The Meaner Your Friends Are, The More They Care About You - Apparently
Most of us grew up watching Mean Girls and found it the most relatable film of all time, right?
Every school had a group like the plastics, and let's face it, pretty much every friendship group had a Regina George in it. And I'm sorry to say that if you can't think about who the Regina of your gal group was, then it was probably you.
Watching the film growing up though, we all thought Regina was evil personified, until she had her life affirming moment at the end of the film and learned to vent her anger and suddenly became nice, yeah.
Well, maybe we got it wrong all along, and all of us need a Regina in our lives, because according to new research, our meanest friends just want the best for us, and so their meanness is really showing that they care. Hm.
According to Daily Science, research that took place at the University of Plymouth found that your mean pal isn't being deliberately mean, but instead trying to benefit you in the long run. Character building, right? The idea is based on the 'got to be cruel to be kind' idea, although I'm pretty sure positive reinforcement can also go a long way.
In the study, which offered hypothetical scenarios to 140 participants, found that people who gave tough love to their partners were more like to empathise with them. Interesting.
The brains behind the study, Belén López-Pérez, said: "We identified several everyday examples where this might be the case - for instance, inducing fear of failure in a loved one who is procrastinating instead of studying for an exam."
The research found that if people were to take on their pal's perspective, they may help them choose a negative outcome if it means it'll get them closer to their end goal. However, I'm not sure the same could be said for Regina when she kissed Aaron at the Halloween party when she knew Cady fancied him.
Anyway, it seems as though there really is some method in your mean friend's madness, as long as we remember the important life lesson that Miss Norbury taught us way back when she told us: "You have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores because that only makes it okay for guys to call us sluts and whores."
That woman speaks to me on a spiritual level.
Featured Image Credit: Mean Girls/Paramount Pictures