We all have that one friend who argues with us for no reason and whose words can hurt like needles; honest to the point of being hurtful. How do we perceive them? We can’t help ourselves but believe that they are mean, even though they claim they love us.
Well, science says exactly the opposite: your meanest friend wants the best for you.
Belen Lopez-Perez, a psychological scientist and a lead author of the study, together with her 2 friends wanted to justify their hypothesis on whether people really act mean for altruistic reasons. Therefore, they observed the behavior of 140 people during hypothetical situations.
“We identified several everyday examples where this might be the case—for instance, inducing fear of failure in a loved one who is procrastinating instead of studying for an exam,” -the lead author of the study explained.
The researchers claimed that participants are ready to choose negative experiences for other people if they feel this will help the others achieve a certain goal.
Did researchers confirm their hypothesis?
Certainly. They concluded that people may act mean for altruistic reasons. In other words, your “meanest” friend is empathetic, unselfishly concerned for your well-being. They give you tough love; they are ready to risk your friendship and insult you if their goal is to push you forward in life.
According to Lopez-Perez, “people hold very specific expectations about the effects that certain emotions may have and about which emotions may be better for achieving different goals.
“These findings shed light on social dynamics, helping us to understand, for instance, why we sometimes may try to make our loved ones feel bad if we perceive this emotion to be useful to achieve a goal.” – she said.
That’s right. If your friend cares about you, they will criticize and treat you harshly, make attempts to open your eyes, tell you the truth, motivates and push you to fight for your dreams and pursue your goals.
Maybe your “meanest” friend won’t tell what you want to hear; However, they will certainly tell you everything you need to hear. Make sure you appreciate that.
Make sure you keep your “meanest” friend close to you.
What do you think? Do you agree with this?
Feel free to share this post with your “meanest” friend.