We’ve all had those people in our lives who on the surface appear to be our friends, but it quickly becomes apparent they are actual a frenemy in disguise. How can you tell the difference and how should you handle it? Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, identifies 10 frenemies from whom you need to separate yourself.
Narcissistic Nat: This frenemy is completely self-centered and only wants one topic of conversation: themselves. If you have a friend who talks endlessly about themselves and their problems, but gives no thought to you or yours, you are dealing with a Narcissistic Nat. Your role for them is simply to listen and acknowledge and expect nothing in return. Maybe it’s time to find a nodding mannequin to take your place and search for someone who appreciates you.
The One-Up Wonder: The motto of this frenemy is “anything you can do, I’ve already done better.” You’ll know you’re friends with the one-up wonder if you are unable to mention anything that you’ve done without them, immediately followed up with their own, superior achievement. They try to overcome their insecurity by besting those around them, or at least claiming to, in every aspect. You ran a mile? Great! They ran three. You met a successful, good looking guy? Guess what, they met a billionaire.
Lying Logan: You can’t always judge a book by its cover. Sometimes people do amazing things you’d never expect or have had some unusual experience. However, if you know someone who has a new fantastic story every time you talk to them, and it’s always something that is totally out of character from your own experience with them, you’re probably dealing with a Lying Logan. They may feel that their own real life is inadequate, so they feel the need to embellish at best and lie at worst, to make themselves sound more important.
Rude Dude: The frenemy that infuriates and embarrasses you in private and in public. This is the friend who will tell inappropriate jokes in front of your family or will say rude things in public. They may be very rude and inconsiderate to you as well. Rude Dude seems to have never learned the basics of polite behavior and often makes you appear to be guilty of the same thing just by association.
What’s Yours is Mine Morgan: Friends should generally share and be gracious hosts to their guests, but some people take other’s hospitality and abuse it. This frenemy doesn’t seem to have a concept that the things in their friend’s house don’t belong to them. Do you have a friend who just goes through the fridge without asking, or uses or borrows your stuff as if they are entitled to it? If so, you’ve got yourself a What’s Yours is Mine Morgan.
Tax Collector Terry: Terry will offer to do nice things for you and go out of his way to please you, but is only disguising them as kind gestures to use against you later. “Remember when I gave you a ride the other day…” Initially you think they’re being a good friend, but then question if they have an ulterior motive. This frenemy will come around later and remind you of something they did for you and say you owe them.
Accessorizing Ashton: Ashton is generally very popular, but will make you seem more like an accessory than a friend. They’ll invite you out “just in case the party is boring,” and leave you alone in the corner if someone more interesting comes along. They’re sweet, but when you ignore or decline their invitation they tend to overreact.
Humorous Hal: This frenemy is a funny and sarcastic person overall, but sometimes takes their jokes too far. Their jokes may be an insult directed towards you or someone else masked by “relax, it was a just a joke.” They will take advantage of a situation and target someone, usually in front of others, using humor to defend themselves.
Stubborn Sal: This frenemy embodies the phrase “their way or the highway.” Any discussion on morals, issues, or even where to eat, is always up to them. They generally win all arguments by talking over or tiring out their opponent.
Chameleon Cal: Did you ever go through a phase? Well, Cal did last week, and the week before, and the week before that. In fact, it always seems like Cal is changing something about himself. Don’t worry about him sticking around long though because he tends to change friend groups just as much.