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Frenemy In the Workplace: 5 Warning Signs

Updated on January 14, 2017
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

BFFs: Beware of Fickle Friends On the Job

Don't delude yourself.  Frenemies can be either male or female.  In the workplace, faux friends can harm both your career and your confidence.
Don't delude yourself. Frenemies can be either male or female. In the workplace, faux friends can harm both your career and your confidence. | Source

Frenemies In the Workplace: Who's Got Your Back?

Beware of that waffling work friend. She's the fickle, fair-weathered colleague who cannot commit to being either your friend or your foe. So she vacillates between both roles.

As your double-dealing teammate draws you in, you reveal confidences to her. (No-o-o! It's a trap!)

Your work frenemy offers just enough kindness to keep you as a "friend." Then she zaps you with betrayals or zings you with put-downs. Sheesh. She was "only kidding!" (Cue her evil laugh as self-doubt rains down upon you. Bahaha!)

If you suspect that your phony friend doesn't have your back, you are right. These villains can wreak havoc on both your confidence and your career.

When it comes to frenemies in the workplace, you don't have to let the bad guys win. Learn the warning signs, plus options for dealing with such sneaky scoundrels.

Frenemies: Push and Shove, They're the Ones You Hate To Love

Frenemies are both friends and rivals.  Is this really the kind of relationship you want?
Frenemies are both friends and rivals. Is this really the kind of relationship you want? | Source

The Work Frenemy: Does Not Play Well With Others

There's an old train of thought that business and friendship shouldn't mix -- that work is not meant to be personal.

But throw together an odd lot of individuals who otherwise wouldn't choose to associate with one another. Call them a work group, a staff, or a team. Give them projects, deadlines, and meetings for eight or more hours a day. Friendships are bound to form.

The frenemy does not play well with others.
The frenemy does not play well with others. | Source

The Value of Friends At Work

One study found that 36 percent of adults met at least one of their closest friends at work.1

Research by Gallup found that people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.2 They also find their work 50% more satisfying.3

In addition, people who reach out in friendship to others on the job are more likely to receive promotions.4 Clearly, having work friends can be beneficial.


Is your work friend fighting against you?
Is your work friend fighting against you? | Source

Frenemies: Worst Friends Ever

But wait. Not all work friends are good at this friendship thing. Some of them rather suck at it.

Such badly behaving work friends are rivals in disguise -- smart, clever, and manipulative people who love you one minute and backstab you the next. You know the type -- the office frenemy.

Being colleagues, you may be stuck working together. However, you can at least learn to detect a backbiting BFF before she does you too much damage.

If you ruffle your frenemy's feathers, be prepared for backlash.
If you ruffle your frenemy's feathers, be prepared for backlash. | Source

Is Your Work Friend A Frenemy?

Questions To Consider
Does she concentrate on your flaws and mistakes ... give you backhanded compliments ... make jokes at your expense ("only kidding")?
If one of you left the company tomorrow, would you still be friends a year from now?
Do you have an unbalanced relationship? Does she make demands on your time and energy, requesting favors but rarely returning them?
If you had a personal emergency, could you rely on her for help -- without having her remind you that you owe her BIG TIME?
Does she break your confidences?
If there were some gossip about you, would your friend defend you ... or join in?
When you receive recognition, a pay raise, or a promotion that she does not, is she genuinely happy for you ... or jealous?
Do you feel like you constantly have to explain yourself to her?
Do you find yourself keeping certain information from her because of trust issues?
When she's on vacation or out of the office, is your life lonelier ... but a lot less hectic?

Take That! Frenemies Love Sabotage

Frenemies can sabotage your work or your efforts at self-improvement.  They can intentionally mislead you, break confidences and  badmouth you to others.
Frenemies can sabotage your work or your efforts at self-improvement. They can intentionally mislead you, break confidences and badmouth you to others. | Source

Reader Poll

Where have you encountered most of your faux friends and backstabbing buddies?

See results

Frenemy Sign #1: She Doesn't Have Your Best Interests At Heart

The workplace frenemy may genuinely like you, but she has a hard time consistently showing it. Your two-faced teammate may even want to BE you.

