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Vicious

"Women are struggling to have it all," says registered psychologist Allison Keating of BWell Clinic in Malahide. "The pressure on women nowadays to be the perfect mother, have the high- flying career and look like a celebrity have put a major strain on containing a difficult juggling act.

"From this, I've noticed that women -- who are considered the caregiver of the sexes -- are becoming colder to each other.

"Honesty and openness is the way out of this mire. Women need to let go of vicious tendencies and recognise that is is never okay to treat anybody else with anything but the upmost respect and dignity. If you are feeling bad about your life, blaming or being angry with your 'friends' or 'frenemies' is not a good way of displacing your frustration.

Work on building up your support networks, let the defences down and you may just find that your so-called perfect friend is struggling themselves.

"In terms of social contexts, women should question what they get from their relationships. I think men find it easier to separate emotionally from the historical cord that some women struggle with. Suffice to say, this is not a good enough reason for a woman to ever act in a vicious manner. But, just as in a dysfunctional intimate relationship, the individual who is acting in an unkind way is perhaps using displaced anger that they are not verbalising with their friend about what the real issue is.

"If you find yourself acting in a manner that is not nice to other women, you need to take responsibility for your behaviour and look at what is really bothering you. Are you angry, jealous, resentful? Check in with your physiological and emotional response after you have met with your friend.