A lot of us girls grew up watching Mean Girls constantly, because it felt so relatable, right? Well, science has something to say about that, especially in regards to being a friend. Turns out that it was relatable for a good reason.
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Your mean girl friend is your best friend!
But, there was that interesting twist. We all believed Regina was the incarnation of evil (because she kinda WAS, duh!) but then something changed. She had a change of heart and we all remembered how she became nice in the end after she learned to channel all that anger properly.
And, it may sound weird, but science seems to suggest that, you know, that one mean friend we have that always makes us lose our minds? Well, they might be mean because they actually care too much and want what’s best for us. It’s like, we seem like self-sabotaging idiots to them so they can’t keep themselves from yelling!
As Daily Science reports, a recent study conducted by the University of Plymouth discovered that your one mean friend (or several mean friends!) aren’t trying to be intentionally mean, but are worried about your wellbeing in the long run. I mean, how are you going to grow up if they don’t challenge you? It’s basically the good old “got to be cruel to be kind” conception, although it’s been shown that positive reinforcement goes a long way too.
So, in a way, it’s a choice. A mean choice nonetheless!
The study involved different scenarios and 140 participants and found out that people who empathized with their partners were more likely to be mean to them at other times.
The researcher conducting 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.”