- Gender and Relationships»
How To Share Mutual Friends With An Enemy
"Frenemies." Not your kind of Mean Girls definition of someone who you pretend to like but really, you both know you hate each other. I mean "frenemy" as in someone who used to be your friend until some unforgivable drama ensued, or an acquaintance you don't like and everyone knows it. Unfortunately you share the same social circles and have the unfortunate privilege of bumping into each other more often than you'd like.
So your frenemy has the same friends you do, and you are faced with the task of adjusting your social life to avoid running into them. Jealousy wells up inside you as you realize that you are not invited to certain get-togethers because she or he happened to be invited first. Sometimes you ask a friend to hang out, but too late--they had already made plans with your rival. You suck it up and take a rain check.
But no! There has to be a way to coexist in this world with your frenemy. How?
1) GROW UP. You have to be mature about this and stop thinking that you have to "share" your friends with the person you dislike. Your friends are your friends. If they are unavailable to hang out with you, find another time. If you are invited to the same event as your frenemy, do yourself a favor and be civil to that person. Say "hi" and move on. It may be awkward for the first few minutes but if you accept their presence and they accept yours, you can both have a good time without actually worrying about each other. They're not going anywhere, so why should you?
2) HANG IN THERE. Don't retreat from your friends because they like to hang out with your enemy. Just do your best to make your own plans with them. If you keep running into the person you dislike and it really bothers you, then find a good time to talk to your friends and let them know that it really makes you uncomfortable to be around that person. Tell them you don't expect them to "manage" their time between you and the other person--there will be times where you can't avoid each other--but it would be nice to hang out some times without worrying about your nemesis.
3) DON'T JUDGE. Or if you have an opinion about your frenemy, keep it yourself. Be a better person and don't talk smack about them to your friends. You really should have better things to spend your time and energy on. Honestly, you and your enemy are probably more alike than you'd like to admit, and you wouldn't want THEM talking about YOU now would you? So just shut up and let it go.
4) If your enemy is your ex...BE STRONG. Your friends know better than to put you two in the same room together if it can be avoided. In the meantime, you both invested relationships with the same people, so just accept that your friends will be spending time with you as well as your ex and that's just the way it's going to be. Do your best to focus on yourself and what you are doing with your life instead of worrying about what the other person is up to. Try to expand your social circle and hang out with other people as well--finding new things to do and other people to do them with will enrich your life and make you new friends--ones you won't have to worry about "sharing".
5) KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Cliché, but this really is the answer to any problem. And anyway, do you really want to be that person who has enemies? Whatever wrong-doings or offenses anyone had toward you, get over it. If it's hard for you to let go of grudges, then FAKE IT 'TIL YOU MAKE IT. Always focus on the bright side of things, laugh often, and soon enough you won't be bothered by the people you considered your "enemy".
Think of your friends: what you love about them, why they care about you, all the memories you have together. Promise yourself that you will continue be a good friend to them even though they are also friends with your "enemy". Never be quick to burn bridges; pettiness will only get you loneliness. Smile and know that your friendships are special. Each relationship you have with a friend is unique and it's yours to keep.