The Friendship Rule You Should Never Break

What you can think, but can’t say.

Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D

This post is a response to How to Handle Manipulators by Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D.

The friendship rule you should never break

Psychologists, counselors, sociologists, and even economists have identified around 40 unspoken but fully understood rules of friendship. Women, for example, need friends who provide a pretty even give-and-take over the lifetime of the relationship—basically, we give to friendships based on the expected reciprocity of our friends.

While friendships are necessary for the vast majority of men and women, females are virtually pre-programmed to seek out alliances and connections during their lives. Some anthropologists suggest this is due to the historically comparative physical weakness of women in relation to men. We cannot fell a wooly mammoth, the theory goes, or fend off enemy tribes by ourselves as easily as men can, but give women an opportunity to build an alliance and organize a counterattack, and there is meat on the fire and a respected border.

Thus, for women, friendships serve a vital purpose; we need friends in a way men might never understand. But men might tolerate some behavior from their friends that women would never allow, due to the different emotional and economic systems in place. In the next few articles, I’m going to explore the top 10 most crucial rules which, if broken, can lead to the end of a friendship. In this blog, we are going to focus on Rule #1:

Don’t let jealousy or resentment threaten a good friendship.

Do not be jealous your friend’s possessions or other relationships. In this climate of financial disparity and economic storms, we have to accept that there will always be material gulfs between us and some of our friends. There have even been movies about this phenomenon, like Friends with Money, starring Jennifer Aniston. Genuine relationships, however, should not hinge on economic homogeneity. (There is much more to see…continue reading here The Friendship Rule You Should Never Break | Psychology Today.)


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