Your Most Critical Friends May Actually Be the Ones Who Care About You the Most, Study Finds
So if you’re lucky enough to have a Dorothy in your life, do your best to keep her around—sassy quips and all.
Bea Arthur’s biting one-liners and scorching eyebrow-raises made her Golden Girls character a TV legend, but they’re also what made Dorothy an excellent friend—perhaps the best friend residing at 6151 Richmond Street.
According to a study published in Psychological Science, your meanest friends may actually be the ones who care about you the most. Researchers found that friends like Dorothy—the ones who say things you don’t want to hear, and who push you out of your comfort zone—act the way they do not for their own personal gain, but because they believe it will help you in the long run.
"We have shown that people can be 'cruel to be kind'—that is, they may decide to make someone feel worse if this emotion is beneficial for that other person, even if this does not entail any personal benefit for them," psychological scientist Belén López-Pérez, a lead researcher on the study, explained.
"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," López-Pérez noted.
So if you’re lucky enough to have a Dorothy in your life, do your best to keep her around—sassy quips and all. And of course, thank her for being a friend.