If you happened to feel the earth shake last night at 8:03 p.m., that was thud of the collective mouths of every Real Housewives of Atlanta fan dropping wide open as we finally learned that housewives’ attorney and recent
maybe divorcee, Phaedra Parks, was the low-down, doesn’t know how many months pregnant she is, lying, conniving, manipulator that started the rumor about Kandi Burruss. A rumor that Kandi and her husband Todd wanted to drug fellow housewife star Porsha and take her to their sex dungeon. The lie was already ludicrous enough as most fans know, Kandi is very open about her sexual escapades and does not indulge in drugs or alcohol. What Phaedra essentially accused Kandi of was attempting to ply a young woman with drugs and take advantage of her sexually or in a shorter word- rape. It was a shocking and potentially career damaging accusation that extended beyond reality TV and manifested in the “real world” with Kandi being forced to defend her character on social media as fans called her #BillCosby.
I sat watching Kandi fighting tears on the couch, and I could immediately relate to what she was feeling. I, too, have had a Phaedra in my life. A person that attempted with all her might to ruin my character, with lies that not only could impact my career but lies so unbelievably outrageous could impact my life. When you have worked hard to maintain your character, it is heartbreaking to watch someone you once considered a best friend and confidant do everything in their power to ruin who you are.
If you have made it through your life without a Phaedra, you are truly blessed. If you are like me and have had a Phaedra in your life or are currently dealing with a Phaedra, I pray this blog helps you.
What Is A Phaedra?
A Phaedra is someone that:
• Smiles in your face and talks behind your back
• Pretends that they are happy for your accomplishments when really, they are loathing that you got something that they didn’t
• Makes you feel as if you can be open and honest with them when in reality they are taking notes in order to be calculating at a future point
• Secretly wishes that they had your life i.e. career, mate, house, money, etc.
• Colludes with your enemies to cause you harm
• Keeps a straight face will lying to your face
• Feels they are more deserving of your blessings
• Loves you while they consider you beneath them or equal to them and hates you when you are surpassing them
• Attempts to set you up for failure
• Serves you shade and attempts to laugh it off as a “joke”
• Will not do the work or be as dedicated as you but feel they should have what you have worked hard to gain
• Is very helpful and giving at the beginning of the friendship in an attempt to have things to “throw in your face” later or tell others how much they have done for you in order to make them appear innocent
• Works to get those that love and care about you to think negatively about you
• Calls you to only talk about their problems and overlooks your concerns
• Covets your gift and talents
• Secretly rejoices if anything negative happens in your life
• Wants you to remain the same and not attempt to better your life
• Gossips relentlessly and seems to know everyone’s business
• Will attempt to get ahead of you by any means necessary even if it means lying or trying to damage your character
Having a Phaedra in your life can catch you off guard because typically a Phaedra is someone that you consider a best friend. A Phaedra is someone that you trust, that you share your innermost secrets with, that you would willing give the shirt off your back and if you have a dollar, without question they have fifty cents. A Phaedra is someone that you think would never do you any harm, so you have no reason to suspect them of any ill doing. You gloss over backhanded compliments, the fact that when they call they only seem to talk about themselves, that you are always there for them much more than they are there for you.
How To Spot A Phaedra
Pray – If you want to know something ask God, the Universe, the Ancestors, a Higher Power and it will be revealed to you. However, be prepared for what is shown to you.
Do Not Ignore Your Gut Feeling – When I was dealing with a Phaedra in my life, there was something in my gut that kept telling me something was off with this person but because this was my “best friend” I was second guessing what my gut instincts were telling me and making excuses for her behavior. I actually felt guilty for feeling suspect about her because of course there was no way she would ever do me any harm. In fact, my gut feeling turned out to be correct.
Pay Attention To The Signs (There are no coincidences in life) – Before I found out anything about my Phaedra, one Friday, I found out my daughter was dating the nephew of one of the church members that I like quite a bit. I thought, how neat. I will have to tell her that my daughter is dating her nephew. Well lo and behold she just so happened to sit next to me in church. As we were leaving, she said, “I have something to tell you. I don’t want to sound spooky, but God wants me to tell you there is someone around you, that is very close to you that means you harm.” For days, I thought about this and milled it over and thought surely no one close to me wants to harm me, at least no one in my circle. Little did I know, my Phaedra had been plotting, scheming and manipulating to harm me and this was God’s way of warning me, but once again, I assumed there was no way that could happen.
Pay Attention To Who Is In Your Circle – Always take the time to reevaluate your circle. As you grow in your gifts and talents, not everyone will truly celebrate you. People pretend well, and people will pretend as if they are happy for you when in reality they are upset that you are rising and they are remaining the same. Take note of your circle and do not be afraid to readjust as needed.
Listen To Those Around You That Have Your Best Interest At Heart – There are people in this world that truly love you and want the best for you. Often, they are on the periphery watching you excel and cheering you on. Because they are not intricately involved in the friendship, they can see things from the outside that you may not be able to see on the inside. Everyone is not hating on your friendship some people can see and are warning you so that you avoid a world of trouble.
How To Deal With A Phaedra
Never Wound A Snake, Kill It – This is a quote by Harriet Tubman that sums up the way that I feel about Phaedras. Do not entertain a Phaedra. Do not believe a second chance will make it better. Do not believe if you do anything differently Phaedra will behave differently. A Phaedra is a Phaedra. You do not entertain snakes. You do not give a snake a second chance to bite you. If you are lucky, you survived the first bite. The second bite could be deadly. Completely cease the “friendship”. It is over.
When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them The First Time – Maya Angelou was correct with this statement. People can only pretend for so long. Eventually, who they really are will always show. Because you are connected to a Phaedra you believe what they have shown you, they will never do to you, but someone’s character is their character. If they gossip about others, they will gossip about you. If they lie on others, they will lie on you. Never think that you are exempt from the true character of a Phaedra.
Recognize That Some Friendships Are For A Season – Everyone that joins you on the journey will not complete the journey with you. Some friendships are for a lifetime and others are just for a period of time. Know that seasonal friendships are okay. Take what you learn from the friendships that are seasonal and continue on your journey. It is always okay to bid Phaedra goodbye.
Maintain Your Integrity – Do you have tea you could spill about your Phaedra? Of course, you do! Do you hold secrets that you swore you would take to your grave? Sure you do! Would it be easy to retaliate and start serving up a piping hot mug of Earl Grey? Sure it would! Would that benefit you in the long run? No, it will not. While it would be easy to start running your Phaedra down, you place yourself on a level with Phaedra, and you want to maintain your character and integrity. While it may kill you not to seek revenge, please know life is truly cyclical and what goes around does come around. Don’t get yourself dirty rumbling in the mud with a Phaedra. Trust that karma is indeed real.
Dealing with a Phaedra was one of the most trying time in my life. Someone who I considered a sister turned out to truly be one of my worst enemies. However, one thing I was determined to do and one thing I encourage you to do if you have a Phaedra in your life, is to be wise about new friendships BUT understand that everyone is not a Phaedra. There are people that will be placed in your life that love you, support you, care for you, rejoice when you succeed and truly want the best for you. Do not allow a Phaedra to alter your view on friendships. There are amazing people in the world that will hold you up and support you. That will keep your secrets as close as their next breath. That will be the hype man while you dance into your destiny. That will watch your back like a solider. Cherish those friendships but always be aware that snakes slither to and fro always waiting to strike.