She always adds a “but…”
She compliments your new car, freshly painted bedroom, and adorable rescue puppy, and then routinely follows up with a caveat that brings it down a notch: “But, you should have gotten a sunroof,” “But green is the Zen color for bedrooms,” or “What about all that shedding?” “Criticism is a slow but steady poison for any close relationship,” says Jared DeFife, PhD, a psychologist based on Atlanta, Georgia. “But so is bending yourself out of shape trying to constantly win the approval of others.” If your frenemy frequently offers these mixed compliments, you can try to address the problem, but she may not be able to fix it. “You might need to set some boundaries and share your good news with friends who will amplify your joy instead of smothering it under a wet blanket of constant criticism,” DeFife says.
She never calls or invites you out
Remember when you were younger and you’d talk to your friends on the phone for hours? Texting and social media have made staying in touch a no-brainer, but it has also contributed to estranged relationships. “My feeling is that although we text nearly every day, I need that personal contact with people I care about,” says Irene S. Levine, PhD, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend. “To me, it says, ‘You’re important enough that I want to make time for you.’” If your friend can’t figure out how to reach out over the phone or in person for months at a stretch, she may just be a frenemy who doesn’t care enough. “If she has time for Botox appointments, she should have time for brunch,” Levine says. Check out these clues that your friend may be a narcissist.