That Frienemy Phenomenon

Oh look!  I just used a cutesy term!  That sends chills down my spine but 'frienemy' is the best way to encapsulate 'friend who ding-dong-ditches you in the name of money and freelancing and gets away with it because you're so idiotically trusting!'
I hate long headlines.

This kind of friend is the one who gives you a project in the guise of 'helping you out'.  Then, while you're whistling happily, your trust in full throttle, your friend yanks the rug from under you, stabs you in the back, and leaves you for dead.  Overdramatically speaking.

She's a user, abuser, and you never saw that side of her coming.  Because... she's a friend.  In fact, you gave her all the wiggle room you wouldn't normally give your other clients:  rushing you to the point of murder, going beyond 3 revisions without extra charge, doing redirections without renegotiations, no downpayment upon initial submission. 
When she's finally milked you dry, she disappears into the night at the very minute you send your billing statement.  She's not returning calls, replying to emails, texting back, no nothing --for almost 2 years!  Until yesterday, when one of her peons called to inform you --with a load of BS to boot-- that you're not getting paid at all.
Hah!  There is is -- massive friendship FAIL!

Is there a Band-aid solution to this.  Nothing.  It goes into a folder in a musty file cabinet labeled 'Lesson Learned'.  Deleting her from your phone's contacts, FB, Twitter --maybe from your whole life!-- may help.  A little.

Is there a way to avoid the Frienemy Phenomenon?  Yes.  When a friend comes to you as a client, treat her LIKE a client.  With all the paperwork, with all your freelancing terms and conditions, with all the professionalism.  You can still be friendly, of course.  But give leeway you can live with.  Keep this in mind:  You can only be abused when you allow it.
She may laugh at you for being so by-the-book, but just laugh with her.  Business IS business.

Lastly, do be skeptic.  Most friends are true, but some can prove to be shady when it comes to money matters.  The root of evil has always been the true test of friendship, and all is fair in love and rakets.


  1. Hey Karen: I always tell this to friends I do business with: "I don't want our friendship to be ruined by money issues so we need to settle this and agree on this upfront." That way, he/she knows you mean business. We're friends but I need to feed a family.

    And also I learned that money is not the root of all evil --- it's the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil. Money is not bad; it's the love of it that drives men to sin.

    Stay safe.


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