Frenemies Can Be Good For You

Do you have a coworker whose company you sometimes enjoy, but who also has a tendency to drive you crazy? Laypeople might call you frenemies, but psychologists would say you have an "ambivalent relationship." When you have extreme feelings on both ends of the spectrum for someone, it can be quite stressful, but it can also prompt you to think in unfamiliar ways. Our obsessions with our frenemies may make us more open-minded and empathetic as we try to analyze their behavior. This was the conclusion reached by researchers University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who studied pairs of subjects and found that those with more ambivalent relationships performed better on an editing task, and also felt more understanding of their partner.

The Benefits of Frenemies

The people you love to hate are not all bad.

26 Facts About The Science of Friendship

People lose about half their friends every seven years.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Research indicates that people with large networks of friends live longer. 01:26

  2. One study showed that teenagers who befriend fellow students with good grades are more likely to increase their own grades. 04:34

  3. Friends tend to be genetically similar to each other, and the same seems to be true of lonely individuals. 07:08

How To Make Friends

It's not as easy as it was in kindergarten.

Written by Curiosity Staff February 5, 2016

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