A research conducted in the University of Plymouth proved what we suspected long ago: the friend who provokes negative feelings in you by using harsh, tough words, is actually the one who really truly wants the best for you.
The 140 adults who participated in the research were observed while dealing with hypothetical situations presented to them. In these situations one person was trying to help his friend to do the things that best served his good - for example study for an upcoming exam.
The researchers discovered that those who cared for their friends consistently chose to provoke negative feelings, expecting that these will be the best motivator for achieving the desired goals.
That practically means that in order to get people to move ahead and do what's best for them - our best friends, those who really love us and care what will happen to us, would be the ones who will hurt us the most. By using harsh words (though probably true), confronting us with our deepest faults and pointing to us our short-comings, these friends will be trying to motivate us to improve ourselves.
"Cruel to be kind" is not just a phrase from a song, it is what the people who love us the most do for us - not against us. Although hard to notice when insult strikes and tears choke - this friend who hurt us so deep is actually the one who loves us the most, per this research.
That is hard to comprehend, yet it is probably true. Think of the person who loves you more than anything in this world: mother, father, sister, brother, best friend - how many times did you decide that you will never speak to them again EVER? How many times were you hurt by what they said? Now be honest - how many times were they right? How many times, when you followed their advice - did it eventually turn in your favor?
So next time you think that this person is your worst enemy - think again. This person probably loves you more than all other advice givers. Go ahead, give them a hug. Share this post with them to show that you understand, and you thank them.