The new millennium brought us several new vocabulary terms (not all of which came from George "Dubya" Bush's presidency). "Frenemies" became a particularly popular label after appearing in the 2004 film Mean Girls. Finally we had a clever name to give those friends who aren't really our friends.
Even when our school days had a mandated recess sandwiched in between a snack and a nap, we had to deal with mean girls. You might think that trading in glasses for contacts, getting your braces off and acne under control would level the playground once and for all. But, ultimately we learn that no matter how much things may change, not everyone is going to like us. This recurring life lesson (provided oh-so-kindly by mean girls everywhere) is actually quite a valuable one.
Recent studies from UCLA found that those who stood up against their frenemies became more popular and admired in the eyes of their teachers and fellow students. The research concluded that it could be helpful to combat dislike with dislike. Presenting yourself as someone who won't back down instills self-confidence and promotes respect among others.
Understanding how to properly handle frenemies is a life skill. Like a pesky zit, mean girls are a pain to deal with. But hopefully, with time we've learned how to treat them so they don't pop up so often.