“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” − Thomas Sowell

Have you ever stopped thinking why you still love that friend who is brutally honest with you? It is because you know that on some level, that is as real a friend as you can have.

Sure, she says hurtful things, but they are also true and some point you always knew you had to accept that reality. So, if you think her brutal honesty has gone a little too far and it’s time to let her go, you might want to rethink your position.

First of all, this is a friend who truly cares, and is willing to put it all on the line just to help you. That is why she will be brutally honest when she says that your current lover is not right for you, even though there is a chance you might decide to keep him and stop seeing her as a friend.

At the end of the day, all she wants it to ensure that your best interests are satisfied. And there is actually a scientific reason why a great friend will tell you the cold hard truth even if it is going to cut deep and hurt like hell.

Apparently, we are capable of making others feel bad emotions, even when we care about them, simply because we think that, in the end, the emotions will be to their benefit. So, even though your friend might seem cruel when she says things that hurt you, it is probably because she is protecting you from a greater amount of hurt down the road.

Your friend is “mean” because they don’t like to sugar coat the truth and lead you into problems later. They tell you the truth and seem hurtful because they deeply care about your future, even though it might seem a little uncomfortable at the moment.

And let’s face it, we all want friends who will look out for our best interests, especially when we are not in a position to do so ourselves. Also, consider that people will tell you nice things when they should tell you the bitter truth because it is more convenient for them. After all, we all want to be a source of joy and assurance for our friends. So, it takes an incredible amount of boldness for a friend to tell you something that might discourage or hurt you.

A friend who always hides the truth from you, even if it makes you feel better, is not a real friend. The friendship can be toxic because this friend will urge you on even when you are digging yourself into a hole. When your drinking is becoming a problem, this “nice” friend will make it seem like you don’t have a problem; only to realize you have a huge problem later on. A true friend will lay bare the truth and let you know that you should make changes in your life for better health and life.

That is precisely whey getting a “mean” friend can be such a huge benefit for you. You should see beyond the “meanness” and realize that this is a friend who wants the best for you, and won’t let temporary pleasure or satisfaction compromise a more important future for you.