“I recently had an interesting discussion with a friend of mine, we went out for lunch and she told me about a mutual friend that we go to college with, so the friend has a few relationship issues with her boyfriend, in my opinion, she could do way better. Anyway, my friend ( the one I was having lunch with) proceeded to tell me that the girls all got together and had a sleepover. I wasn’t invited, I was shocked, and I asked her why wasn’t I invited, so it turns out the sleepover was to help “the friend” with relationship issues, but I wanted to find out why I wasn’t told, she then said that people think that I am mean. This obviously hurt my feelings because I am kind to everyone, and I know that she was referring to the friend with the relationship issues, I didn’t know that my being honest and upfront could be taken as being mean”. – anonymous
When someone says you are mean
So you got the shock of your life, your friend told you that you are mean and this has you thinking about what you could have done or said for them to think that you are that kind of person. My dear friend be relieved that your friends have told you this, it gives you time to assess the situation, and not all is lost.
Make sure that you take the time to have a look at these possible reasons why your friends think that you are mean, some of them will surprise you.
12 Reasons why your friends think you are mean
You are judgmental
So let’s say your friend has a history of dating multiple people, lots of people do, but you don’t. And because you have only been with a handful of men when your friend tells you “I met a guy called steven last week and we spent the night together”. Your instincts would tell you “ oh no, she needs to slow down, why does she sleep with so many people, she doesn’t know how to handle herself”. If you are brave enough you will probably tell your friend what you think.
Helpful tip: It’s not easy but understand that your friend is not you, and you are not your friend, that is what makes friendships unique.
You are straightforward
If your friend is trying to lose weight and you see her eating cake or pizza, you then say to her “ do you think that you should be eating that?”. Do you see how someone might take offense to that?
Helpful tip: Even if you have your friend’s best interests at heart find a way to be straightforward without coming across as mean. Maybe you can say something like “you and I should not be eating anything unhealthy”, do you see how polite that sounds, you are telling her to watch her weight but you also include yourself.
You have a serious look
Okay, this is not necessarily your fault, some people naturally have a serious look, but it doesn’t make them mean or anything. It’s just that society tends to perceive “serious-look” people as being mean, and “smiley” people as being nice.
Helpful tip: Try and take notice of how you interact with your friends, maybe check yourself a few times, and make it a point to smile a little sometimes a serious face although not your fault can make you look mean.
You always want to be right
Even when your friend points out that you are wrong, you refuse to acknowledge your mistakes, girl you cannot always be right or always WANT to be right, after some times it gets boring and you come across as snotty and “missus always right”.
Helpful tip: Don’t shy away from apologizing when you are wrong, it’s not a sign of weakness, and your friends will appreciate you for that.
You hardly say anything
So maybe you are the type of person who is reliable, and trustworthy BUT you never say anything. Your friends never know what you are thinking, and you also never contribute to any discussion or provide advice or any insight.
Helpful tip: Even if you don’t have an opinion to share, ask your friends a few questions here and there, this shows that you are listening and not lost in your world.
Your friendship standards are high
In this instance, you always want to be around people who seem perfect, people who have certain jobs, or people who are in certain types of relationships. You never compromise on the friends you want to have, you have your friendship standards and you want to stick with them.
Mommy friends are notorious for excluding anyone who is not a “certain” type of mom, now this is not always the case but it happens more often than you think.
Helpful tip: Keep an open mind, and engage with people who are different from you, you might be surprised at how many things you have in common.
You are always distracted
When you are in a social setting you are always on your phone, you are never fully present in the conversation, and you also don’t look interested in the general discussions or atmosphere, all you do is sit with your friends, sure you are present but you are not there. Your friends have to constantly repeat the same questions because you are distracted.
It’s so easy to see why they would think that you are mean, being on your phone is a sign of being bored, and many people eventually get tired of this.
Helpful tip: When you are around your friends turn your notifications off if you have to make a phone call or do something at a certain time set an alarm, that way your phone is not constantly in your hand.
You never contribute to friendship activities
So like socializing, laughing, and going to the movies with your friends but you never want to put any money toward the activities even though you will also benefit from them. Your friends constantly have to pay for you even if you have money, girl, that is a little mean.
You give unwanted advice (and force your friends to take it)
Part of being a friend is being a good listener, when your friend comes to you with a problem you can ask her if she is venting or if she wants you to give her advice, those are two different things. If your friend wants to vent then grab some popcorn and some tissues and allow her to talk away, but if your friend wants some advice give it to her, and give her the room to choose to take it or not.
Helpful tip: If you give your friend advice and she doesn’t take it and ends up (for example) being hurt, do not rub it in her face and say “I told you so”, that is mean. You are probably thinking “ but I am not trying to be mean, I want the best for my friend”, that is correct, but give your friend space to make her own choices.
Your behavior is domineering
You always want your friends to go do what you want, go where you want to do, and if it’s not your way then it’s the highway, can you see how this can come across as being mean?
Helpful tip: It’s always fun to do different activities with your friends, it’s even better if all of you rotate and give each other a chance to pick and choose what the group will do.
You don’t socialize
You are the type of friend that never shows up to events even though you are invited, when your friends host a get-together you always have some sort of excuse. You would rather spend time alone or pick and choose which events you attend.
Helpful tip: When you are invited to a get-together, even if you don’t want to go, attend for one or two hours and tell your friends you have to go. That way they see that you are supportive and they will continue to invite you.
You never ask how your friends are doing
You never call or send messages to your friends, your friends are the ones who always reach out. If a friend is in need you never make an effort to find out how you can help.
Helpful tip: It only takes a few seconds to contact a friend, if making a phone call is not your thing, send a message, it’s better than not communicating at all.
Why do people think I am mean?
When people say that you are mean it could be because you are straightforward, that level of confidence can be scary to some people and a little intimidating.
How do you know if you are mean?
People will generally avoid being around you, they will come up with excuses or they won’t tell you anything because of the way you talk and react, some people will be brave enough to tell you that you are mean.
Just because you come across as being mean doesn’t mean that you are, if you feel that your actions or words have been misunderstood, there is nothing to worry about, talk to your friends, invite them over for lunch, and clear the air.