1. 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 colour 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 in 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.