- They always talk down your achievements and aspirations You’re never quite good enough, you always could have done better and they tell you to be “realistic”.
- They’re constantly competing with you ‘If you get a nice car, they’ll get a nicer one’ (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk) If you get a car, then they will. If you get a nice car, they’ll get a nicer one. They’ll even go as far as comparing salaries with you. I knew someone who, for every success one of our friends had, would have a clapback for a similar piece of success that’s better than theirs. We’re friends, not competition.
3. They don’t support you and instead try to divert the attention away from you Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, company for an event you’ve asked them to come to or genuine advice, they just can’t provide it. Instead, they’re always vying for attention from mutual friends, maybe even your significant other. They’ll do what they can to take the spotlight from you. The conversation is always about them and they brag everything. I had a friend like this where you could not get a word in edgeways. Before you could finish a sentence they would cut you off and always talk about their latest squeeze, their latest salary increase, their latest purchase. It was never-ending. They just have to let you know about the latest happenings in their life no matter how small. In the hope that the brightness of their success will dim the light of yours.
- They’re surprised when you are genuinely happy for them Because you’re a true friend you’re happy for them when they are happy. Because they’re not the same for you, they seem surprised when you share their elation. They’re thinking, how can this be? For example, a former friend of mine reached a certain milestone in their life ahead of me. I was so thrilled for them because that’s my buddy and any success is a shared success. They actually said the words to me: ‘Aww Funmi, I can see you’re genuinely happy for me, thank you so much.’ Erm.. what? Why wouldn’t I be? If I wasn’t, what kind of friend would I be? Their surprise at me, surprised me.
They’re waiting for your downfall ‘I had a frenemy who actively tried to split myself and a boyfriend up’ (Illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk) Because of their insecurity, they inwardly smile to themselves when they hear you have a setback. Anything to reduce the feeling of jealousy they feel towards you. They might even plot your downfall. I had a frenemy who actively tried to split myself and a boyfriend up. I couldn’t see it at the time because I refused to believe a friend would stab me in the back. I later found out it was because she wanted him for herself.
If that’s not a frenemy, I don’t know what is. So how do you deal with a jealous friend? You have two options. You either put up with it and watch the frenemy-ship slowly sap the life out of you or you decide enough is enough. So stop telling them stuff: information about your life is like a power source for their jealousy. Stop telling them about what you’re getting up to, who you’re hanging with, your achievements. Distance yourself and let the phone calls get less, let the meet-ups get less.
You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. And then cut them off. If they don’t get the hint by this stage, you may have to have a frank conversation with them about the end of the friendship. Your peace of mind and ability to trust other genuine friends in your life is more important than keeping a toxic friendship.