One of our most admired and loved psychologists turns her attention to the essence of the good relationship, and why we need enemies as well as friends.
At the end of each of her books Dorothy Rowe describes how happiness and satisfaction come not just from achievements but from enjoying good relationships with other people. To date, however, she has not explored what constitutes a rewarding friendship, and in Friends and Enemies she sets out to do just that.
But if human beings crave good relationships, they also need bad ones. In imagining we have enemies we at least have the comfort of knowing that someone, somewhere, is thinking of us. At every level both people and nations seek out hate-figures, whether they are children at school or the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo.
By delving into what it is that makes us hate as well as what makes us love and need each other, Dorothy Rowe addresses fundamental issues of human behaviour, drawing upon her own prodigious wisdom and the work of neuroscientists and intelligence specialists to show not only what friendship is but how it may be learned as a skill.