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Your “Meanest” Friend Is The One Who Actually Wants The Best For You And Gives You The Best Advice


If you have a friend you love, but at times can’t stand because their harsh (though true) words can hurt like needles – you can’t help but think that they are just being mean. However, science says this is not the case when it comes to your closest friends. 

In fact, recent findings have shown that your meanest friend is the one who truly loves you and wants the best for you.

According to research published in Psychological Science, people who tend to make others experience negative emotions believe that the impact of those emotions will be beneficial for them in the long run.

The research was conducted at the University of Plymouth and included 140 adult participants. The scientists behind the study observed their behavior during hypothetical situations: for instance, by generating the fear of failure in a friend who instead of learning for exams – is procrastinating his studying.

The researchers claimed that asking participants to take another person’s point of view has increased the likelihood of them choosing negative experiences and emotions for the other person if they thought that that experience would be helpful to them.

The findings of the study confirmed what scientists believed – that people indeed may be “cruel to be kind”.

“What was surprising was that worsening effect was not random but emotion-specific,” says López-Pérez, the lead author of the study. “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 other words, people can sometimes be “mean” to you not because they hate you, or they want to hurt you – but because they care for you and their “meanness” comes out of selflessness and empathy.

So, go ahead! Share this post and tag your “mean” friends and tell them how much you love them for their honesty!

How Can You Ask Your Friend For Advice Politely?

When it comes to friends, they have the empowering ability to give you the best friendship advice and you can rely on their support. When you decide that you need to talk to someone about the problems you have, it means that you have control over your life and it is a sign of intelligence. (1

And your true friends ( the ones who are cruel and honest with you always), although sometimes can use harsh words, are always there for help because true friendships are there through thick and thin and, what is important, in this situation, both parties benefit.

The whole interaction you will have, when you ask for advice, with your friend is a serious act that involves patience, diplomacy, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence. 

The whole process may go easily in the wrong way and lead to frustration, below-average solutions, decision gridlock, and prevented personal development. You should be careful when you ask for advice from your friend and do it without annoying them: 

The start of the conversation is very important. You should always start with a positive tone and just use the most simple friendly statement, “I’d love your advice,” and immediately address your problem.

You have probably already understood the problem yourself and you are not sure about the root of the problem, it is hard for you to find a solution, but you still have some desired outcomes in mind.

According to a study conducted by two Harvard Business School professors, Joshua D. Margolis and David A. Garvin, there are 4 different types of advice you can ask your friend:

1. Counsel

When you seek counsel, you ask for guidance on how to face a difficult situation and the type of question would be, “How can I support by controlling manager? “

2. Mentoring

When you ask for this type of advice, you need it for your career advancement and professional effectiveness. It is a guide for your professional success and the question would be similar to “ How can I succeed in exposing the project I am working on? “.

3. Coaching

This type of advice is used for personal and professional development, enhancing skills and self–awareness. It involves self–management and proficiency in the tasks you work on and the working environment.

The typical advice you would ask when you need coaching is: “ How can I improve my collaboration skills? “

4. Discrete

When you ask a discrete question, you have few options in mind and you need to decide, so you need the advice to make the right decision. The type of question would be: “ Where shall we invest next – in China, in Japan, or in France?”

When you continue with the conversation, you should clearly define the problem. It is always best to come prepared with specific details at home, and include all the essential background information your friend should know and keep him interested in the problem.

Always ask the right person

Several studies showed that people who seek advice usually seek it from their close friends than from their acquaintances, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they will receive quality answers. (2

So, think creatively from whom you seek advice. If you ask advice from a CEO about your personal life, do not expect a miracle.

You probably have the right friends for advice on your relationship, cooking, or finances. So, before asking someone for advice, think about:

  • Are they honest with you?
  • How well do you know them?
  • Shall they be willing to speak about the issue?
  • Are they genuinely helpful?

Do Not Think You Know The Answer

When you find the right friend for your question, never assume the answer and think that you already know the answer.

In the end, the answer you will receive is not probably what you except for because it is seen from their perspective. But, this is a valuable experience and can open your eyes to new ideas, but it doesn’t mean that you should blindly follow them. Make sure it aligns with your own beliefs.

Be Grateful!

It is always nice to emphasize that you should BE GRATEFUL!

When the conversation is over, say Thank you to your friend for the time spent with you and for the advice given. You can even send them a message or an email the next day to say how grateful you are they are your friends and how their feedback helped you. Being appreciative and humble is a key to having a long relationship with your friends.

Do Not Give Up

Sometimes you have a big problem, but people just do not listen to you. But, do not give up on your problem. You will, in the end, find the right person who will help you have a happier and healthier life.

Your “Meanest” Friend Is The One Who Actually Wants The Best For You And Gives You The Best Advice