A person can be a friend who is there to help you or an enemy who wants to harm you, and sometimes, a person can be both a friend and an enemy. They are called your frenemy.
Everyone in your life has the potential to be your frenemy, regardless of who they are and the relationship that you have with them. You will never really know if your friend or family member is your frenemy until it's too late. The term frenemy can refer to an enemy pretending to be a friend, or a friend who is also a rival. It can also pertain to a friend, lover, or family member who at some point becomes your enemy. This person really wants nothing to do with you, or wishes to harm you in some way. The term can also apply to a person who flips back and forth between being your friend and being your enemy. First they are with you, and then they are against you. Sometimes it's easy to tell who is on your side and who isn't, but at other times it's difficult to tell one from the other. It might be on an issue as meaningless as a difference of option, or due to a disagreement, or because of a real betrayal of some kind. It could be the result of fear, or due to control or power, or for political reasons, etc. Then at some point, you make up and the relationship is good again, but just a short time later, something else happens, to damage the relationship again. The issues and reasons vary greatly between people. Sometimes the reason is more obvious and significant than at other times, and the consequences fluctuate accordingly. You might be surprised, but this kind of thing happens all the time between people, and in all types of situations and in all kinds of relationships. It is such a common occurrence between people that it probably happens to you or someone you know on a daily basis.
This is a difficult topic to write about, but understanding the concept of a frenemy is very important in maintaining a healthy state of social wellness, and because of that, it's worth exploring and talking about.
It's very difficult to accept the idea that everyone in your life has the potential to be your frenemy. This doesn't mean that everyone will turn against you, but it does mean that most people in your life will let you down or hurt you at some point. You may have something to do with causing or exacerbating problems, but regardless of why it happens, the fact remains that volatile relationships can cause havoc on your life, and that is very unfortunate. No one wants to hear this, or believe this, but we all need to know that everyone is capable of being your frenemy, regardless of who they are and your relationship with them. If you understand and believe this concept, you can learn to cope with these situations, and learn to manage your relationships with as little drama and problems as possible.
This is a very big issue that should be taken seriously and not overlooked. A frenemy can have big negative impact on your well-being and your life. Social wellness is an important part of living a happy and successful life, and it's already difficult enough and complex enough without adding the frenemy concept into the mix.
It's difficult enough to accept the idea that certain people don't care about you, or don't like you, but the idea that certain friends or family members could turn against you and become your enemy, is extremely difficult to accept, and I know that, because it's still very difficult for me to accept, and I've known about this for a very long time. Part of me stills wants to be in denial, and just pretend that it's not true. Can't we all just get along?
Accepting the concept that at any time someone could turn against you and become your enemy is frightening. Just the thought alone, can instill insecurities and unpleasant emotional feelings. To actually confront someone that you thought would never intentionally hurt you, can be a devastating experience, and it can turn your world upside down. Everyone reacts differently when this situation occurs. Your reaction often depends on how close the betrayer is to you, the betrayal itself, and how the results of this betrayal will affect you. Chances are that you've already experienced this type of confrontation and betrayal at some point in your life.
So who can I really trust so that this never happens to me? Problems associated with negative drama and with betrayal are extremely common between people, and relationships between people are very volatile, dynamic, and extremely fragile, and susceptible to all kinds of issues. So the answer is that you really can't totally avoid some type of betrayal if you're going to interact with people, but you can certainly be mindful of how you conduct yourself, and how others treat you. Just know that relationships are subject to change, and that you should do everything in your power to keep things respectful and cordial with those that you come in contact with. Consider not being to needy with people. Don't always tell others your feelings, opinions or your secrets. This exposes your weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Once you let your vulnerabilities out, you can't take them back and pretend like it never happened, so be careful of what you say and how you say it. The trick is to talk, but avoid certain topics or making certain negative comments that can get you in trouble. It's not worth it, and you'll probably regret it afterwards.
Of course you should get involved in the conversation, but you don't need to be in control, and if you're shy, be passive and submissive. Try to avoid the need to control a situation or another person. This doesn't mean that you should let people take advantage or walk all over you, but how you react will directly impact the outcome of the experience. Try to stay somewhere in the middle, where you're comfortable and involved, but without getting into trouble.
So how do people react to the idea that anyone can be their frenemy? Well, a common first reaction to this concept is that it could happen never happen to me. Another common response is to think that your friends and family members would never turn against you, and conversely, that your enemies will never be your friends.
After thinking about this for a while, you might conclude that indeed there could be a few friends and family members that might turn, but certainly not all of them. Well unfortunately, social interactions and relationships are dynamic and very volatile, and because of this, relationships and interactions are subject to change without notice. In other words, most people can and will change their decisions, perceptions, and attitudes when under certain circumstances and conditions.
We all have internal boundary lines that we feel another person should never cross. So if someone crosses one of these lines, a flag goes up and we feel anger, hurt, fear, frustration, or disappointment. Since relationships are fragile, they should be treated with care and respect by all parties involved. Otherwise, all kinds of things can happen.
