I think as a species we’ve become well established at being social. Over the years we’ve all learned what it means to be a good friend.
And with the right person, being besties is absolutely effortless. Being kind, understanding, supportive, you don’t even do it because you have to…you want to.
You cheer them on in their accomplishments and cry with them in their hardest moments. You feel your bestie’s heartbreak as if it happened to you. And you reveal in their joy.
You forgive them for their mistakes, you lend a shoulder to cry on. It’s a really beautiful bond that cannot really be justifiably put into words.
But you are there for them, time and time and time again. Why then, do we all find it so difficult to lend that same affection, kindness, and patience to ourselves?
I struggled for a really long time to feel comfortable with just myself, and while I have always been an exemplary friend to others, I was almost a bully to myself. Actually, I have had many times in my life when I have been harsh with myself.
It took me a really long time to actually connect with myself in the same manner that I could with my bestie.
But if there’s one person that you are always guaranteed to be around, it’s yourself. And being your own best friend is so important. Few life skills bring such lasting rewards as learning to become a wonderfully supportive BFF.
You need to be able to push yourself, support yourself and comfort yourself in the same way that you do with others.
So in the article, we’ll talk about some ways you can connect with yourself and become your own best friend.
1. Get To Know Yourself
How many of us hate that dreaded interview question ‘so, tell me a little bit about yourself.’ For most, everything you know about yourself just *poofs* straight out of your head.
But I always hated this question because I really didn’t know all that much about myself.
I’ve always tended to be a people pleaser, and so most of my free time and hobbies center around doing what other people want to do. And sure I enjoyed those activities, but what did I do because it brought me happiness?
Getting to really know yourself can bring you closer to yourself.
And this won’t happen overnight, you’re really going to need to take some time to soul-search. I always found journaling helped.
But what are your dreams? Your goals? Your fears? What motivates you? What disengages you? What makes you happy? What makes you feel lost?
2. Respond To Your Needs
As a friend, you’ll always try and be there when they need you, right? Whether that’s emotionally, physically, or financially – if you can help, you do. Because that’s what good friends do.
But what about your own needs? How often do you prioritize yourself? Can you talk yourself up to do something you’re nervous about?
Can you be stern with yourself when you’re engaging in self-destructive behavior? Do you let yourself sleep when you’re exhausted?
Essentially, try and think – would I help my friend in this situation? What advice would I give? And then apply that advice to yourself.
3. Remember That Being Kind To Yourself Isn’t Selfish Or Wrong
I so often hear people talking about themselves in such derogatory ways and it makes me so sad. I mean, I’ve been there, and there are days when I still am.
But I think as a whole we are all so much harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. It’s time to start cutting ourselves some slack.
Life is hard. Life is stressful. And sometimes life isn’t very fair. And sometimes you just need a break.
Taking that step back and that big deep breath isn’t selfish. Putting yourself first from time to time isn’t selfish. Being kind to yourself is never selfish.
You’ll find you can actually also be such a better friend to others, once your own needs have been met. How can you truly help someone else while drained and unhappy?
4. Speak To Yourself As If You’re Someone Else
I remember one day when having a particularly bad day, I spoke to my mom about how I was feeling within myself.
And she asked me would you ever call your friend those things? Would you say those things about someone else?
I was floored. I’d never considered it before. But no, I would never ever say those types of things to someone else, so why should I think them about me?
It’s quite easy to get super caught up in unkind thoughts but if you wouldn’t say it about a friend. Don’t say it about yourself.
Instead, say things you would say to your bestie. Tell yourself it’s all going to be okay. Tell yourself – you’ve got this!
5. Make Time For Self-Care
Spend some time on yourself and make yourself feel good. Self-care could be anything. It could be sitting watching your favorite chick flick with a tub of ice cream.
It could be a facemask and a bubble bath. It could be a brilliant book and a glass of wine.
Just ensure that you are leaving some time in your life for some peace. For some turn-off time where you can leave your troubles behind and just relax.
Becoming your own best friend can be a struggle at first. You’ll probably realize you’ve got a lot of negative behaviors to correct, but once you do, you’ll find happiness that is like no other.
Of course, it is still important to be a good friend to others, you need that social connection and time. But you do also need a little me time.
You need to be kind to yourself. There’s no escaping yourself and you’re together for the rest of your life so you need to learn a little love and compassion for yourself.
After all, look at you! Kind and caring, loving and warm. What’s not to love?