Tuesday, 19 March 2013

War Games: because we all have frenemies.

Even if you think you don't have one, you do.

Women are in a clever form of masquerade. We're different things to different people, and we show the different dimensions of ourselves in different company. We expect to be ourselves with our friends, but it can get to a point where we may act like friends, but we feel more like spies (I for one would be an excellent spy). It seems as though we are hunting for damaging information in order to protect ourselves. We can put on our best front, even in front of those we would consider our closest allies.

Friendships are the strangest of relationships, the expectation lies in the foundation of friendships. We expect it to be built with bricks of benevolence, understanding, and the mutual disdain of other people (obviously, someone has to hate the same things as you do). But in between those bricks lies the cement of hostility, jealousy and competition.Women bond by bitching and friendships can be as intense as relationships, but will it always get to a point where they run out of things to bitch about?

The bonds we have with our friends can break down instantly, or over time. Things like life changes, new relationships and mishaps in communication can all lead to frivolous disagreements, sub Tweets and steely glares over Starbucks. We all seem to expect our friends to be at our beck and call, we think if we're busy that they should be the ones to make the effort. Like any relationship, friendship isn't a one way street and just because you hit a red light doesn't mean you turn off the engine.

As soon as one negative feeling sets in, its a spiral of sullen moods and disapproving looks. The negativity is deafening. Our friends are our secret keepers, but as soon as we start feeling like we're stood pleading guilty to mistakes in front of an unforgiving jury, we start to hide things. If you insist on looking for a reason to judge their life, then maybe they're more of an annoyance than an acquaintance.

To put things in simple terms, if a man treated you that way then you wouldn't stand for it for a second - and neither would your friends. So what makes it okay for you to be treated that way by another woman? In the same way that some friends can turn their back on you quicker than I would turn my back on a shot of black Sambuca, some friends can come back and remind you why you were friends in the first place.

Even the closest of friendships can make it's way into frenemy territory, all it takes is one disapproval. It happened to Rihanna and Katy Perry when Rihanna went back to Chris Brown, and it can happen to anyone. If we want judgement, or if we want a lecture about our bad decisions then we'll go to our mothers.

Not all friendships result in battle, but when it does you're left with three choices. You can turn your back on battle and surrender, you ruin each other until there's no civility left, or you can choose a peace treaty. We're all grown ups here, let's agree to disagree. Drop your weapons, dismiss the troops, and do no damage. When your opposition refuses to ceasefire, maybe all you can do is embrace the battle. No one ever refused a slice of healthy competition - after all, what's a little animosity between friends?

You know what they say, keep your enemies closer. We all have secrets, I won't tell if you won't.

Side Note: Putting this out there now because my friends are in the picture for this post - this is aimed at no one in particular, and I try to choose the third option. Maybe I just like giving people second chances. As Gretchen Wieners would say, I am such a good friend.