The Daily Stoic for October 18th, “Frenemies”.
“There’s nothing worse than a wolf befriending sheep. Avoid false friendship at all costs. If you are good, straightforward, and well meaning it should show in your eyes and not escape notice.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.15
We all know someone we considered a friend, but turned out it wasn’t. Someone that failed us when we needed them most. Someone who was nice and kind to our faces, but criticized -or even betrayed- us behind our backs.
However, today’s stoic ask us for the opposite exercise. Think on those situations when we were frenemies of somebody. When we lied, or were false with the people we were supposed to be friends with.
I did that exercise some time ago. As you may know, my parents got married again recently, inviting most of their friends. A couple in particular were old friends, not just with my father and mother, but with me too, from a very long time…
… Only, I was never really their friend. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they have a very negative attitude towards life that really clashes with me. One of them in particular has a very dark attitude towards things. He shared suicide videos with me, or used to always be complaining about immigrants, or just talking negatively about everything.
Look For Real Friendships, Stop Being a Frenemy
I was not comfortable with them, especially with him. She was a kind person, but we don’t actually have anything in common. You know this saying: You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with”.
I kind of “inherited” this friendship from my parents, but I was not really their friend. I was a frenemy, because after meeting them, I would feel bad and would say things that I wouldn’t dare to say in front of them.
So one day I decided to let them go. I didn’t say anything rude or awkward, but I kind of made clear that I could not hang out with them any longer. It was difficult, but I think it was the best decision for both. For me, because I was able to spend my time with people I feel more comfortable with. And for them, because they would be able to spend theirs with a real friend.
We both win.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Frenemies”, ask us to consider the times we’ve been false to people that were supposed to be our friends, stop being frenemies with others and instead, look for real friendships.