I always associated the idea of a frenemy to movies like Mean Girls (Regina George) or the villains from the real basketball housewives. Actually, I’d like to think of them as hater friends. I’ll use frenemy interchangeably, but I think hater friend works best for me.
Anyway, I’m referring to those women (or girls) who can be nice one moment but could bring out the fangs at a moment’s notice if confronted with anything that makes them uncomfortable and then explain the outburst away by blaming it on tough love and a duty as a friend to tell you when you’re wrong. Wait, scratch that. This is not limited to women only. Fellas, you’re included in this too. But I digress, because of this association, I always dismissed the possibility of my ever having a hater in my circle. Sure, there are disagreements, which might I add, never lead to any sort of fist fight or even raised voices for that matter, but never anything that felt like an attack or a read.
I discovered that all hater friends are not created equal and that one had in fact crept behind the gates. She was brought in much like the Trojan soldiers who were smuggled into Athenian territory in a giant ass wooden horse and placed in position to wreak havoc like Chucky(forgive me for all of the movie references, Netflix is addictive). She made it into the circle under the cover of the friends that are not of the hater persuasion.
Although I’m about to explain exactly what makes this person a frenemy, I have to be fair and acknowledge that she is not a bad person. She’s a great person actually. She’s great enough for me to recognize the good things about her personality and understand that I’ll probably still make an effort to maintain a relationship. I would even go to bat for her if she needed me. She’s done it for me on occasion (wit her hatin’ ass). The way I see it is she’s already in and even though I’m a big proponent of the Harriet Tubman method of maintaining the balance (see Erykah Badu’s Soldier for clarity, shotgun on your back, just listen), I don’t think this is one of those times (at least not yet). That said, I still wonder what makes her behave like Regina George.
In my case, my revelation of a frenemy presence came when it became clear to me that I had been judged for some personal choices that I made but had been fine with; the person who I confided in about the choices had deemed me an idiot the whole time while telling me something different to my face only to end up unwittingly confessing their belief that I lacked intelligence on the matter. Fortunately for my self-esteem, I had no regrets about my choices and I could dismiss the judgement because in my confiding I wasn’t seeking an opinion; but it did make me go back and examine other, more minor instances of the frenemy behavior from this person. I sifted through every backhanded compliment, up and down look, and withheld words of support and it dawned on me…she’s a frenemy! A muthaeffin hater-ass friend. She doesn’t quite throw my ass under the bus but she sure as hell ain’t gonna (yeah I typed that on purpose) offer help if that bus kicks some dirt in my face.
Don’t get me wrong, I did think about getting mad and ending communication with her altogether, but I had to take my own advice (see it here) and think about how she ultimately fits into my life from a big picture perspective. Honestly, I gave 0, no, make that -5 fucks about what she thought on the matter and I think that very fact made it hard to hear that she had such a strong opinion of my actions. After I stepped away from the encounter, I think I actually had the nerve to be insulted because she had given an opinion about my life when I really didn’t feel like she gave me the best advice ever, so in essence, she wasn’t qualified. I take full responsibility for that because it’s not as if I gave her an orientation on her “friend” position in my life. We are different people with completely different perspectives, and in the grand scheme of things I never actually looked to her validation on a range of topics. It may sound a little messed up but it’s just the truth. She was just around for me to vent and I played the same role for her and that works. We don’t need to get too fancy with the relationship apparently.
You can’t exactly say, “Hey girl, I love you but you’re my hater friend and I don’t discuss certain things with you because, well, you’re a muthaeffin hater.” Even though I chuckled as I typed that, it’s not cool.
Alas, it’s like anything else that I’ve learned in the last year, I have a choice and I choose to hold the friendship in the road for a while. The minute I got over myself and stop expecting another grown up to behave the way that I would behave in a specific situation, the relationship improved. It was even fun again. It’ll be that way as long as I remember that my hater friend has that designation for a reason and that I’m in control of removing myself should I start to feel drained at all. Hey, she could choose to remove herself as well. She might see me as the hater friend for all I know (although I doubt that seriously).