When she's not double-dealing her colleagues, the work frenemy can be fun to be around. She offers you the benefits of grapevine gossip, someone to commiserate and celebrate work with, and a lunch buddy.

Yet you suspect that she's holding back. When you receive praise -- especially from someone important, like the boss -- she can barely control her eye rolling.

That's because your frenemy doesn't have your best interests at heart. Her motives are mixed. She loves you yet she hates you, and the conniving wench cannot help but show it. She just hopes you're not paying attention to all of her devious ways.

Oh, Girl! That Frenemy Is Working Hard Behind the Scenes

Research shows that about half of our social network is comprised of "ambivalent friends."
Research shows that about half of our social network is comprised of "ambivalent friends." | Source

Available From Amazon:

46239 Voodoo You Doll Kit
46239 Voodoo You Doll Kit

Make your work frenemy think twice about her wicked ways by keeping this on your desk. You don't have to tell her who it's for, just let the sneaky scoundrel wonder. Bahaha!

 

Covert Operations

Out of rivalry, your frenemy may find ways to sabotage your confidence and your image of competence at work. For example, she may:

  • give you bad advice
  • discourage you from thinking through a situation that requires a cool head
  • forget to share important information with you
  • shift responsibility for mistakes or omissions to you
  • try to shift more workload your way
  • break your confidences
  • spread gossip about you
  • twist your words to make you look bad or
  • discount your knowledge, skills and experience to clients, peers, or management. (And when people know she's your BFF, her comments may come across as particularly genuine criticism.)

No matter what you think of her, you gotta give her this: your BFF's pretty slick, isn't she?

Wouldn't It Be Nice If It Were This Simple?

Frenemy Sign #2: She Blows Backhanded Compliments

Poison pals enjoy the damage that well-placed, "stray" comments can inflict. Your work frenemy launches cutting remarks like missiles disguised as a flattering remarks, landmines camouflaged as goodwill.

Do You Have A Poison Pal?

A work frenemy can deliver an insult disguised as a compliment.
A work frenemy can deliver an insult disguised as a compliment. | Source

Beneath her smile lurks a sneer, as she blows you backhanded compliments:

"You look great in your new suit! It hides the extra 10 pounds you've gained."

"That client was impressed with you. He thought you actually knew what you're talking about."

"Thanks for staying late again to help me out. You better get home to your kids before they wonder if they still have a mother."

Studies show that frenemy behavior like this can exact negative health effects, including:

  • increased blood pressure
  • a lowered resistance to stress
  • and increased risk of depression.5

Don't give your frenemy the pleasure of inflicting such harm. Recognize the compliment that isn't.

The Claws: Beware Of the Danger A Work Frenemy Can Do

Work frenemies can be catty creatures!  Although they can be fun to work with, they can also damage both your confidence and your image of competence at work.
Work frenemies can be catty creatures! Although they can be fun to work with, they can also damage both your confidence and your image of competence at work. | Source

Frenemy Sign #3: She Leaves You Feeling Angry And Used

The work frenemy leaves you feeling used, angry, and misunderstood. She requires you to cater to her needs while neglecting your own.

Work Frenemy's Conflicting Signs

The work frenemy gives conflicting signs about what's in her heart.
The work frenemy gives conflicting signs about what's in her heart. | Source

She'll "pencil you in" on her busy calendar only to cancel on you at the last moment when something more pressing comes up (which usually does). And because she doesn't have a firm grasp on personal boundaries, your work frenemy requests countless favors of you -- both personal and professional.

However, she rarely returns the courtesy, nor can she find the time. Reciprocity is not how she rolls.

As a result, you feel like you're constantly having to guard against her exploitation of your time, energy, and resources. That's a work frenemy. Not a friend.

