We all have friends. We all need friends. None of us are going to be able to make our way through this life without having friends. As human beings, we are all naturally hardwired to seek some form of human interaction. We need each other. That’s where the phrase “no man is an island” comes from.

We really won’t be able to enjoy this life to its fullest potential unless we are willing to let other people into our lives in an intimate capacity. There are a number of reasons as to why we need friends in our lives. A lot of times, when we are feeling stressed and broken, friends can be there to help us cope with all of that darkness.

Friends are there to offer us perspective whenever we are at a crossroads in life. They are there to help us realize that our view of the world isn’t always going to be right. Friends are there to actually help us make better choices in life to make sure that we aren’t shooting ourselves in the foot.

Friends can do so much for our emotional and mental well-being. That is why we can never be taking our friends for granted. You have to know that your friends are going to be big influences on your life. They are going to help shape your personality. They are ultimately going to help sculpt the future that you are forming for yourself.

That is why you really have to be mindful of the kinds of people that you are surrounding yourself with. You must make sure that you value all of those who are adding value to your life. And you have to be making time for those who mean the most to you. And research has actually shown that the friends who give you some healthy doses of tough love every once in a while are your true friend.

That is why if you happen to have a friend who is constantly mean to you, don’t fret. It doesn’t mean that they are trying to hurt you. It doesn’t mean that they are jealous of you. It doesn’t mean that they are being malicious when they criticize you. They are just genuinely concerned about you and they are telling you things that no one else will. They are opening your eyes to the parts of your life that you need to be seeing.

Based on the intensive research conducted by the University of Plymouth, “People may try to make someone else feel negative emotions if they think experiencing those emotions will be beneficial in the long run.” That means that your truest friends aren’t going to shy away from having awkward moments and difficult conversations with you because they know that these are for the betterment for your own life. That means your true friends are always going to do their part in staying honest with you. They are going to be telling you the truth even when they know that the truth is going to inconvenience you somewhat.

The research that was carried out by the University of Plymouth actually covered more than 140 participants who were thrust into various hypothetical scenarios and situations. For instance, one scenario was dreamed up wherein their friends were in the failure of failing an exam due to procrastination and laziness.

When asked about what they would do in those scenarios, people generally responded that they would willingly put themselves in negative talks and scenarios with others if it meant that it would help them out in the long run. So, in essence, these people were willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations if it meant that their friends would end up better for it.

One of the leading researchers of the study, scientist Belén López-Pérez definitely said, “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.”

Belén López-Pérez then went on to say, “What was surprising was that affect worsening was not random but emotion-specific. 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.”

So, to put things simply, you shouldn’t automatically hate the people who are mean to you most especially if they have a history of friendly relations with you. IT might just mean that they are trying to look out for you. They might just be operating from a genuine place of love and kindness. They just want what is best for you. Instead of being mean with them in return, be patient and understanding.

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