Being friendly doesn't mean sharing every secret or disregarding competition. After all -- you're both after customers in a crowded marketplace. Just realize that strategically aligning with the competition can make your business better. McDonald's needs Burger King; FedEx keeps UPS on its toes. Healthy business rivalries help stave off complacency and will make your company stronger in the long run.
I was standing in line at my local McDonald's when the person behind me asked, "Is that a plaid shirt you're wearing?" I was flustered, my face turned a crimson red and I quickly exited the restaurant. It was only when I sat down inside my car in the parking lot that I realized what had happened: I'd been plaid-shamed.