When I say the word frenemy, one person comes to mind. She's someone I am friendly with, despite the sour taste in my mouth and pinched expression I get after talking to her.
Despite our best efforts, we all have someone like that. It's someone whom we may have been friends with in another life, if circumstances were different. It's someone whom we have to muster up the effort to be friendly with. It's someone who brings out our insecurities and worst attributes.
The good news is, having a frenemy can actually be beneficial to us all. Frenemies may be our day-to-day annoyances, but they contribute to our long-term well-being. Here's why:
1. They give you a measuring stick to evaluate your accomplishments.
Frenemies always seem to be doing something cooler than you. They also never seem to have a problem with showcasing their accomplishment loudly.
While that can be annoying, it's also a blessing in disguise. Having someone always one-upping you allows you to take a step back and look at your accomplishments. If people are getting under your skin with their bragging, maybe it means you need to take a chance and do something as equally amazing as they are.
2. They make you realize who your real friends are.
When it's boiled down, a frenemy is really just an enemy disguised as a friend. Being around my frenemy for large amounts of time may be the equivalent of my worst nightmare, but it also opens my eyes to how great my friends are. My friends are amazing people, and it's wonderful to be reminded of that sentiment when I am secretly rolling my eyes into the back of my head as my frenemy talks.
3. They make you be a better friend.
Going off of reason two, frenemies actually make you a better friend. Think about it: If you can be friendly and normal around someone you really dislike, think of how great you can be around people you really love.
4. They teach you how to coexist with someone you don't get along with.
In my darkest times, I think my frenemy brings out the worst in me. I feel like a jealous, cynical monster whenever I am around her. But in reality, she brings out the best in me.
Because of her, I may feel like a jealous, cynical monster on the inside. But on the outside, I'm a composed professional. She has taught me how to get along with someone who I don't see eye to eye with on a personal and professional level. I can apply this skill from my repertoire to all of my future school, work and social relationships. Thank you, frenemy.
5. They teach you to always anticipate the unknown.
Getting a text saying your frenemy got the job you wanted, was given the raise you deserved or got a model boyfriend is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Part of the deal of having a frenemy, however, is being able to anticipate the worst possible situation because it will inevitably happen.
If you can anticipate the unknown, then you can learn how to handle it when the time comes. And it will come.
6. They make you question your heart.
We all need a reality check once in a while. On multiple occasions, I've caught myself complaining about my frenemy for a lot longer than I should have been. And then, immediately after, I question my morality.
I realized I don't want to be that type of person. I want to be the type of person who begrudgingly puts on a smile and works her ass off to be better, rather than the person my frenemy makes me believe I am.
Frenemies may be the bane of our existence, but we should thank them. Because of them, we are given the opportunity to blossom into a better person.