Frenemy: a friend and an enemy together, like two for the price of one.
Whether you began as friends or hated each other on sight, sometimes you have to put up with someone else in order to maintain group cohesion.
Frenemies enjoy making you feel uncomfortable. Whether it’s a snide remark or derisive laugh, it’s all a power game to them.
Girls can be awful; anyone who has seen Mean Girls (and who hasn’t?) knows that. But it’s all too easy to lay all the blame on cliquey girls and ignore the fact that boys are often falling foul as well.
Whilst girls may bitch about each other or steal another’s partner, boys are more likely to pull practical pranks and haze fellow sports team members within an inch of their life, sometimes literally.
However, nobody can completely surround themselves with only people made from sugar, spice and all things nice.
There will always be people who are annoyingly grating, yet we have to smile on through as if nothing is wrong.
The only way to win is to refuse to play the game at all.
Keep your head high and don’t let yourself get pulled into it; you’re better than that.
By retaliating with maturity, your frenemy will be the one left wishing the ground would swallow them up.
But what happens when your friends suddenly turn to the dark side?
Its easy to feel confused and upset. Your friends are meant to be the ones that are always there for you, even when the rain starts to fall, as the theme tune goes.
So when they suddenly do a 180 on you and act as if you are nothing to them, emotions are bound to run high.
Try not to let it aggravate you, surround yourself with friends who actually deserve the title and realise that it is someone else’s loss if they don’t see how amazing you are.
When speaking to friends and course mates, countless anecdotes of frenemy situations abound.
Whether it’s the girl you grew up with who spread malicious lies, or that guy you considered to be your best mate until he decided you weren’t cool enough anymore, everyone has been there.
What makes it worse is when the situation is exacerbated by the other members of your social group taking sides.
This happened to me when I was in year seven. One girl in our friendship group decided she didn’t like me anymore, and as she was loud and domineering everyone else in the group retreated from me as well, in order to ‘protect’ themselves.
It was a horrible time, but it also showed me who my real friends were, so all in all an important lesson to learn.
In the end, I decided that my fake friend and her ‘followers’ weren’t worth it.
Ironically, I also had the last laugh when a year later, the other girls realised how bitchy she was and apologized to me for letting me down.
That being said, it is also very easy to be on the other side of the coin and accidentally make someone else in your social group feel unwelcome, without even realising it.
Make sure to always include everyone in invitations to events and beware that although sarcasm is funny, it can sometimes hurt people’s feelings as well.
It is often easy to make someone feel excluded even if that was your very last intention.
Even if there is one particular friend that does annoy you more than you thought humanly possible, remember to breathe.
Do not let your annoyance cloud your judgment and make you say something hurtful that you’ll later regret.
Words can be just as painful as violence, so choose carefully how you deal with your ‘pest’.
Although dealing with frenemies is a horrible experience, it is for the most part one that can be avoided.
If someone in your friendship group isn’t treating you with the respect you deserve and the others are letting them get away with it, cut them out of your life. They are not real friends and don’t deserve your time.
If you won’t take it from me, there is a wealth of celebrity examples of friendships going sour.
Think about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, who went straight from parading their BFF lifestyle on television to smashing each other’s reputations in gossip coluns.
There is only one thing to do if you’ve got a frenemy on your hands.
Freeze them out, otherwise you could end up with a Lauren Conrad/Heidi Montag style situation on your hands.