The benefits of ‘frenemies’

In the media, female friendships often fall into two extreme categories: There are the happy-go-lucky “BFF’s” of Sex and the City and the backstabbing bitches of Gossip Girl and The Hills. In reality, female friendship is filled with disagreement and embarrassing envy. No matter what, all of us have that one “frenemy” (the one we love to hate) in our life and there are different ways to deal with it.

For me, it’s my role model and someone I’ve always looked up to. She’s confident and knows the right thing to say in any situation. But she’s also that one person who gets under my skin and has always been one step ahead of me. She’s my older “do-no-wrong” sister. Let’s call her S.

S is my parents’ favorite. She had straight A’s in high school and is currently in medical school. She was homecoming and prom queen, a champ at softball, played the piano and knew several different languages. The list goes on. After S graduated from my high school, teachers would still refer to me as “S’s little sister.” Sad, I know.

No one wants to admit to someone that they’re envious of someone else – that is just plain mortifying. Clearly, invidiousness derives from low self-esteem. I think that it can be resolved when one stops comparing his or herself to others, and starts to set goals for themselves.

From this situation, I learned to throw away my jealousy and accept it for what it is. To be honest, growing up with S has taught me a lot about myself. Being around that sort of person 24/7 has allowed me to challenge myself in different ways. Knowing that she has accomplished so much makes me want to work ten times harder. It motivates me to achieve my goals and as a result, it has made me more competitive. After all, I’m proud to have an older sister like her and learning from her has benefited me.

Kyli Singh is a sophomore majoring in print journalism. She may be contacted at