Frenemy in the Workplace: 5 Warning Signs - ToughNickel - Money
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Frenemy in the Workplace: 5 Warning Signs

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Reader Poll

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."

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.
  • 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.

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
  • 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.

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.

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.

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
  • 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!

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.

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.

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.

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/.

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

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 05, 2015:

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

Yves on January 05, 2015:

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 (author) from USA on January 05, 2015:

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 (author) from USA on January 05, 2015:

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

Yves on January 05, 2015:

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.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on January 05, 2015:

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 (author) from USA on November 06, 2014:

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

ologsinquito from USA on November 06, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on September 07, 2014:

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

Jim from Kansas on September 07, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on September 06, 2014:

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.

Rebecca from USA on September 06, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on July 11, 2014:

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 from India on July 10, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on July 01, 2014:

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

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 01, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 25, 2014:

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 Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on June 25, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 22, 2014:

KoffeeKlatch Gals - I appreciate the compliment!

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on June 22, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 19, 2014:

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.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on June 19, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 15, 2014:

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

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 14, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 14, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 14, 2014:

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

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 14, 2014:

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

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 13, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 12, 2014:

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

Helen Blocker-Adams from Augusta, Georgia on June 12, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 11, 2014:

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

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 10, 2014:

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

Judy Specht from California on June 10, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 10, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 10, 2014:

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 from Atlanta on June 10, 2014:

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 from Texas on June 10, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 10, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 10, 2014:

electronician - They are usually master tricksters.

Dean Walsh from Birmingham, England on June 09, 2014:

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

Deborah Sexton on June 09, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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

Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on June 09, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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 (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

Audrey - Thanks for the compliment and for reading.

Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on June 09, 2014:

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.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on June 09, 2014:

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.

Audrey Howitt from California on June 09, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 09, 2014:

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!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on June 09, 2014:

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!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 09, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2014:

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

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 08, 2014:

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.

Shelley Watson on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

Jen Hendrickson from Wichita, Kansas on June 08, 2014:

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.

Better Yourself from North Carolina on June 08, 2014:

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!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

NathaNater on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

lovedoctor926 on June 08, 2014:

Good words of wisdom. I have bookmarked this gem,

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on June 08, 2014:

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.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on June 08, 2014:

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.

travmaj from australia on June 08, 2014:

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.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 08, 2014:

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.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 08, 2014:

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

Nell Rose from England on June 08, 2014:

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!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 08, 2014:

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. :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on June 08, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 08, 2014:

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

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on June 07, 2014:

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

Voted up and all.

Graham.

TotalHealth from Hermosa Beach, CA on June 07, 2014:

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

Laura Smith from Pittsburgh, PA on June 07, 2014:

This is so true it's scary.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 07, 2014:

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

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 07, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 07, 2014:

Ologsinquito - Thank you! Enjoy your weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 07, 2014:

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.

ologsinquito from USA on June 07, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 07, 2014:

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

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 07, 2014:

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!

Marcy J. Miller from Arizona on June 07, 2014:

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

Tori Canonge from North Carolina on June 07, 2014:

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!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on June 07, 2014:

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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