Monday, August 27, 2007

[New Buzzword Alert] Do you have a 'frenemy'?

Love-hate, friend-enemy relationships are high-profile examples of the "frenemy" phenomenon.

The term has most often been used to describe females who tangle with their female friends. And this notion, says Terri Apter, co-author of "Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships," isn't that far off the mark.

Females are more competitive with their friends than men due to cultural circumstance, Apter theorizes. "They (women) sometimes idealize their friendships -- they should only be loving and supportive -- whereas the wider culture allows men to enact the inevitable competitive feelings openly, without feeling ashamed or guilty," she says.

Every friendship -- no matter how solid or tentative -- has mixed feelings of support and antagonism. Apter says that "among female friends there is also something else: a wish to offer support and see a friend thrive, on the one hand, and a fear of being left behind or out-shone, on the other." In essence, the "hate" part of a love-hate relationship isn't really hate -- it's envy or insecurity. » Article here



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