Work Frenemies: Friendship Minus the Foundation Of Trust

People may be reluctant to break ties with their frenemies because of the benefits they offer when they are not busy backstabbing and double dealing.
People may be reluctant to break ties with their frenemies because of the benefits they offer when they are not busy backstabbing and double dealing. | Source

Frenemy Sign #4: She Tries To Ruin Your Other Friendships

When other co-workers take an interest in developing new friendships with you, your work frenemy gets jealous and acts out. She feels possessive of you. (After all, you do put up with a lot from her, don't you?)

Don't be surprised if the sneaky scoundrel

  • inserts herself in your conversations with your new friend
  • highlights your flaws and flubs and
  • spreads gossip about you.

With these tactics, she seeks to both scare your new friend off and refocus your full attention back on her -- where it belongs.

Frenemy Denial: Oh, How Could You?!?

If you confront a work frenemy with their behavior, expect anger, surprise, denial.  They'll be shocked and will turn the tables on you.  How could you accuse them?  Oh, the disbelief!
If you confront a work frenemy with their behavior, expect anger, surprise, denial. They'll be shocked and will turn the tables on you. How could you accuse them? Oh, the disbelief! | Source

Frenemy Sign #5: She Overreacts When Confronted

Something curious happens if you marshal the courage to confront your work frenemy about her behavior. She doesn't understand what you're talking about. Instead of owning her scheming behavior, she completely denies it.

There's anger, surprise, shock, ... even waterworks. How could you accuse her of such a thing?

She may turn the tables on you and refuse to discuss your ridiculous accusation. Or blame you by claiming that you're obviously just reading into the situation ... again. (What's wrong with you anyway?)

Nevermind

At least you tried to call her out on her behavior. You gave it a good try.

Accept that you are not going to fix her. A backstabbing BFF took years to become the way she is, and it's not your duty to teach her how to be a good friend. So let her practice her weird brand of friendship skills on someone else.

You risk both your confidence and work reputation maintaining a close relationship with a work frenemy. If you keep confronting her, you'll continue to get nowhere and come be known as the Worst Thing Ever in the world of work: Not A Team Player.

And then who would win?

Work Frenemy: A Team Of One

Frenemies can be the pals who drive us nuts or the overbearing colleagues we're stuck with.  They can leave us feeling exploited, vulnerable, used, and angry.
Frenemies can be the pals who drive us nuts or the overbearing colleagues we're stuck with. They can leave us feeling exploited, vulnerable, used, and angry. | Source

Strategies For Surviving the Work Frenemy

Although you cannot choose your co-workers, you may have some say in who you work with on projects and certainly who you chat with during lunches and break time. You can also control how much personal information you divulge to such an untrustworthy colleague as well as your reactions when your backbiting BFF crosses the line.

You are not without options. Short of leaving your job, here are tips for surviving the work frenemy:

Will your frenemy hold you down?  Will your frenemy hold you back?  That's up to you.
Will your frenemy hold you down? Will your frenemy hold you back? That's up to you. | Source

Options For Dealing With Frenemies In the Workplace

INSTEAD OF THIS ...
TRY THIS
Allowing her to "pencil you in" to her incredibly busy schedule (then canceling)
Master the art of "the fade." Be too busy for your work frenemy. Cite scheduling conflicts. Or, if you must meet with her, set short meetings with advance reminders.
Verbally sharing information about yourself
Master the art of conversing about topics other than yourself, your family, your feelings and opinions. Keep it superficial and surface. Sidestep personal questions with "I don't know," "It's not something I'm comfortable discussing right now," or another non-committal reply. Be courteous but firm.
Facebook sharing personal information
Update your Facebook settings so her status updates do not show in your news feed. Be stingy with your comments or "likes" of her statuses, as they are symbolic "endorsements." Learn how to use the groups setting and privacy filters. Carefully ponder personal information you post on-line.
Becoming visually flustered at backhanded compliments and insults
Immediately but calmly call attention to verbal inaccuracies. Label them as "not appropriate," "inaccurate," or "uncalled for." If there are others present, correct the statement for the record. Then move on.
Sharing gossip with your work frenemy or about them
Excuse yourself when the topic turns to gossip. Or change the subject. If someone will gossip with you, they'll gossip about you.
Allowing her to shift workload to you and others
Follow good project management principles, ensuring that projects and assignments have clearly identifiable tasks (with individuals assigned to specific duties).
Accepting "that's just the way she is"
Learn to recognize warning signs of work frenemies early. Strive to surround yourself by people who value you personally and professionally. Seek people who treat you consistently well both behind your back as well as in front of you.

