Having frenemies in your life can be very complex, but when you work with them, it can be downright arduous. A frenemy is someone with whom you have a friendly rapport yet you both dislike each other. So what can you do to make working with your frenemy bearable? Here are five calm ways to handle your frenemies at work.
1. Keep your project ideas to yourself
If you feel that your frenemy might steal your project ideas and gain credit for themselves, then you should definitely not share your ideas with anyone until the time is right. Present your project ideas during a meeting or just with your boss and no one else. Even sharing your ideas with whom you think is your friend might backfire when they let the idea slip and your frenemy hears it. Be cautious with what you share.
2. Do not gossip
Keep your opinions about your frenemy to yourself. Spreading gossip about anyone only leads to some type of devastation whether it be physical, social, or emotional, and it could lead to serious consequences depending on how the gossip is perceived and by whom. If your boss gets wind of your damaging words, it might end up costing you in some way. Just do not do it. It is so not worth it.
3. Do not feed the fire
Feeding the fire is done in several ways. Gossip, like mentioned above, can add fuel to the flame. Competition can be a good thing as it might help you improve yourself, but it can also be very destructive if it gets out of hand. Losing your temper when a conflict arises, might come back to burn you.
Words said in anger can often times not be taken back. Retaliating is another way to feed the fire. If you have been burned by your frenemy, do not try to get back at them. The fire will never stop if the two of you retaliate against each other every time there is a problem.
4. Check yourself
Take a look at yourself and see if there is anything you are doing that might be adding to the problem. What can you do to improve your behavior with your frenemy? Maybe you will see that if your behavior changes, you could actually have a relationship that is not about competition or destroying each other.
5. Be professional
As always, handle yourself in a professional manner. If you choose to confront your frenemy, do it in private rather in front of others. Again, do not gossip. Gossip is never professional. Be kind with your words or do not say anything at all. If it comes down to it, walk away from or avoid your frenemy to avoid any further issues.
You have the control over how you handle your work frenemy. Ensuring that your behavior is not complicating matters first and then being a professional at all times will make working with your frenemy much more tolerable and pleasant. Please share your ideas you have about dealing with an enemy at work. There are no frenemies here.