If you have a friend that you love very much, but sometimes can’t stand because their harsh (and true) words hurt like needles, you can’t help but wonder if they secretly hate you.
Well, science has the answer, and guess what? Apparently, recent studies have proved that your “meanest” friend is the one who really loves you and only wants the best for you.
Namely, according to a research paper published in Psychological Science, people who make others experience a wave of negative emotions are doing it because they believe that those negative emotions will be beneficial for them in the long run.
The University of Plymouth conducted the research and it encompassed 140 adults. The researchers behind the study were observing the behavior of the participants during several hypothetical situations: for example, they’ve generated a fear of failure to a friend who instead of learning for the exams, is procrastinating.
The scientists have made a conclusion that by asking participants to take another person’s point of view the chances of them choosing negative emotions and experiences for the other person drastically increased if they believed that those emotions and experiences would be beneficial for them.
So, I guess the scientists have finally confirmed what was speculated before, that people are really “cruel to be kind.”
“What was surprising was that affect worsening was not random but emotion-specific,” said López-Pérez, the lead author of the study. “In line with previous research, our results have shown that people hold very specific expectations about the effects that certain emotions may have and about which emotions may be better for achieving different goals.”
Or in other words, people tend to be “mean” to you not because they can’t stand you, or they hate you and want to hurt you on purpose – but because they really care about you and your well-being because they love you.
Their “meanness” is actually their way of saying “I love you” and it comes out of their empathy and selflessness.
So, there you go! Share this post with your “mean” friend and tell them how much you love them and appreciate them for their honesty.