Choose Your Work Friends Wisely

Choose your friends wisely -- especially at work. If you have to spend a third of your adult life on the job, make sure it's in the company of people who don't wish you harm, either overtly or through hidden agendas.

Work Frenemy: Wants An Audience

When the work frenemy acts out, you can receive unwanted criticism and attention.  Be careful what you disclose about yourself to the work frenemy.  It's all fair game.
When the work frenemy acts out, you can receive unwanted criticism and attention. Be careful what you disclose about yourself to the work frenemy. It's all fair game. | Source

Notes

1McKee, A., & Walker, T. (2014). Report: State of Friendship. Retrieved from http://getlifeboat.com/goodies/report2013/.

2Riordan, C. (2013, July 3). We All Need Friends at Work. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/07/we-all-need-friends-at-work/.

3Armour, S. (2007, August 2). Friendship and work: A good or bad partnership? Retrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2007-08-01-work-friends_n.htm.

4Lewis, K. R. (2012, April 24). Want a promotion? Make friends at work. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2012/04/24/want-a-promotion-make-friends-at-work/.

5Weir, K. (2011, April 14). Fickle Friends: How to Deal with Frenemies. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fickle-friends/.

What's In A Name? Locations With Frenemy-Friendly Names

show route and directions
A markerElbow, Texas -
Elbow, TX, USA
get directions

B markerFickle, Indiana -
Fickle, IN, USA
get directions

C markerFriendship, Maryland -
Friendship, MD, USA
get directions

D markerFighting Creek, Idaho -
Fighting Creek, Idaho, USA
get directions

E markerMount Meany, Washington -
Mount Meany, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA
get directions

F markerAnnoy Rock, Alaska -
Annoy Rock, Alaska, USA
get directions

G markerGripe, Arizona -
Gripe, Arizona, USA
get directions

H markerBitchy Lake, Canada -
Bitchy Lake, Thompson-Nicola O, BC V0E, Canada
get directions

I markerSlap, Bosnia and Herzegovina -
Slap, Bosnia and Herzegovina
get directions

J markerKiss, Mozambique -
Kiss, Mozambique
get directions

Notable Quotes On Betrayal

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”

- William Blake, English poet and painter

"We are a puny and fickle folk. Avarice, hesitation, and following are our diseases."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and lecturer

"If you're gonna be two-faced, at least make one of them pretty."

- Marilyn Monroe, American sex symbol and actress

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

"He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore."

- Sigmund Freud, founding father of psychoanalysis

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Savvy - TMI? Not at all! I always enjoy your comments!

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 2 years ago

      Thank you Flourish, and please forgive me for being so honest. I feel like I did a TMI. (Lol) Oh well.... I wish you a wonderful New Year as well. So far, things are coming up roses on my end. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      savvydating - It's too bad that the backstabbers ruin it for the good people. We spend so much time at work that it's such a shame to keep it so superficial, but I guess you have to do that when you don't trust who you work with. Depends on the workplace. Thanks for stopping by! Have a terrific 2015 filled with success and happiness.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Graham - That is a very insightful observation! I agree. Thank you for stopping by, my friend. And have a wonderful new year.

    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 2 years ago

      What a fantastic article. I have to say that I try to mind my own business in the workplace as much as possible, primarily because I've encountered so many women in the workplace who are haters. Honestly, I don't get it; I always try to be very professional and polite. Anyway, my point is that I learned to keep my conversation superficial long ago. For the most part, I don't make friends in the workplace---at least, not female friends, I'm sorry to say. That's kind of sad in a way, but it seems to work out better in my particular case .....for whatever reason.

