Are “frenemies” even worse than enemies?



“Friends that we feel ambivalently about raise our blood pressure more — cause more anxiety and stress — than people we actively dislike.

This is from an episode (“Frenemies“) of the consistently excellent This American Life where Ira Glass interviewed Julianne Holt-Lunstad about her research on the subject of frenemies.

Other interesting details:

  • 50% of our relationships are with people we care about — but who we also have serious conflicts and negative feelings about as well.
  • Why do we stay friends with them? Because they’re in the same social circle? Because they’re our neighbors? No, the vast majority of the time it’s because of reasons we impose on ourselves. “I’m not the kind of person who gives up on people.” or “The good times outweigh the bad.”

Join 25K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

Related posts:

What keeps friendships alive?

Are your friends the easiest route to self-improvement and a long, healthy life?

7 things every Facebook user needs to know


Subscribe to the newsletter