It’s Not You, It’s Them: 11 Frenemies You Should Dump Today


May 13, 2013   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Relationships are an accumulation of life’s continuous serendipity, but friendships are intentional.

We choose to let others influence us, and we rely on them to provide modeling, mentorship, and assistance.

But what if those friends actually did more harm than good?

Those are called “frenemies.” These people wreck your mood, kill your productivity, and complicate your life.

Some have bad intentions, while others are clueless about their negative effects.

Whether these toxic influences are sabotaging you intentionally or not, identifying and removing them from your life can dramatically improve your health, wealth, and general well-being.

11 Frenemies You Should Dump, Right Now
  1. Needy Nancy: She is constantly insecure about “us” and needs frequent reinforcement that you are still friends. If more than a week goes by without a coffee, lunch, or long chat, things get awkward fast. Real friendships are a two-way street, and Nancy is always driving in the same direction.
  2. Competitive Charlie: He wants what you have, and he’s watching to see what “edge” he can get. Everything is a contest, and he’s more interested in getting ahead than supporting your successes. Realize that he doesn’t have your back — and you shouldn’t have his.
  3. Debbie Downer: Life sucks and she knows it. The glass is always half-empty, people are inherently evil, and nothing can change her mind. Be careful — Debbie will wet your blanket before long.
  4. Broadway Bob: If he were a play or movie, it would certainly be classified as a drama. Just when sailing gets smooth, controversy strikes, and he always seems to be involved. It usually starts with a “Did you hear?” or “As a friend, I just wanted to let you know….” Life doesn’t have to be that complicated.
  5. Networkin’ Noreen: She is always slingin’ cards and hustling for “bidness.” Your friendship is measured by what you can do for her. No matter the topic of conversation, her services take center stage, and she’s always angling for a good introduction. This is a pseudo friendship of convenience, so start making it inconvenient.
  6. Listless Larry: You’re pretty sure he’s not a zombie, though his life is completely devoid of ambition, purpose, or anything meaningful. He doesn’t believe in much and judges anyone who’s “involved.” Unless you, too, want to float through life with little more than some old records and a lifetime supply of Funyuns, steer clear.
  7. Judge Jacky: Life is her courtroom, and everyone is the accused. No one is ever smart enough, good-looking enough, rich enough, or Christian enough to meet her standards. Unless you love being the defendant, I suggest you let court recess.
  8. Flaky McFlakerson: He’s consistently inconsistent. Forty percent of the time, he shows up every time. You now expect a last-minute “something came up” and a constant barrage of poorly designed excuses. Friendship is about reliability, and this guy is your 1983 Yugo.
  9. Climbing Carey: No matter what or who stands in her way, she is moving on up. Her past is laden with “former friends” who became collateral damage. When she condescendingly talks about having kids in “like 10 years,” you get the feeling she might eat her own young. Back away slowly before you get sacrificed on her career altar.
  10. Devilish Don: While he has three kids, a beautiful wife, a good job, and an enviable golf swing, Don wants more. People “take themselves too seriously.” He’s all about “getting wasted,” hitting on the cart girl, and talking crap about his “worthless” wife. It’s best to leave that party before his values get you into trouble.
  11. Groupie Gail: She’s your biggest fan. She always “likes,” retweets, and congratulates. Need her opinion? She waffles until finding the response that pleases you the most. While she makes you feel great temporarily, Gail dangerously distorts reality. Real friends challenge and debate with transparency. Unless you need your pillow fluffed, I’d suggest leaving Gail at the next tour stop.
The “Average of Five” Rule

The “Average of Five” rule states that you are an average of your five closest friends.

I’ve found it to be surprisingly accurate, and the company you keep is a good indication of the person you will become.

Surround yourself with people whose traits you admire, and prepare to soak up their positive, productive, and healthy influence.

Written on 5/13/2013 by Brent Beshore. Brent Beshore is the founder and CEO of (#28 on 2011 Inc. 500), which identifies problems to tackle and looks for those who share their passion to create change. He is also a venture partner at Gen Y Capital, a regular contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post, and Washington Post, and a runner-up in the 2011 VH1 Do Something Awards (lost to Lady Gaga) for his work in helping his hometown of Joplin, Mo., recover from the devastating tornado. Connect with Brent on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Photo Credit

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