Blog Emotions are our 'Frenemies'​

Emotions are our 'Frenemies'​


friend (noun) : a favoured you spend time with...

enemy (noun) : one that is antagonistic to another especially : one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent

frenemy (noun) : one who's become a favoured way of familiarity, frequency of meetings....but is actually not good for you.

When describing people as frenemies psychologist Melanie Schilling says, "Often they are charading as a friend so they might be showing some behaviours that are supportive and friend-like but what's underlying is all negative stuff. They could be undermining you, sabotaging you, they could be jealous of you or don't believe in you. Whatever form it takes, there's a negative attitude underlying their behaviour."

And this easily applies to all our emotions!

It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it?

Fear is one of the biggest frenemy one can have. This is a strong base emotion that creates other feelings such as anxiousness, worry, nervousness, rejection and more. (Plutchik's wheel of emotion explains this really well)

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In 'friend' mode - fear exists to help you identify danger and threat (eg if a lion had to walk into your room now) so that you can take action for survival.

In enemy mode - fear can also bring up all sorts of possible scenarios in your mind that stops you from making progress. All of these are from memories of previous experiences in your life that are keeping you safe guarded.

So how do you spot a 'frenenemy emotion' or a frenemotion one in the first place?

The first thing is to take a step back...zoom out, The best indicators come from view the whole event or situation from a distance.

When you spend time with this 'friend' self coach yourself.

Ask yourself, 'how do I feel ? Do I feel energised, supported and motivated about life? Or do a I feel a bit drained, defensive and self protective?'

As Melanie Schilling also says, "often you can't put your finger on it but you will come away from an encounter wondering why you're feeling a bit fragile or vulnerable or defensive"

These put-downs are just to keep you in your comfort zone and not take action towards the result you desire.

It's a really good self-awareness exercise.

Once you're starting to notice those things, you will be able to find what is most ecological way for you to make progress, despite the fear.


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