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Friend or Enemy?
Monday, February 26, 2007
Author: Michael Douglas

You have often wondered how she manages to get the better of you most of the time. She gives you such strong toxic vibes that it puts a chemical factory to shame. She can be your next-door neighbour, a work colleague or even a 'supposed' friend. Welcome to the world of the friendly enemy or a 'frenemy'.

Professional pest...
You will encounter her at your work place. She is the beauty with brains who knows her way up the corporate ladder. No. matter how much you try, she is a step ahead of you professionally. You come up with a bright idea and before you tell your boss about it, she has not only had a brainstorming session with him, but has also started working on the concept. You can't wage a war on her, as this will further sour things. "Whenever she was better, I picked up my socks and worked harder. But when the negativity became too obvious to overlook, I amiably discussed it. If the issue had escalated, I would have approached my boss," says, Debra Hamer, group leader with a software company, on experiencing a 'frenemy' at 'her work place.

Social snoot...
She may be a common friend, husband's friend or your next-door neighbour. Her parties are inevitably better than yours and she is the better turned out at common social events. And to add insult to injury, she snubs you all the time, makes nasty comments and tries her best to tarnish your image. But since she is a part of your social circle, picking a fight would only create a bad impression about you! "I keep minimum conversation and have managed to develop a strong immunity towards her caustic remarks. And when it gets too much to handle, I give her a taste of her own medicine," opines actress Angie Hason.

Familial bond...
A part of the family tree, she may be your cousin, or your husband's relative or some obscure relative of your mother-in-law. At every family gathering, she is the centre af attention because of her pompous jewellery. To top it all, she bad-mouths about your housekeeping skills to every living relative. But inspite of all this, you have to put up with her sugar-coated dagger of words as you can't afford to displease your family. Says Shaina N.C., fashion designer and politician, "I avoid the person and appear magnanimous about it. Even then, if she is saying not-so-nice things behind my back, I don't go justifying myself."

Winning a lost battle...
Though it may be painful, try to see what you stand to gain from a toxic relationship like this. Instead of being bogged down by the negativity, take it as a boost to be a better individual. Healthy competition drives you to perform better and you can put this to good use. Don't take a remark absolutely verbatim. Before fretting over it, review it thoroughly to see if it holds some truth. If it does, then instead of feeling bogged down, take it as a learning opportunity for self-improvement. At work, if your 'frenemy' comes up with a good concept or idea, don't feel that you are a loser. Instead of trying to score over her, accept her competence. The mantra is to believe that both of you can come up with equally good ideas. Friends who tend to put you down are actually the ones who are suffering from insecurities. This should make you feel all the more confident about yourself.

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posted by Ladybird @ 10:40 PM  
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