sent a month ago and figuring out if you two have *issues* or not. Do you? You don't even know.
The frenemy loves drama and can only thrive if everyone around them is suffering through it too. So if you've got something to say then say it, because they're going to pull drama out of thin air anyway and just mentally exhaust you.
They Can't Take The Heat
Every little disagreement with a frenemy is further evidence as to why you're trying to challenge how great they are. You're really not. You're just telling them to stop putting so much of your almond milk in their iced coffee because you want to use it too. To normal people, it's not much, but to them, it's a seriously low blow and they will speak out.
The frenemy will clap back and freak out at any little challenge that they think you're getting into with them. They're seriously not having you question their authority on almonds of all things, because you know they're the clear expert on those.
They Talk Trash About Everyone... Except For You, You're Perfect
If you're spending your time together basically running down why they hate their mom, their best friend, their boyfriend, and every single coworker they've had for the past five years, then you should watch out. People who live and breathe talking trash are no doubt doing it about you behind your back to everyone they just complained to you about.
So if you're feeling like literally nobody's safe from their flames, then you shouldn't believe you are either. And nobody wants a friend who's content to complain for hours about the postman who jilted them with late mail delivery anyway.
They're Offended By Your Sucess
The number one sign of a frenemy is that they're seriously pissed you did something cool. Even if you two are leading completely different lives with different goals, the minute you dare do something good they take it as a personal attempt of yours to outshine them.
How dare you go ahead and get a promotion at a company they don't work at, don't you know that they won the science fair in grade 10 with a baking soda volcano and are clearly the superior person in the relationship? That's just offensive.
The Frenemy Is Paranoid
Oh, that barista filled their cup up only 75% instead of 80% as is recommended for the perfect serving of milk and cream? Well, clearly they hate them since only a person with a nasty vendetta would ever do that to them. Just for that, they're never going to that Starbucks again.
The frenemy takes things personally, like, extremely so. They're not here to play games and get sideswiped unexpectedly by a person out to wrong them. Accidents? A frenemy has never heard of those.
They Pop In And Out Of Your Life
The frenemy is the longer-time equivalent to the girl in the nightclub bathroom who's your new best friend suddenly and for the rest of your life since you let her borrow your chapstick. The frenemy doesn't do, like deep relationships, because they don't really care.
So if they're calling you their bestie after knowing you for a week and proclaiming your deep bond to the world in a long Facebook post, but can somehow never hang out when you're upset, then they're a frenemy. They also need to give you your chapstick back.
They Like To Nitpick. Anyway, Is That A Blackhead?
So here's who's allowed to get on your case: your mom and your doctor. Literally nobody else. If your friend thinks they have an open invite to basically interrogate you about where your life is going, why your curtains are dusty, and say that you've probably gained weight because you're eating white pasta, just stop them.
The nitpicker is the person who's pretending to be helpful, but in reality, is just trying to bring you down to make themselves feel better. So just repeat "I'm rubber, you're glue" while you unfollow them on Instagram.
Okay Yeah, You Said You'd "Share Clothes" But They're Going Too Far
A frenemy is overall concerned with succeeding over you—that's the basic definition. So if you're noticing that they're wearing your expensive clothing out and about more than you've ever worn it and constantly raiding your fridge like it's their own, then you've got a frenemy on your hands.
They abuse the kindness and generosity you've shown them and are using it for their own personal gain. This means wearing your nice new peacoat to impress that guy in their 8:30 am Calculus lecture and leaving you without a coat for the day.
You're Their [Insert Type Here] Friend
If your friend seems to collect people around them, aka they've got an "artsy" friend, a "party" friend, or anyone that they're reducing to a word or two when they're describing them, then they're probably not a great friend themselves.
This kind of collection shows that they want other people to perceive them as well-rounded since they have so many interesting and different people in their circle. Do they actually like them? Who knows. They're always getting an invite to the group hangout though.
The Frenemy Has Never Heard Of Time Management
A schedule, who is she? Your frenemy operates on a strict timeline of doing everything they want whenever they want regardless of silly things like your schedule or the time you're giving them. So prepare to meet at 10:30 when your plans were for 8 because they just had to go grocery shopping for organic honey right before.
This is a huge frenemy behavior because it boils down to a fundamental disrespect for you. If they don't bother to carve out time for you, then they're not really trying to be your friend. You're just the person to chill with when they're interested.
You Get The "Sorry Can't Make It!" Text All The Time
They usually cancel your plans when there's a new love interest in their lives and they're not afraid to let you know. They're only game to hang out with you after checking their new S.O's schedule and then maybe letting you know they can't. But what's most likely going to happen is you're going to get a text in two days saying "sorry!!!!"
The frenemy will string you along and cancel on you for a "better" option... and we all know what that means.
They Won't Invite You To Parties Or Big Social Events
Frenemies are all about making sure they look better than other people—so they're choosy about who they invite to which function. Sure, they tell you that you're their best friend, but mysteriously only want to hang out when it's one-on-one, well away from everyone they know.
If you're the designated "go to the movies" friend but not the "party friend" while simultaneously being the "best friend" you're definitely confused and definitely dealing with a frenemy. Real friends like you... therefore they invite you to things. It's really not complicated.
You Have No Idea What's Really Going On
A frenemy always wants to one-up you, whether they're actually doing it or not. They've mysteriously got an expensive house in the downtown core that you're always invited to but whenever you try and show up, it's always under renovation and you can't go in. Is it real? No. But the frenemy is.
If you're feeling like they're pulling you through a web of lies just to impress you, then they're a frenemy who just wants you to feel worse about your life in comparison to theirs. But it's all fake, so who really cares right?
You've Met Them A Week Ago And You Already Know All About Their Parent's Messy Divorce When They Were Five
The oversharer friend isn't a frenemy necessarily, but many frenemies do it. The reason? They want theirs to be the only problems you two discuss and they expect you to pay that emotional vulnerability back.
So expect that they're opening up to you about everything just to make it okay for them to ask later if you can babysit their kids for a week while they go to Cabo because you know they really need it since this past month has been the five-year anniversary of their childhood pet frog's death.
If Something Goes Wrong They're Usually Involved In Some Way
The new guy you're seeing suddenly bails on you, your friend cancels your plans after you guys had been trying to get together for a month, and your car has no gas even though you swore you just filled it up. If all the above are happening to you under the smug gaze of a friend who mysteriously knows nothing about all this, yet seems to want to be your personal confidante, it's possible you have a sabotaging frenemy.
If you've got your suspicions that they're involved in your misfortunes then there's a good chance they might be. Just don't let them borrow your car so much.
They're The Masters Of Sarcasm
If you feel like their jokes are a covert attempt to try and mess with your head then they probably are. Sure, you've got a pimple on your forehead but it doesn't mean that they can call you "pizza face" then walk away laughing and say "just kidding." Because are they? Probably not.
A frenemy disguises their criticisms of you as pretty bold humor, and honesty, that is just not okay. You're well aware that your forehead is growing a Mount Vesuvius-level volcanic spot, so they don't have to keep reminding you and ruining your day in the process.
Everything Is A Competition
So you may have felt kind of weirded out when they brought the exact same mashed potato dish as you to the potluck except theirs had bacon on it. They knew you were going to bring those, so why did they? Well, you're right to be suspicious because this competitive person is none other than a frenemy.
This kind of frenemy is out to ruin your good name by just being the better version of you. Luckily for you, literally everyone can tell this is exactly what's going on and it's pretty embarrassing for them. I mean, those bacon bits are just petty.