How to resolve friendship tension like Lorde and Charli XCX

Do these lyrics resonate with you? “I don’t know if you like me / Sometimes I think you might hate me / Sometimes I think I might hate you.”

They are from the opening verse of Girl, So Confusing – a song from Charli XCX’s album Brat (released on June 7) which reflects on insecurity, fame and the pressures of womanhood. A remix of the song – Girl, So Confusing Version With Lorde – was released two weeks later, confirming suggestions on social media that the original was about Charli’s friendship and long-rumoured rivalry with the Kiwi singer.

The remix adds a verse written by Lorde, in which she explores the ways her mental health struggles have affected her friendships. Elsewhere in the song, Charli is honest about the fear that her friend is secretly rooting for her to fail.

It seems that working on the song together has helped heal the pair’s relationship. Lorde’s verse ends “I ride for you Charli”, while Charli ends the track with “You know I ride for you, too”.

One feature of the song that has struck a chord with fans is the pervasive aura of uncertainty. Both the title and chorus refer to confusion. In the opening verse, Charli says she “doesn’t know” how to feel and is forced to make guesses about how to “maybe” interpret the situation. Later lyrics repeat the words “I don’t know”, and Charli says she “can’t tell” what’s going on. Both singers try their best to describe this “awkwardness” and guess why it occurs.

The song resonates so widely because, despite focusing on celebrities, it touches on a universal experience: .

Terms like  and  illustrate our social fears of rejection by friends. Typically, we don’t worry about friendships unless there’s an obvious problem. However, subtle cues such as inconsistent behaviour can trigger anxiety, making us feel responsible for perceived awkwardness.

For instance, friends might  during problems or might  our perspectives, signalling a lack of . This undermines our sense of social support and trust, causing us to question their friendship, even if they aren’t overtly rude.

The song is framed around the assumption that “being” and “feeling”  is an important aspect of friendship trouble. Gender is a common way that people . And having things in common is often assumed to be a  for close friendship. But what does this actually mean?

The song goes back and forth between worrying that they “don’t have much in common” and emphasising that “people say we’re alike”. It’s ambiguous about whether their similarities are superficial or meaningful. They talk about making music but Charli opines: “I don’t know if it’s honest.”

Continues…

For the full article by Dr Jessica Robles visit .

ENDS

Notes for editors

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