Is your mean friend your best friend?

Perhaps It's the only way to get you to listen

A study published in Psychological Science suggests that your “meanest friend” is actually the one who cares about you in the most sincere way and actually only wants the very best for you!

“We have shown that people can be ‘cruel to be kind’ — that is, they may decide to make someone feel worse if this emotion is beneficial for that other person, even if this does not entail any personal benefit for them,” says psychological scientist Belén López-Pérez, who conducted the research while at the University of Plymouth and is currently at Liverpool Hope University.

“What was surprising was that affect worsening was not random but emotion-specific,” López-Pérez added.

“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.”

In layman terms, the mean friend is trying to encourage better behavior by nudging the other friend towards the path that would help their friend.

Now “mean” has different connotations, but is never juxtaposed with the word “abusive”. Mean is defined as unkind, but in this context we utilize the word in a social aspect.

So what is “mean” according to your society?

Someone that is blunt and quick to the point? Someone that doesn’t sugar coat his or her thoughts?

Now I think I am the mean friend to a certain degree. If I think my friends are doing something so absurd and the only way I can get my point across is the direct way; so, they will not become confused by laying on sugar puff… I will be blunt which may be perhaps MEAN. Also, I notice that I am more blunt or mean when everyone else around them are giving them fake advice or props.

I am also A type, which none of my friends are.

Are you the mean friend or do you have a ‘mean friend’ in your group?

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