      Your advice is spot-on. I especially liked your saying "Immediately but calmly call attention to verbal inaccuracies." It took me a long time to do this, and I still have to work at it sometimes, but it is important!! Up, useful, awesome.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Flourish. A most comprehensive hub touching so many bases. Brilliant. When I was working I always found that when joining a new company or office change, the person you got to know first was never the one you befriended.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks so much for pinning this. I can use all the help I can get. Have a great weekend.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Hi Flourish, this is great advice that could also probably apply to any gathering of people, females specifically. I'm pinning this one again.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Pawpawwrites - Yes they do. You can't go on pretending forever.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      I've worked with more than a few. I can relate to the countless favors for sure. It can take a while to figure some of them out, but they all blow their cover at some point.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - I'm sorry about your work friend losing your job. I agree that after you lose that common connection, it just is not the same. I hope another good work BFF will come along eventually.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 2 years ago from USA

      Such good advice here. I had a BFF at work, I miss her terribly. Her position was eliminated a year ago. I was definitely a harder worker and more engaged when she was there. We still talk but it's not the same. The other people this hub describes I stay away from. And they are a dime a dozen!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Cherylann - It's hard to have true friends in a political work climate but allies certainly can help you survive. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great weekend.

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 3 years ago from India

      Very wise thoughts in here. I wish I would've been lucky enough to have received these pearls of wisdom when I just started working. It's so true that gauging people's intentions, especially at your workplace is very difficult. I still believe that you can't make friends at work, I prefer forming this relationship only after I've left the firm! Great insights and dealing tactics. Voted up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Larry - Boring them with details -- discussion of paper clips and post-it notes -- is a good idea. No personal information!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I really enjoyed the article. Personally, I enjoy working with people that tease one another for the sake of fun. It is important to make the distinction between comradely and someone who is posturing to move up the ladder and/or deflect attention from their own incompetence.

      I very much agree that when you suspect a so-called friend is actually trying to harm you that you need to not give them anything personal. Constantly deflect things to just business, basically bore them to death:) They'll leave you alone after that.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suhail - Most folks are kind and decent, but sometimes there's that one who isn't what he or she seems. Even they have to work somewhere. I'm glad you've only had good experiences.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      An informative hub written with just the right dose of humour! I loved every bit of advice, although I had a weird feeling that it was written from women perspective hahaha.

      I don't think I have frenemies, but because I am a happy and a friendly person in life, I think lot of my colleagues take undue advantage of me. On the other hand, my best friends of today have also come from the work place.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      KoffeeKlatch Gals - I appreciate the compliment!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love your sense of humor. The writing is excellent and the pictures spot on.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      grand old lady - Frenemies are all about trust, someone you believed you could entrust but who has shown themselves to misuse the information for inappropriate gains. It's much more helpful to have this information than to become hurt by it.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      This is a fantastic and detailed analysis of a frenemy and how to deal with him/her. We hall have experienced frenemies but can never quite pinpoint why this person is so and just roll along. It seems like an unimportant topic, but it is relevant because it is such a common experience. Voted up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      vespawoolf - They are indeed best kept out of the inner circle -- untrustworthy and potentially dangerous.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      I have definitely encountered people like this but life lessons have taught me to keep them far away. These people are toxic and not to be trusted. I hope this information helps many people to protect themselves!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Linda - I appreciate the compliment. Have a great weekend!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Vellur - Thanks for reading. You are right about keeping them at an arm's distance.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub, useful and informative. Frenemies are dangerous and it is better to keep them at a distance.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another excellent hub, Flourish. You've combined humour and practical advice for dealing with frenemies very successfully! As always, your hub is visually attractive, too.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Helen - Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Have a great day!

