Tough love might be the most important thing you can give to a friend.
Researchers polled 140 adults and asked them about hypothetical situations -- like whether they would induce fear of failure in a loved one who is procrastinating -- to determine if people try to make their friends feel negative emotions if they think it will be beneficial for them in the future.
The study’s author, Belén López-Pérez, said they identified “several everyday examples where this might be the case.”
Scientists found that those who were not-so-nice to their friends and partners were more likely to be empathetic, The New York Post reported.
“These findings shed light on social dynamics, helping us to understand, for instance, why we sometimes may try to make our loved ones feel bad if we perceive this emotion to be useful to achieve a goal,” López-Pérez told The New York Post.