How do you speak to yourself? Would you let others speak to you that way? Are you good to yourself?

Many of us speak to ourselves in a way we might never tolerate from others. That bitch or bastard would be out of your life. You would never speak to them again. You would certainly never listen to them (unless you are a masochist).

We have to live with our own internal voices more than any other voice in the world. We could insist on civility and good humour. We could insist on helpful and healthy comments.

Why be your own best friend?

If you are nasty with yourself, everything gets harder. You feel discouraged and miserable and then you have to push through anyway.

Hanging out with people who are good to you is basic. Why sign up for purgatory?

How you treat yourself colours your relationships. If you often put yourself down, you tend to hear criticism from others whether it’s there or not.

You also give other people permission to mistreat you. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. If you don’t think it’s true, a mean comment tends to slide right off.

What does it look like?

As your own best friend, you want healthy honest feedback. You don’t want encouragement to be destructive. You don’t want an “enabler”. Nor do you want someone who is too hard on you.

A really good friend may not sugar-coat the truth but nor will they shame you for your current limits.

Practice

It will take practice to learn to be your own best friend. It is likely to be worth it. I am going to attempt it. What about you?

If you can be your own best friend, you don’t need the rest of the world to get it right all the time. You may lighten up. External criticism won’t matter so much.

Start to be your own best friend

Ask yourself questions. Get to know yourself.

  • What do you want?
  • What do you need?
  • What would help you get what you want?
  • What hurts?
  • What is the antidote?
  • Do you need to change your actions?
  • What feels right?
  • How can you take steps towards what you love?
  • Is it true?
  • Is it useful?

If you prefer, you can keep building mountains of drama and scramble over slippery slopes. You can play attack and defense with yourself like an exciting action movie. You can survive, not thrive. But why would you?

Be your own best friend. Take the pressure off other people to do it for you. Get out of your own way. Stop the war inside you. It’s beyond pointless.

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