Monday, November 9, 2009

I don't like the word frenemy

A recent book review on entitled: My Best Frenemy got me thinking about female friendships. For those of you who aren't familiar with the word "frenemy" in means someone who you are friends with (in a fake sense) because they are really your enemy.
Frenemies can be male or female, but I personally think females are more susceptible to having them because of the pressures females have to be "nice." I think being nice is good, and I know that I am, but as I've grown older, my confidence has gained in allowing me to respectively say what I think, which is why I decided to declare today that I don't like the word frenemy, or the backstabbing dishonesty it involves.
We as women should be building each other up not down, as this silly game of "frenemies" is hurtful and counter productive to what I think we really are capable of achieving, which are strong bonding friendships to help better ourselves and the lives of others. Recently I've been re-connecting with some past high school friends through our 10 yr. reunion site (hi Annie, Hailee, and Ade if you're reading!). I hadn't talked to any of them in pretty close to 10 yrs. but their quick hellos meant the world to me. It showed me that no matter what kind of immature stuff went on years ago, it is possible to pick up right where we left off and have some fun by sharing in our memories. It was probably for the best that we each went our separate ways, but that doesn't mean we were never meant to meet up and become friends again!
I'm also working on planning a local mom & tot play group since I've already found the support of other moms incredibly valuable to me at this new point in my life. I hope more women see the supportive and positive aspects of having true female friends in their life and forget the whole complicated dichotomy of frenemies because life really is too short for us to be cruel or fake, and we have so much to gain by uniting and connecting with one another. Here's a link to read the article in its entirety (it's for the book pictured above) along with some excerpts that I found especially thought provoking.

"I think that most of us do want, in theory, the best for our friends, but we find it difficult to be happy for people when things happen for them that haven’t happened to us already."
"In recent years, we've had this "Sex and the City" ethos — friends always come through, and you still have your friends even when love fails. But I think friendships are just as complicated as marriages. And in some way marriages are more straightforward, because you’re allowed to talk about upsetting emotions within a marriage. But with friends there’s this embarrassment level about envy. No one’s allowed to admit to each other that they’re envious."
"the way in which we sometimes say things about our friends to other friends, not just to gossip, but to prove how close we are to someone else as a status thing. I’m really fascinated by that subject, actually. You think that jockeying would end in high school but, I don’t know what your peer circle’s like — this is going back to why I started the book — but the older I get, this stuff seems to actually increase in interest. The power struggle within a larger clique of who is no longer getting along with who and who now claims more of the "best friend" title. It might not be spelled out as "best friend" — that sounds like a juvenile phrase — but this stuff seems to continue."
"Maybe it’s competitive too: It’s like simultaneously putting yourself down and propping yourself up. Status jockeying and also self-deprecation jockeying: Whose life is worse? It starts in high school or grade school. Who did worst in the test? “No, I failed,” “No, I really failed that test.” “I’m sure you did better than I did.” But the subtle ways in which we take each other down and build ourselves up.And also obviously people used to have kids younger, and children can make it more difficult to keep up these friendships. But obviously, the great plot of life is, there's war and there's love, and love is more dramatic than friendship. From a narrative point of view, friendship less lends itself to a novel than romance or war. I find it just as dramatic though. That's the thing."

1 comment:

  1. If I don't have frenemies, then whom will I backstab? Frontstabbing takes all the fun out of it.