“I think I have a frenemy.”
These were the words of Jen. While she is typically a bit anxious and jumpy, this time she had a particularly unsettled look about her.
I was intrigued and asked her to tell me about it.
And she told me, in painstaking detail (admit it, you know someone like this…), but I’ll spare you and get to the gist of it.
She proceeded to talk about a friend, someone she socialized with a lot. Much of their time together was very active - biking, dancing, hiking, art galleries. Sounded great to me – I was wondering where the frenemy thing came in.
They also liked to include a stop at a local bar before or after an event for a beer, glass of wine or cocktail du jour.
Their relationship quickly changed when her friend injured her foot playing tennis – badly. She required surgery and for several months, wouldn't be able to do any of the things they used to, except…
It wasn’t stopping her from outings for a little libation. In fact, those outings became common – as in nightly, and it wasn’t just a drink, but several, and not just for an hour, but many.
Night after night, Jen’s friend would invite her and Jen felt like she needed to support her, so she did. It had been about a few weeks and she told me she felt like crap - low energy, sleeping poorly and gaining weight.
She had just seen an article about frenemies and how they can make you fat, and asked me if I thought this dear friend of hers might really be a frenemy.
So we talked about what a “frenemy” really was. Technology is great – we pulled up Miriam Webster on her phone:
Frenemy - one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy.
I had to ask, “do you really think she's an enemy, pretending to be a friend? Have you told her what’s going on and how you feel?”
She said she was afraid she’d hurt her feelings, to which I replied, “what do you have to lose? If she’s a friend, she’ll understand, and if not, why would you want to still hang out with her?”
She paused and twisted her face into one of those "damn, I feel stupid" expressions. I could relate - I think I've mastered that look.
A WEEK LATER:
I saw Jen a week later. She said she told her friend that while she loved spending time with her, sitting around and drinking every night was making her feel awful.
As you might expect, her friend completely understood and told her, “You’re my friend. I don’t want you to feel bad. Do what you need to do.”
Jen realized her misery was really all self-imposed. It was her decision to sit around and drink every night, not her friend’s, and the question she should have been asking was:
“Am I my own Frenemy?”
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Wishing you well!
P.S. Need help turning your inner frenemy into a friend? Let’s have a conversation to see if working together will help you make better choices for your health and happiness. I offer a complimentary session and scheduling is simple with my online booking system: Schedule Now