People have definitely started to notice that “frenemies” can be even more problematic than actual enemies. Sometimes ambivalent friendships can be more draining and more dangerous than outright toxic relationships.
So now I’m asking you (and myself) to consider how often you might be the “frenemy”, that ambivalent, passive-aggressive person. How often do you want to say no to something but instead you end up going along with it?
Whenever I’ve done that, whether I realized it or not, I mostly just became resentful. In the long run, both of us would have been better off if I had just said no. In a couple of really sad cases, entire groups of people would have been better off.
See, it’s easy to perceive the immediate pain of saying no, of leaving a relationship, or not giving someone what they want. That’s gonna hurt right now. But so does physical exercise, and without exercise I can’t get stronger.
So every time now that I want to say no, but hesitate for any reason other than fear for my physical safety, I ask myself: Am I really giving in to the other person by saying yes when I want to say no?
Or am I just giving in to my own avoidance of necessary, short-term pain?