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Oct 1, 2018

Science Says: Your Meanest Friend Is The One Who Actually Wants The Best For You

There is always the kind one – who appreciates you, the maternal one – who looks after you, the fun friend – who is there to have a good time, and the mean one – who always argues with you.
In your circle of friends, there are always the ones who take these certain roles in a group. The meanest person in your group doesn’t use soft criticism to express their thoughts. Instead, they use the toughest and meanest insults they can think of.
Well, according to a study from the University of Plymouth, the meanest friend is not there to harm you, but to toughen you up. That friend uses insults to teach you about life and show you the way. They give you tough love.
In fact, as the research claims, the meanest friend only wants the best for you. They want to help you out in the long run.

Supported by Studies

To conclude these findings, researchers involved 140 adults in their research. They asked the volunteers about hypothetical situations. Scientists used a couple of regular everyday examples to see the volunteer’s reactions and opinions.
The author of the study and psychological scientist, Belén López-Pérez, stated that they identified a few everyday examples where this may be the case. Namely, in case your friend induces fear of failure in you, while you are procrastinating rather studying for an exam, it does not mean that they are mean. This means that they simply want the best for you.

The researchers examined the participants and concluded that some family and friends usually used negative emotions on a person in hopes of making a positive impact for them in the long term.
The researchers concluded that participants that were mean to their partners were more likely to be empathetic. That’s not all, they also wanted them to succeed.
According to López-Pérez, these findings actually shed light on social dynamics. They may also help us comprehend, for example, why we make our loved ones, friends and family feel bad if we view this emotion as beneficial to achieve a goal.

Example of Direct Criticism

This study shows us that our meanest friend only wants the best for us. Their love may be tough to handle, but, they seem to care about us the most. Therefore, you shouldn’t be angry with the way your meanest friend reacts.
Maybe, you should try listening to their direct criticism. Here are some of the most common examples of direct criticism.
  • That dress looks hideous on you. It simply doesn’t suit you.
  • Why on earth are you eating more chocolates when you said you wanted to lose weight?
  • You could have done that job much better.
According to the research, the friend who says these things to you is likely the one who is most empathetic. Therefore, they only want you to succeed and accomplish whatever you desire. But, the only way they know how to help is to criticize you.
They believe that the only way they can make you believe in yourself is to insult you. As a result, you shouldn’t get angry every time you get into an argument with your meanest friend. After all, whatever they have to say, they say it to your face.
The meanest friend will never talk behind your back. They will always tell you what’s on their mind.
So next time your ‘honest’ or ‘mean’ friend says something that annoys you or grinds you a bit, keep in mind that deep down they are simply trying to do the best for you.

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