How to Ditch a Frenemy 2022


A"frenemy"keeps coming back because they are your friend. Yet, sometimes they are not, hence the"enemy"part of the term"frenemy". Once this person has proven one times too many to be a gossip, a rumormonger, or simply continues to undermine you behind your back, it's time to ditch this person and find a true friend instead.


1Tell your so-called friend that you don't like how he or she has a lukewarm friendship with you. Explain that you're no longer interested in the on-again, off-again nature of your friendship. You might also say that since it's clear to you that your friend cannot be trusted to remain loyal, you'd rather not continue been more than just acquaintances. For example:

"Hey Bill. It has been cool to get to know you. But I just don't feel I can rely on you to keep my private information private because I keep hearing things back that I only ever told you. Also, I don't like how sometimes you don't want to be my friend even though you say that you are my friend. That's just really confusing and I don't know where I stand with you."

2Explain to your so-called friend that you don't appreciate the gossip and rumors at your expense. You could also ask your friend to consider how he or she would feel if you did the same thing back. For example:

"Hey Rachel. I really don't like being gossiped about behind my back. If I have done something to annoy someone, I'd prefer that they tell me, so that I can do something to fix things, not just hear rumors about me. And it's always pretty obvious where the rumors came from. I just wondered if you'd ever thought about how it'd feel if someone you felt you could trust turned around and spread lies and rumors about you. Maybe you'd feel hurt if that happened."

3Tell your frenemy that you don't want to be a part of the friendship anymore. Explain that you think you've tried to make things work between the two of you long enough but that you've reached a conclusion that two of you just aren't compatible anymore. For example:

"So Geordie, I really don't think this friends thing is going to work out between us anymore. We're just not cut out to be best buddies and share secrets and dreams together. Anything I tell you just gets its own newspaper headline and isn't private anymore, and I'm not prepared to live with that. I'm sorry that it's come to this but I don't want to be close friends anymore. I'm happy to pair up with you in class to do classwork and sports but that's all from now on."

4Listen to what your frenemy has to say. It's probable that he or she will either deny any wrongdoing or will promise to make changes. Either way, you already know you've tried really hard and just want things to move on. However, it is an act of courtesy to listen to your friend and acknowledge what is said. You don't need to agree with his or her version of events, just say that you understand the other person's perspective but it's just not how you see things anymore. For example:

"I appreciate you explaining your side of things to me. I understand that it must be hard for you making friends because someone hurt you badly once but I can't be on the receiving end of your distrust of people while you work it all out. We've been here so many times before that while I understand your side of it, I just can't keep letting this hurt me."

5Get on with your life. Realize that it will most likely be hard initially because losing a friend is never an easy thing. However, remind yourself of why you broke off this friendship and why it frees you up to find friends who will have your back and not gossip about you.

Hang out with other friends. Let them know that you have moved on and will no longer be spending time with the frenemy.

Get involved in doing things that your frenemy has no interest in. This will stop the person from bothering you, in case this is an issue.

6Be alert to the potential for backlash. Your former friend may resort to the one thing he or she knows how to do so well––spreading rumors and gossiping about you. Let it be. You know where things stand and that this person is capable of anything. The reality is that for a few weeks, things may be tough. However, you'll soon become yesterday's focus and this former friend will either learn to change his or her ways or will choose a new victim to disappoint and gossip about.

Ignore your former friend if he or she behaves badly. You made an offer to stay acquainted for schoolwork purposes and to be polite, but if the other person is being mean or is pestering you, the best you can do is to ignore it and not engage. The moment that you stoop to your former friend's level, he or she has achieved engagement with you. Don't give this person the satisfaction.