Stay away from the 'frenemies'

Stay away from the 'frenemies'

As can be quite easily deduced, the word ‘frenemy’ is a portmanteau for ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’. Though this word appeared in print as early as 1953, it has perhaps gained wider relevance in today’s context. The word refers to friendships that are actually veiled enmities, something that in fact we observe quite frequently now-a-days.
Just like every other relationship, friendship too has undergone a drastic change in its meaning and implications for the youngsters of the current age. Today, in most instances, it has gone beyond the ideals of selflessness, unconditional love and concern and being inseparable entities. It now has come to include feelings of disguised ego clashes, a sense of competition/rivalry, jealousy etc. So much so that, teens and ‘tweens’ often confess that at the end of a day, when they contemplate over the time they have spent with their friends, they are more perturbed by a general feeling of negativity rather than a mutually beneficial, healthy interaction, on most occasions.
Why is this so?? Why has friendship become more of a façade, a pretence, than an actually affectionate bonding enriched with authentic feelings from both sides? Our quota of “friends” perhaps has increased, thanks to the social networking sites, but the distances between the people connected by a virtual medium, have definitely widened. It is perhaps a sort of prestige issue that compels us to put up an appearance of popularity, and thus we deliberately attempt to give an impression that we get along with everyone. It is an illusion that is slowly assuming a gigantic stature, so much so that it has come to acquire an epidemic status. We’re all out there deceiving ourselves that we have innumerable friends to hang out with, while consciously blinding ourselves to the fact that perhaps we’ll have no one to fall back on, when the going gets rough.
How does it help to have someone around us who acts like a friend, but actually we cannot trust them, despite wanting to? What if they make us feel worse while pretending to comfort us in times of distress?? Such people are definitely not our friends, however, they cannot be labelled as enemies either. The fake smiles, half-lies, artificial show of care and support are not exactly qualities than an enemy would show. But actually, frenemies are much more harmful than enemies. Apart from being master manipulators, they stoop low enough to show qualities such as being in a constant state of competition with us about almost everything, be it material possessions, grades, or anything else; they will be around only when they need something, and their praises and appreciations are often concealed insults.
Life is too short to waste our emotions on relationships that are more full of malice than warmth, and too precious to be invested in people who secretly wish ill for us. Emotions should rather be centered around a few people who actually care. Friends after all define who we are. They should enrich our being and not erode our souls. Superficial friendships, or rather ‘frenemity’ simply breeds love-hate feelings, which lead to nowhere. It is much better to keep safe distance from such people and surround ourselves with those who may not be our best friends always, but are decent people who don't harbour malice and hostile feelings for us behind our backs.

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