    • HelenBlockerAdams profile image

      Helen Blocker-Adams 3 years ago from Augusta, Georgia

      Excellent hub. I love the illustrations. They tell the story for sure.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Frank - Thanks for stopping by. We've missed you of late.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      flourish I really enjoyed reading this hub.. it was entertaining although others might find it useful..factual.. but it made me wonder.. and chuckle too

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      This is where setting boundaries is vital. These kind of people are everywhere. Your idea about the fade, is really good.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      VioletteRose - I'm glad you didn't have them at work. It's tough to be trapped in an environment where dependence on household income is mixed with shenanigans like this. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Shyron - Thanks for the enthusiastic endorsement. It's wonderful that you've had trusted friends that have lasted you four decades. That's a true blessing. Have a terrific week.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      I worked for three years and I luckily didn't have any frenemies at work place. It was really a good experience working with my colleagues and I even got few best friends there, they were always very supportive. However, I had frenemies when I was in school and college, and I know how bad it is. What you have written about this type of people is really true, even if it is work place, school or any other area in your life. Thanks for writing!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Flourish, this is wonderful, I am printing your advice and will keep it handy, but I have been Fortunate to have friends that I worked with who I have remained friends with for over 40 years. I have also worked with some frenemies. I would have loved to have had your advice then.

      Voted up ++++ and shared

      Blessings and hugs dear friend

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Deborah - Some of them are exceptionally skilled at it too! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      electronician - They are usually master tricksters.

    • electronician profile image

      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great tips, we really have to look out for people like this,

    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 3 years ago

      Great hub. I've met several frenemies in the workforce. They are a dangerous people because they can fool the boss too.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Susan - Those pesky frenemies will one day meet their match. I've learned they think very poorly of themselves, in spite of all the charades. Thank you for voting, commenting and sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sanjay - I appreciate the compliment but sure am sorry you have had this experience. Thank you for reading.

    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 3 years ago from Mandi (HP) India

      You are an excellent writer, and the hub seems to be my personal experience.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - I've met some really great people, too. It's the occasional bad egg who happens to spoil it for the rest of the bunch. Usually they don't last too long. Thanks for reading, voting, and sharing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Audrey - Thanks for the compliment and for reading.

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 3 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      There was so much truth and experience in this hub, you have some great advice! Frenemies can be super annoying to work with, especially when they spread lies and gossip about you. At first, one befriends them, thinking they have gained a new confidant only to realize in horror, who that person really is. What a nightmare! Luckily, I have only encountered very few of them - and learned to avoid them where possible. They sure can be cunning, sly and very daring! Thanks for the great tips, I will put them into practice should I encounter another frenemy. Voted awesome, useful and shared.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Flourish. Thankfully I haven't had to deal with this at work. However, I do know of people who have. These are great tips to identify and deal with the dreaded frenemy. I actually have a couple of really good friends that I met through work. I find it improves the work environment to have a few friends who you can trust.

      Great job. Voted up and shared.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      You write with humor about something that can be such a difficult situation--loved this!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Liz - People usually don't change too much, barring life-altering emotional events or sustained goal-directed effort. She's probably making some other employee's job difficult. At least it's not you. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Ohhh - we had one of those here a few years back and luckily, she has since been fired. Those days were very trying with her as she'd come off sweet as pie as she dug the knife in deep. Great hub!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Devika - Glad their devious tricks didn't work on you!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      CrisSp - Two-face suckers. I like it! Thanks for the compliments, and have a great week!

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      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I call them "two-face suckers"! I'm very intuitive and my sense of smell is excellent. So, I can quickly smell them. Lol!

      Great write. You've tackled the subject very well and leaving us readers with great warnings and tips.

      Nice pictures too and you are funny, well, I mean the way you've written it. :)

      Cheers!

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I had the experience with co workers a while ago and bad advice is exactly what they choose to give to another however that did not work for me. I figured out their behavior frenemy for sure and you covered all aspects here. Voted up, interesting and useful.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      CyberShelley - They can exact a high toll. It's good that you moved on. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MsDora - That's a good one. She's lucky you still interact with her now. Thanks for reading and sharing that tidbit.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very wise warning! Your table of options is also very handy. My frenemy would do sneaky things like greeting me cheerily with "You're late again," conveniently when the boss was within sound of her voice. Interestingly. she seemed more caring after we both left the job.

