Study Finds Mean Friends Want The Best For You

Do you happen to have one friend in your life who tends to be a little mean? Perhaps they take more of the tough love approach when you find yourself in need of a pep talk.

Well, a study conducted at the University of Plymouth shows that friends who tend to offer insults over empathy actually want the best for you.

It may seem hard to believe since insults are usually thrown when one is trying to hurt another’s feelings, but according to the study insults delivered by a good friend’s mouth are more often than not meant to help you succeed.

The idea is by making someone feel a negative emotion, the feeling will prompt the person to take more action and work harder.

For example, if someone is procrastinating on a project, instilling fear of failing in the person over coddling them about their poor choices might help them get a move on in the right direction.

The study explained that friends may feel they are helping by inducing a negative emotion in someone they care about, subconsciously hoping to make them strive for more or work harder.

Basically, the meaner someone is to another person, the more empathetic they actually are toward that person and their situation.

Although the study concluded such findings, other researches claim that knowing how to identify an unhealthy friendship is crucial for one’s mental health.

Not all relationships are meant to last a lifetime, and breaking away from toxic friendships can help people stuck in a bad friendship feel happier and mentally lighter.

Friends who are derogatory, mean-spirited, and, ironically enough, insulting are all people Psychologist Dr. Harriet Lerner says should be parted from, according to The New York Times.

Having friends you mesh with, who offer support, and are reliable are all good attributes when it comes to having healthy relationships.

When it comes to how people choose the ones they spend their time with, it all comes down to how each person communicates, and if the way they operate works with each other’s personality.

If you are someone who responds well to insults, and the negative comments feed your drive, then a friend who offers insults in place of constructive criticism might be right for you.

But if you thrive in a relationship where your friend is compassionate and empathetic, perhaps having a friend who uses the tough love approach might not be in your best interest.