How to Spot a Frenemy at Work

The world of work can be quite strange. You have peers of all kinds; some are normal people, others are a bit crazy.

These are however routine matters and should not bother you a lot. It is natural that you befriend some while keep your distance with others. Unfortunately, there are always people who are apparently your friends and well wishers but actually are stabbing you in the back. These are commonly known as frenemies. They will try to take advantage of you and use you as a ladder for their personal success. Beware of these and know how to spot one.


  • 1

    The Start

    A frenemy will appear to be the kindest person in the world from the onset. He or she will try to help you out right away from the very start of your job. This person will appear to be a selfless saint with no personal agendas. Now it’s not that every nice person is a backstabber but one needs to be careful in this situation.

    It is better to be cautious as office politics are really cruel and hurtful.

  • 2


    Criticism can be constructive or it can be aimed for the sake of itself. A frenemy will generally not criticise you and will praise your work when people are not around. However, he or she is likely going to pass a slightly negative or critical comment just when people who matter are around. This will most likely be about the work you have just done. The explanation will most likely be it was needed for the organisation or I don’t want you to get in trouble because of our friendship.

  • 3


    Such a person is likely going to spread rumours about you. This can be done in various ways and he/she  may even do it in front of you, acting to be funny. Be careful when you share secrets with anyone at work as you do not want it to be the butt of all jokes at your work place.

  • 4

    Making You Work for Them

    Such a person may make you do his/ her work or ask for your work to be handed over to the bosses as theirs, since a deadline was about to be missed.

    When it comes to credit taking, he or she will probably brag in front of the whole office and sing his/her own praise, easily forgetting that you played a big role in that work.

    Such a person may even take a shot at you in guise of a light hearted banter about your work. Be very careful from such people.

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