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      Shelley Watson 3 years ago

      This is a brilliant hub, and the advice you dole out is outstanding. I had one toxic workmate, with whom I unfortunately had to work. When I left that job four years later I could actually feel the tension drain from me - I lived with that for so long I had forgotten what normal felt like. Thank you for sharing this very worthwhile information.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Better Yourself - When the waters are calm at work and there's no drama, that's the best kind of work there is. I appreciate the kind compliments.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Zumba-with-Jenijo - Eww, being the BFF of the boss' wife is putting all your eggs in one basket. Good luck and thanks for reading.

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      Jen Hendrickson 3 years ago from Wichita, Kansas

      I hear ya! The worse frenemy is when you are friend's with your boss' wife. Whoa boy! Working for friends is the worst move you can ever make.

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      Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Fantastic hub! It's a fun read but sadly so many truths about people who are not good to have in your life but you can't escape because you work with them. I've been at my current job for a little over 2 years and thankfully do not have to deal with any poor friendships! Well done!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      NathaNater - I'm sorry you dealt with that behavior. I'm a firm believer that in the end, it all comes back around to us somehow, someway.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      lovedoctor926 - Great to hear that this is useful! Come back again!

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      NathaNater 3 years ago

      I've dealt with enough workplace bullies and abuse to know that what you've delineated here is totally accurate. I called somebody on his abuse once and he responded just as you said; denial and even the waterworks. And I've had many of these tricks and manipulations pulled on me by a variety of people. Too bad the work environment generally encourages such behavior. Fortunately I left that environment a few years ago.

      I love the pictures you've used here too; they're fun, attractive and illustrative at the same time.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Faith - There are some who just seem too sweet and they come on too strong, but they cannot keep up the facade too long. It's just gotta come out. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I hope you've had a terrific weekend.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Nell - I love that you call her what she is. I've met some wonderful people in the workplace too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suzette - I'm glad you enjoyed the read. I'm hoping those Frenemies stay clear away from you.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      travmaj - Frenemies are everywhere. At least in the workplace, we can leave them! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Good words of wisdom. I have bookmarked this gem,

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      PegCole17 - They seem especially cut out for the corporate track. Glad you got out. Have a lovely Sunday.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jo - That's what she is alright. Frenemy. Watch your back, girl.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Flourish, outstanding as always! Now I have a name for my lovely workmate, I'm never really sure if she likes me hates me or love to hate me, maybe somewhere between the two, now I know my frenemy. :)

      Hope you're enjoying you Sunday.

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      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Ah yes, the frenemy lurks everywhere in business. You've really nailed this one Flourish. I recognize these types from years of working in the corporate world. It's really a tough situation when these folks are your managers and responsible for giving you annual reviews. One boss befriended me for nefarious reasons - her objective - to take her boss's job, which she did eventually manage to do. Fortunately, I was already aware of her motives. It was a nasty situation.

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      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Most intriguing, I'm just glad I'm not in the work force now although I remember some Frenemy situations and you are spot on. Mind you Frenemies are out here lurking and ready to pounce. Great read, love the headings and pics, made me laugh too.

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      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Excellent take on human behavior and the "frenemy." We all have to put up with these types of people in the workplace and in the family. Your suggestions and tips for dealing with these types of people are good ones. I enjoyed reading this.

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      You nailed it again, Flourish. Those frenemies are far worse than an actual enemy, with their deception as your so-called friend! I can see them coming a mile away now. The ones that really get me are those who are new and for about six months to a year, they are Miss Wonderful, so friendly, go out of their way to befriend everyone and bring homemade desserts for every occasion and make a big deal out of everything and then ... POW ... the minute they gain your trust 100%, the backstabbing begins ... Lesson learned to not trust anyone until you have seen every aspect of their true colors. Great imagery here as always.

      Up and more, tweeting, pinning, googling and sharing

      Hope you are having a lovely Sunday

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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Love this flourish! lol! oh those darn frenemy's! I had one at my last office job, she was the bitch from hell! she was scary too, she used to come up to you, smile a sweet smile then out would come the barbs! Mind you I did meet one of my best friends at work so it does work both ways!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Sometimes we can be our own worst frenemy. Hmm. But that's fodder for another day. Have a great Sunday.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      If I come across a frenemy in the workplace it will have to be me. :) I have, however, had over twenty-five jobs in traditional workplaces, and I recognize the situations you mention. I sure don't miss it. :)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MartieCoetser - False friends are everywhere. We have to be on the lookout and know how to handle the scoundrels. Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Sunday.