The rule is that people have many layers and dimensions to their personality and that they are capable of change. Yes, some people are very stable, loyal, and consistent, but it's human nature to change because of wants and needs. People will also change depending on the situation, and their experiences and expectations. We can also add the fear and greed factors into the equation, and to make matters worse, everyone is dysfunctional in some way. It's not whether a person is dysfunctional, but rather what their dysfunction is, how often they become dysfunctional, and how bad their dysfunction is.
Things change and people change. This doesn't mean that everyone will turn against you in the future. Not at all. In fact, you might be one of the lucky ones who has an abundance of loyal and trustworthy friends and family members who will love and support you throughout your entire life. If this is true, then God has indeed blessed you.
For most people however, it's probably safe to assume that they will experience a mixture of friends, enemies, and frenemies throughout their lifetime.
Unfortunately, the raw truth is that anyone can turn against you at any time, for any reason, without any notice or warning. And to further complicate matters, anyone is also capable of turning towards being on your side, your special "friend". You never know, the two of you could remain good friends for the rest of your life but on the other hand, you might not.
But what can I do to avoid the problem and stop people from flipping on me?
If you socially interact with people, you really can't avoid it or stop someone from turning or flipping on you one way or another. It's part of the dynamics when people get together. It's an unfortunate but normal occurrence that happens all over the world, in all societies, throughout history. delete- redundant
So what do I do when a person that I trust and care about does something to hurt me?
Well a lot has to do with who the person is and what they did. If you care about the person and they did something that will be unimportant or insignificant a year from now, then don't do anything and try to forget about it. But If problems with that person continue to occur and become chronic, you need to do something to stop or minimize the person from doing it. This may include not socializing or interacting with that person. You might be able to change your environment and the situations where you need to interact with that person. You will have to weigh how chronic and how serious the problems is.
In situations where someone does something really hurtful and/or damaging to you, you need to take stock on the seriousness of the situation and the impact it has on you. Take the time to make sure you are clear about what happened and the role that you played throughout the relationship. Do not dismiss or discount your involvement and participation. Consider all the facts including other people's point of view before firming up any conclusions that you may have.
So can I change someone else?
No, not really, but you can change yourself and possibly manipulate others into changing themselves on some level. A person can change under certain circumstances or if they choose to, but you will probably never be able to truly change someone's core personality. It's usually way too much effort and disappointment, with little result. That is just the way they, are so learn to identify, accept, and work around their personality instead of trying to change them.
Why would someone hurt my feelings or want to hurt me?
Don't be surprised when people let you down. Everyone has imperfections and dysfunctions of one kind or another, and they can't even fulfill their own expectations, wants, and needs; so how are they going to fulfill your expectations, wants, and needs. It's you who has to expect less from people, and give more.
You can be hurt and betrayed, but you are also capable of hurting and betraying someone that you care about. You need to make sure that you are not saying or doing things that hurts someone else.
You might think that you are always the victim and that you're perfect in every way, but before you decide, take some time to get to know yourself both inside and out, analyze your strengths and weaknesses as well as your dysfunctions and unrealistic expectations, in order to make sure that you're not causing problems and drama for someone else.
What can I do to protect myself from someone else hurting me?
It's nearly impossible to completely protect yourself from the possibility of someone else hurting you if you interact with people. It's simply a matter of time before someone lets you down or hurts you in some way. But, there are many things that you can do to minimize the drama and the various problems associated with interacting with people. Most of the actions that you can take will have to do with your behavior, your reactions, the people that you associate with, and your environment. But remember to look to yourself first, before trying to change everything else.
Some things to note
Be independent: Being independent is freedom and being dependent is slavery. Be independent and self-sufficient in all aspects of your life for as long as you can.
The more you depend on others, the more you risk being disappointed and hurt by them.
Don't be needy: If you're needy, you are perceived as weak, and this makes you susceptible to being hurt and betrayed by others.
The more you need attention, affection, reassurance and people to say and do things for you, the more vulnerable and susceptible you are to being hurt and betrayed by them.
Respect and value others: Respect and value has a lot to do with how you treat people and how people in turn treat you. If you respect and value a person, you'll treat them differently than you would if you don't. The same thing applies to how someone will treat you back. You'll know if a person respects and values you by the way they treat you. People need to earn respect, but value someone for being a good person, and not for what they are worth to you or everyone else.
Be strong: People tend to take advantage of those they believe are weak or stupid. And often, people mistake niceness and kindness for weakness and stupidity. So be kind to people, but don't be a pushover. That is just asking for trouble.
Stay focused: It's only when you lose your focus, that you become more vulnerable. When your vulnerabilities show, people might take advantage of you.
Filter your actions and responses: Remain comfortable and loose, but filter your actions and what you say and how you say them. Once you do or say something, you really can't take it back.
Be independent: Everything matters when it comes to relationships, so expect nothing but the unexpected, and owe nothing to anyone. Be neither a borrower nor a lender. It is a sure road to making an enemy and getting all the problems that come with it. Being independent is freedom and dependence is slavery, so try to be as independent as possibly for as long as you can.
Don't try to impress: Don't feel that you have to consistently impress and entertain another person in order to show your self worth. That will surely show your insecurities and weaknesses instead of your strengths.
Remember that social wellness is a lifelong work in progress that's nearly impossible to master, but certainly worth trying. People are capable of giving you the best and the worst times of your life, so keep learning and tweaking your social wellness skills.