Have you every thought about being a friend to yourself? How would that feel and why does it feel weird for some of us to think about being a friend to ourselves?
How to be your very own best Friend
Hopefully most of us know how to treat friends and how to make friendships. Friends can be trustworthy and loyal, encourage each other and just be there when times are tough or equally, when times are fun.
So, if we know how to do this for our friends, why can we find it so hard to do the same for ourselves?
Being a friend to yourself is the same as being a friend to others and yet it can feel so much harder and even awkward for some of us. Why do some of us find it hard to be kind to ourselves but not to others? Why can’t we give ourselves the unconditional love, support, and acceptance that we give to friends and family?
You can be your own best friend
The most important relationship in your life is with yourself. You spend all of your time with yourself, and you’ll always have a relationship with yourself. Others will come and go from your life, but you can always be there for yourself. There will be times when your friendship group changes through life. People have families, people move away, people split up, all changes in life that happen at different times for us all, if at all. So, it’s important to be able to count on yourself and meet your own emotional needs. Even your best friend, who knows you better than anyone, can’t meet all of your needs. It’s impossible for someone else to always be available and tuned into your needs
Also, expecting others to meet all our needs can leave us disappointed, frustrated, or feeling rejected. However, if we pay attention to ourselves and our own feelings, hopefully in time, we’ll be able to trust ourselves, give ourselves compassion and contentment, and be able to rely on ourselves when life is tough. There are a few simple steps to being your own best friend
Accept yourself unconditionally
This is where hopefully; we can all get to. A good friend accepts you for who you are, they highlight your best qualities, and don’t compare you to others. They accept you for who you are. If you notice that you’re being self-critical, try to think about what you’re struggling with and offer yourself compassion and love, instead of criticism. Here’s an example:
Self-criticism: I can’t believe I’m behind with my work again, I am so disorganised
Self-acceptance: I’m frustrated that I’ve fallen behind. I am trying to do too much; I should look at my schedule and say no sometimes
Get to know yourself
How well do you really know yourself? Throughout life, it’s easy to lose track of what matters to you and what you like to do. Self-understanding and awareness are important parts of being a good friend to yourself. Take a moment to think about what you like in life, what makes you happy and how you like to spend your time. Then compare this to how you actually live your life and see how close you are to your goals.
Do some nice things for yourself
Friends help each other out when they’re struggling and they do nice things, to help their friends out. You can do this for yourself by saying something encouraging or being positive about yourself. You can also spend some time relaxing and getting involved in something you enjoy. Self-care is so important and so many of don’t spend enough time on self-care or make enough time for ourselves.
Setting healthy boundaries can also be a form of self-care. Without boundaries, we run the risk of overextending ourselves, getting burnt out, feeling resentful, and letting people treat us poorly. Learn to say no to people. It doesn’t have to be harsh, just asset yourself and explain that you’re busy and you can’t help out this time. A good friend will respect your decision and understand your boundaries. If a friend challenges your boundaries, then it could be time to look at this friendship and work out the benefits for you.
You can love yourself
Building a friendship with yourself is a process just like building any other friendship. It needs time and effort. Start with some small steps, taking a bit more time to be on your own and look after yourself a bit more. Spending quality time alone and understanding yourself a bit more, can help relieve anxiety and stress. It requires an investment of time and energy and a commitment to be open and honest. Being a better friend to yourself starts with small steps to get to know yourself and care for yourself. Loving and trusting yourself will develop over time. Develop your self-care and you will thank yourself for it xx