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      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      Frenemy is about the perfect word, and they are everywhere, Excellent hub with excellent advice about false friends :)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      TotalHealth - I'm sorry that that's the case for you, but experience with these type of folks makes you wiser, doesn't it? You see them coming a little further off the next time. Some of them are really good at what they do. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Graham - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the drama.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      TotalHealth - Thank you for the feedback. It's best to back away and hope they set their sights on someone else.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Laura3335 - I have seen those work frenemies close up with my own eyes. Thanks for reading.

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      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      A great and interesting hub. Touching many bases and a different point of view. Well done.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

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      TotalHealth 3 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Hilarious hub! In particular, I enjoyed your choice of words for subheadings. Overall the content was on-spot and I speak from personal experience.

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      Laura Smith 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      This is so true it's scary.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jackie - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed reading. Have a great weekend.

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You really outdid yourself on this one; so thorough! I really enjoyed it! ^+

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Ologsinquito - Thank you! Enjoy your weekend!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MJ - It's funny how the obligation to show up to the same building five days a week and trade time, effort, and ideas for money is what binds us to people. In other contexts we may choose to actively avoid some of them, but at work, we're stuck and must make the best of it. Thanks for reading and for the kudos. Have a great weekend.

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      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      Hi FlourishAnyway, I always enjoy your perspective on things. This is another great one, which I'm sharing and pinning.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Tori - My experience is that they are very insecure people. It's good that you figured it out before she caused too much damage.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sunshine625 - Word usually gets around about those types, and it is very unfortunate for those who have to work shoulder to shoulder with them. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Marcy J. Miller 3 years ago from Arizona

      This article had me thinking of my many workplace colleagues and how many were actually "frenemies." In looking back, I think I always had a pretty good sense of who was an ally and who was an enemy so the lines weren't blurred. I used to watch how my co-workers treated others and could easily tell whether or not they were friend material. Thankfully, so many were. It's interesting how few I keep in touch with now, though -- it makes you realize that people whom you thought you had everything in common are often only bound to you by one common theme (often just the boundaries of the workplace). You did an excellent job pointing that out here!

      Very interesting subject, Flourish, and very thorough.

      Best -- Mj

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      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      Oh man, so much truth here! I had a frenemy at a previous job who was nice on the surface and then she turned around and would gossip about you yo everyone else. We all figured it out so we just learned to avoid her as much as possible. It's sad it had to be that way. Some people just need to let go of the high school drama!

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      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Awesome hub!! Luckily I haven't had too many frenemy's in my life...the ones I did encounter I avoid as much as possible. Ain't nobody got time for negativity... :)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thanks for stopping by. The monkey photo might be my favorite, as it captures the expression so well.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jodah - I think I need to get a voodoo doll myself. You know, just in case. Have a great weekend.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Heidi - You are fortunate indeed. Pychological issues often do undergird their trouble-filled behavior, and it can be tricky not to turn them into full fledged enemies. Fading rather than sudden maneuvers often work best, since you're stuck working alongside them. Heaven forbid should they become your boss one day. What a nightmare. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. Have a great weekend.

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      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Such true points, and I LOVE the way you illustrated each. Great job!

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I absolutely love this hub Flourish. It has everything, information, advice, great images.. And above all...it's funny. Your writing style just flows and keeps the reader engaged and your sense of humour helps to make a serious subject a pleasure to read. I have had a few frenemies at work, family, school and church. I need to get me one of those voodoo dolls. Voted way up. Have a good day.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Luckily, I can't recall having too many frenemies over the years in the workplace. If I did, I'm sure I'd remember!

      In addition to filling the frenemy role, these kinds of people often have other social problems such as narcissism and passive-aggressive behavior. Their issues are usually not just limited to the workplace either.

      Good tactics for dealing with these annoyances both on the job and off! Voted up, useful and sharing!

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