I’ve been thinking about the people in my life a lot recently. With the New Year starting, launching a new radio show and embarking upon a new season in my family’s life, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationships with family and friends. I’ve been asking myself the tough questions, “Who do I really want in my life?”  And, “Who has to go?”

You know, the New Year is a great time to do a relationship inventory where you honestly decide who gets to stay, who needs to go, who needs to be put at a distance and who needs to be defined or REDEFINED?

In my life, like I know in yours, there are people who I think are my friends, but I’m not quite sure. There’s a new dictionary-defined term that surfaced in our society years ago, and that term is “frenemy.” Experts define the term ‘frenemy’  as an enemy disguised in friend’s clothing! We come across these types of friendships throughout our lives:

In pre-school it’s the little kid who befriends you just so she can play with your doll…

In middle school, it’s the one who pretends to be your friend because they want to actually be friends with your social circle…

In high school, it’s the friends or group of friends who praised us to our faces, while in the lunchroom they were talking behind our backs…

And today social networking has our frenemies stalking our facebook and twitter accounts just to get information to use against us…

Frenemies are those people who smile in our face, but eventually prove to have ulterior motives (that aren’t in our best interest). They’re people who give us praise one moment, but spread gossip about us the very next. They’re persons that we try to develop a business relationship with or whom we know collegially, but we’re never quite sure if they’re on our side.

And please…don’t let me get started on the frenemies who are our relatives…oooohhhweeeeee….Frenemies are very dangerous!

Lucinda Rosenfield is author of the book I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU: A Novel About Best Friends and she talks about the love/hate relationship between female friends. She says, “I think we live in a very competitive culture in which women are expected to excel and achieve in multiple areas of life. We’re supposed to be extremely attractive, successful in our careers and our personal lives and it creates a lot of pressure which ends up getting passed on to our friends and especially those friends with whom we’ve never felt entirely secure.” And that pressure can come out in the form of a FREMENY RELATIONSHIP.

Do you have frenemies—enemies disguised as friends? I know the natural inclination is to say no, of course not, but I would challenge you to look real close at how comfortable you REALLY feel around all of your “friends.” That little tinge of uncomfortability, or that outright RED FLAG is an indication that you better pay attention to. My phone lines are open, and I’d love to talk with you about your FRENEMY stories & relationships. I’ve been talking to people all this week about this and I am really surprised at how many people this affects!

Let’s get this out in the open so we can have healthy, productive relationships. Lest you think that this is completely a woman thang…I found this headline:

FRENEMIES: A HISTORY OF LIL WAYNE & JAY-Z’S RELATIONSHIP/Complex

Guys have frenemy relationships too! Men have friends who’ve betrayed, let them down, cheated, used, or disrespected them. So why is this important to talk about? Because we live in this tension of having mistrust RAMPANT in our workplaces, in our families, with our friends, in our churches—don’t get me started about frenemies in church! JUST TUNE INTO ANY OF THE UBER POPULAR REALITY SHOWS. The “Housewives Series” pick any city: Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New Jersey…if those aren’t frenemies, I don’t who are!! We are coming to a place where we may think it’s normal to say nice things to people’s faces while secretly envying them or wishing them harm and then taking that to the next level by talking about them. THAT’S NOT NORMAL OR RIGHT!! We’ve got talk about it, and begin to make the tough stand to remove frenemies from our lives!

Tell me your FRENEMY story. Who wanted to secretly be you so they befriended you? Who secretly wants your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse and has befriended you, but you’re not sure if they’re going to betray you?  Who’s at work, stealing your ideas, talking you down to the boss or your colleagues, yet all the while smiling in your face? You know we’ve got to talk about this!

Email your frenemy story thejenniferkeittshow@gmail.com today.

Frenemies can’t be trusted!
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