Frenemy Mine

Adam Grant is all the news these days, with his new bestseller: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (which I intend to read soon) and articles just about everywhere. LinkedIn served up this article on office “frenemies” (friendly enemies) to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective and citations.

Grant answers the title question: “What’s Worse Than a Coworker Who Undermines You?” as you read through. Turns out that the Mr. Hydes of the world (those unrepentantly evil jerks who seem to thrive despite the fact that they’re an ethical black hole) cause less stress than the coworkers set on a repeat cycle of Jekle-Hyde-Jekle-Hyde-Jekle-Hyde. Not hard to believe. It’s a case of uncertainly causing more stress than certainly, and the cure appears to be to surround yourself with more consistently positive and supportive people. Again, not a stretch to accept, but a good lesson to consider.

Bringing it home, I can say that I do not personally feel that I have any frenemies at work. I do caution my young daughter against these sorts at elementary school, as it pops up more in the less mature. I ask her to ask herself: is this how I would treat someone else? Am I the best friend I can be? Maybe these are questions we adults should ask ourselves more often as well.