Free Yourself from The Frenemy Within: Part 2
Keith Major

Discover Your Worth! “Is everything okay?” she asked. My chest tightened and my breathing quickened. It was the moment I had been waiting for…the moment I needed. Here was the chance to let someone else into my pain and maybe get some help. As she waited for my response, I hesitated—weighing my options. Choosing vulnerability would open me up to judgment. But the illusion of self-confidence that I craved above all else, required that I lie. Though I needed it, I rejected the shoulder of support that I was offered. At least for another day, I chose to keep facing my problems alone.

One of the hazards of my “going it alone”—and avoiding pain—was the frenemy behavior I discussed in last week’s article, “Free Yourself From the Frenemy Within.” Emotionally speaking, I was afraid to put any skin in the game when it came to my friendships. Like a pharmacist doles out prescriptions, I dispensed affection—in careful, measured doses. Withholding praise somehow made me feel in control.

Thankfully, those who love me called me out on my mess. When confronted about the meanness and smallness I sometimes displayed, I tried to downplay it. But unable to run from the truth my friends lovingly showed me, I gradually—with pain—changed. If our “inner me” is a frenemy, here are some helpful strategies:

1. Own up to our issues! Time can create layers in our emotions. We develop them to protect ourselves because the truth can seem too painful. Feeling unworthy of what I wanted, I feared being “left behind” by my friends.  When feelings surfaced, I buried rather than addressed them. Distancing myself from my initial emotions made it easier to lie about the real issues. Solution: Make a habit of questioning and journaling your emotions immediately!

2. Learn to celebrate ourselves—then others! Frenemies only know their value in crisis. We engage in frenemy behavior because we fail to understand the role and deep bonds of connection that can be created during times of celebration. This is rooted in the fact that most frenemies spend too much time indulging their “inner critic,” so they are unskilled at, or incapable of, celebrating themselves—and others—when the need arises. Solution: If you’ve recognized that you only show up for others during a crisis, become intentional about offering praise and well wishes over the everyday things. Also, take time to celebrate your small victories. The practice of celebrating yourself—and others—will change your character.

3. Show ourselves friendly! Most frenemies have very few friends. So they drain their relationships with an unspoken neediness that causes them to make fast friendships that sputter out quickly. As strange as it may sound, practice being a friend. Solution: Purpose to spend quality time with different people. As you learn to give and get value from your relationships, you will be more respectful of others doing the same.

Do Your Work! As we continue to celebrate International Women’s Friendship Month, act on this week’s tips. Purpose to share a current struggle with a friend and force yourself to be honest when answering their questions. At least twice this week, celebrate yourself and someone else. It can be as small as offering a well-deserved compliment. Finally, schedule time with a new friend each week this month. It can be as simple as a walk in the park—just take the time for friendship outside of a crisis!

Define Your Wealth! Affirm out loud, “I am a loyal, faithful and loving friend. I invest in my friendships by investing in myself.”

Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH.  Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.