Most of us have that one friend who is very dear to us but are also honest to the point of being hurtful. Sometimes, we just tend to dismiss their words because we think that they are just saying them to hurt us. But scientific proof exists to show us that when a very close friend does this, hurting you is not even close to what they actually hope to achieve.
The University of Plymouth did this study with over a hundred volunteers. Researchers gave the subjects different situations and made note of how they behaved in each. For example, a friend is made to feel scared that they will fail when they are distracted from their studies. When they asked their subjects to step into the other person’s shoes, the subjects were more likely to pick hurtful means if they believed ultimately it would benefit the other person.
This study proved what the researchers already knew – that sometimes kindness comes disguised as cruelty. People only used negativity for certain emotions and situations. We tend to perceive an emotion as having a fixed impact and work only on the ones that are more appropriate in every situation.
In simpler terms, this means that a friend is cruel at times because that’s what you need. They don’t actually want to cause you any pain or harm and the only reason they’re doing this is that they genuinely want to help you be the best that you can be.
Sometimes what they’re doing might not be clear to you then but when faced with a situation, the words or actions that you thought were unkind will actually help you find a way out. Of course, it is important to be able to distinguish between when someone is actually trying to help you and when they’re just trying to tear you down. But the former will stick with you through thick and thin whereas the latter type of people will only be around when they can get some sort of satisfaction from your pain.