“Be a best friend to yourself” seems like a trivial statement void of substance. A phrase among so many others that people whip out when they run out of words.
But in reality, it’s the exact opposite.
To like yourself enough means to take your needs and wants into consideration. If that’s not already the case, then start being a friend to yourself.
No one else can give you what you need except you, and yes while people who care about you can support you and stand by your side – only you can learn to provide for yourself emotionally.
Make it a conscious goal to improve your self-esteem and get to know the real you. Because no person, place, or thing can fill those spaces in your mind and heart for you, and only YOU can get that work done and be a best friend to yourself.
Let’s see how.
Stop the Action-Reaction Game
If I say something you don’t like, you retaliate or silently feel judged?
When I express my thoughts about something you did, do you take it personally?
Say on weekends I want to do something without you, do you get jealous and feel put aside?
In the morning, when you look in the mirror, do you drill the usual list of judgemental thoughts?
Every part of life has examples of action-reaction, and it’s rarely positive.
When something happens that you perceive as negative, take a few minutes to think first. Don’t react immediately on an impulse.
Try to distance yourself and let your thoughts breathe long enough to analyze the situation.
If that’s too hard, imagine the situation happening to people you know – not to you.
How would you react differently?
What could you say to them?
Take your own real-life example – detail the last time you felt bad because of someone else. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for just a minute – was this person’s behavior against you? Or were they having some trouble of their own? Did the person intentionally hurt you? Or is it you that perceived the facts differently?
Now run through that situation in your mind again- what positive reactions could you put in place? How could you have expressed yourself differently without accusations or feeling judged or left out?
Even if the person behaved badly, you could react positively by not accepting the situation and getting what you need within yourself.
When you become a best friend to yourself, your goal is to no longer depend on someone else’s actions to bring you happiness.
With practice, your needs become clearer, your reactions more thought out, and you can start to make positive changes on your own.
Is It really their fault?
When we feel bad about who we are, we place high hopes on our partner to mend us, fix us, help us.
But this method is doomed to fail simply because it’s exhausting for the other person, and no one should have this role (other than your mother or a therapist).
And we end up feeling sad, convinced it’s the other person’s fault because they didn’t consider us the way we expected.
But it’s no one’s fault. It’s just a matter of shifting responsibility.
You are the only one responsible for your happiness.
Start by nurturing and being kind to yourself, without criticism or judgment. Only then can your relationships thrive and grow healthy.
Be a best friend to yourself, and learn to stand on your own, and start giving yourself what you’d like the other person to give you.
When negative thoughts start coming at you, remember that you have a choice to believe them or not. You can choose to criticize yourself or empathize and be kind…
You can choose to beat yourself up, or hug yourself and start giving yourself some long-deserved love…
Because that’s where it all starts, right? Self-love.
It’s always your choice – and your responsibility.
A powerful way to be a best friend to yourself.
The problem is that we listen to the negative voice of low self-esteem that repeatedly hurts us.
Make a list of your wants, needs, and passions even if you think they’re not attainable. Now read them out loud in a positive and reassuring way.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. – Joseph Campbell
When you learn to be a best friend to yourself, you also learn to shut down those negative thoughts and replace them with valued phrases.
Related Reading: How To Improve Your Self Esteem
Create a friendship bubble with yourself
Spending time alone is critical to know yourself. How can you be a best friend to yourself if you can’t even imagine investing the time?
Most people panic at the idea of being alone – they feel safer with others.
Except that if you’re never alone, you can’t know yourself. There’s no space, no room to think, or just sit and feel. Create your bubble and face yourself.
Alone time is crucial for reflection and finding balance. Start by changing specific thought patterns and get used to your own company.
Take time out and assess your life. Are you happy? What would you change? Are the people you’ve let into your life toxic? Or, on the contrary, are they equal?
Do you feel like you’re stuck in quicksand? Or are you in full control of all your decisions and choices? Do others influence you?
You have to be honest to move forward.
Stand tall and proud.
Independence doesn’t mean I do what I want whenever I want.
It means standing tall and proud without leaning on others for your emotional well being.
It means not feeling “less than” if we don’t get the attention we expect or the answers we hope others will give us.
Emotional independence leads to other types of autonomy.
The one thing best friends have in common.
When we think of ourselves as losers or ugly or incapable, it’s challenging to shift our thought patterns – but it’s not impossible.
Would you say the same things to a friend or family member you respect? Would you crush them with negativity and criticize them nonstop?
Probably not. So respect yourself.
Treat yourself the way you treat a friend. Try not to focus on that one thing that went wrong, and start improving your self-esteem now.
Only then can you bring value and joy to a relationship with another human being.
Simple is full of surprises.
Life is complex for sure, and some days are worse than others.
Then there’s a spark of joy which leads to several rays of sunshine. And you’re on your way to enjoying life for another cycle.
Laugh a lot, have fun, liberate your voice, be creative. Simple things, however hard at first, always work best.
You’ll be surprised how quickly your mood can change when you shift your focus from negative self-centeredness to creating something outside of yourself.
It can be anything! Doodling, singing in the shower, dancing in the living room, finger painting.
You name it, just try.
If you can’t be a best friend to yourself, you will not be friends to others. Remember, you deserve investing in yourself.
It’s a fact that you are the only person in the universe that you’ll spend the rest of your life with.
You will be with you forever.
Isn’t that reason enough to be a best friend to yourself? To learn more about how unique and beautiful you are? To give yourself positive support instead of criticizing your beautiful being?
Take the necessary time to know yourself. It won’t happen overnight, but if you don’t decide to make it a goal today, well, it won’t happen at all.
I believe in you. And I ask that you try one step at a time to also believe in yourself.