I think all of us have at least once had a friend who we cared about, but sometimes avoided. The reason for that would be because we weren’t in the mood to deal with their constant harshness. It’s not that those things they say are not true. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea if they remembered to be a little bit more tactful from time to time.

Sometimes they seem so mean that you start wondering why are you friends at all. But, somewhere inside, you know it’s not without a reason. You care about them. And if they were as mean as they can seem when they don’t choose their words carefully, I doubt it you would care about them as much.

Luckily, there have been some research studies conducted recently that have managed to prove this. You know how people talk about practicing ”tough love” on their children, partners, siblings, etc. Well, according to that research, that is exactly what is happening with your seemingly mean friends. Your meanest friend wants the best for you. 

They do not do it because they are mean people at their core. They do it because they think your views of the world might not help you protect yourself. Even though it seems to you like a bad way to teach anyone a lesson, wouldn’t you agree that the most memorable lessons of your life were gotten after you already made a mistake? After you went through something that made you experience negative feelings.

So when they tell you honest opinions without sugarcoating anything, or call you out on something, it probably has nothing to do with their personality. They do not even get any personal gain out of it. They just think that whatever you’re doing is wrong and they feel that being harsh and inflicting fear of consequences is the only way to set you straight.

The things they say might make you uncomfortable, but sometimes you need to stop for a second and think about what they said and why they said it. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to be honest to yourself and admit if those things are true. And then try to work on them. Not for the sake of your friend, but for you. Because you are the one who is going to benefit from it in the long run.

Also, if they make you feel bad about anything or they cause you to feel emotions you don’t really appreciate, it is probably because they think you might be a little bit too soft. They know that learning how to deal with such emotions will be of use for you in your future, and they feel that it is safest for you to learn it from someone that cares about you. It’s not in their interest to harm you.

They just want what is best for you and they feel that the tough love is a perfect way to get you where you need to be. But keep in mind, all of this is true only if you’re experiencing such behavior from friends that are really close to you. From those friends that have been through some life’s situations with you.

If it’s coming from people that you’re just starting to get to know a little better, maybe it would be a good idea to take a step back. See the situation from afar and make sure that your ”mean” new friend isn’t just a very toxic person.