Why You Need to Be Your Own Best Friend

Best friends aren’t perfect, but we love them just as they are.  Sure, they frustrate us and sometimes even hurt us, but we believe in them, and we’re always there for them.

We’re they’re cheerleaders, support system, partner in crime and we want only the best for them.

If they’re going for a new job, we know they’re the best person for it, and if they don’t get it, then we see the company that rejected them as idiots for not picking her.

We do all of this because we love her and it allows us to see beauty in her flaws.

Now, if we think about how we treat ourselves, for most of us, it’s an entirely different picture.

We’re our worst enemy and biggest bully.

We doubt ourselves, only see our flaws (and even make up flaws just to criticize ourselves), say horrible things in our heads about ourselves, get in our own way, and abuse/punish ourselves.

We extend compassion and grace to our best friend, but loathing and disappointment to ourselves.

Imagine how different you would be if you treated yourself the way you treat your best friend.

 

BEST YOUR BEST FRIEND TIP #1:  CHANGE HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF

Your best friend is beautiful, talented, sweet, funny, and amazing, right?

How would she describe you?  Probably equally as awesome.

Now think about how you would describe yourself.

You probably wouldn’t use quite the same words that she would use.  Not only because you hone in on your flaws, but as women, we feel a little awkward saying what we like about ourselves.

 
For just a moment, think about yourself through the lens of your best friend.  What would she say?  How does it feel to say those positive words about yourself?
 

What if you could see your talents and skills and celebrate them?

What if you could embrace your flaws and see them as endearing quirks?

What if you saw yourself as beautiful, funny, talented, warm, and kind?

Most of us spend the majority of our days looking at ourselves through a ridiculously critical lens.  To be your own best friend,  you have to switch that up and look at yourself through a more compassionate lens.  

Difficult to do?  Yes...but not impossible.

It just takes being aware of how you are seeing yourself on a daily basis and intentionally choosing to see yourself from a more positive and loving place.


 

TRY IT OUT!

For one day (one week if you’re really feeling ambitious!), only think of yourself in terms your best friend would use to describe you.  If you feel a negative thought come on, think of her words.
 

 

BEST YOUR BEST FRIEND TIP #2: CHANGE HOW YOU TREAT YOURSELF

Changing how you see yourself is just the tip of the iceberg.  Once aware of the lens you use to view yourself you can actively work to use to better one; the next step is to change how you treat yourself.

As women, we tend to be really hard on ourselves.

It’s no wonder when we see ourselves as failures, not good enough, and always doing things that cause us to feel guilty for our actions and choices.

Seeing ourselves negatively doesn’t exactly inspire behavior that allows us to treat ourselves with respect and kindness.

While there could be many different ways you could treat yourself better, let’s take a look at three broad areas that most of our not-so-good self-behaviors fall into...

 

Punishing Yourself

As women, we love to punish ourselves, especially around eating, working out, and being the “right” size or weight.

Enjoy dessert after dinner...we feel ‘bad’ and then guilty the rest of the night.  The next day, we over exercise or eat less to compensate.

Starving yourself or over-exercising may feel like you’re doing something good for your body, but you’re not.  You’re just punishing yourself and abusing yourself.

Eating dessert on a special occasion (or just because you feel like it!), isn’t grounds for punishing yourself.  Ever.

You’re human and eating dessert is part of life, so enjoy it!

If your best friend ate dessert would you call her a fat pig and force her to run an extra 15 minutes the next day????  Of course not!

You would never say that to her because you love her and want her to enjoy life.

 

Never giving yourself a break

There’s something good about pushing yourself to succeed or get ahead, but when you push yourself relentlessly with no break, you’re losing sight of how to be compassionate to yourself.  

Would you push your best friend to the point of exhaustion and burnout?  NO!  You’d encourage her to slow down at the first signs of overdoing it.

It’s time you do the same for yourself.

 

Treat yourself from time to time

Now and then you like to treat your best friend to something you know will make her smile because she’s special and deserves it.

Maybe you surprise her with tickets to a show she’s been dying to see, or you spot a bracelet you just know she’d love and you buy it on a whim.

Some people treat themselves on the regular, so if that’s you, keep on doing what you’re doing, but if you routinely feel guilty for treating yourself or buying something for yourself, it’s time to break the mold and give it a try.  

It’s okay to spend a little money on yourself or do something you’ve been dying to do!

If your best friend deserves it, then guess what...so do you!


 

TRY IT OUT!

Give yourself the gift of treating yourself, having dessert, and taking an afternoon or evening off from your relentless pace.  The key to doing this the right way is to all of this without an ounce of guilt.  Remind yourself throughout the experience that you deserve this!
 

 

BEST YOUR BEST FRIEND TIP #3:  CHANGE HOW YOU TALK TO YOURSELF

How you talk to yourself is by far the hardest behavior to change.

It’s also the subject of many blogs, articles, and even books.  

How you talk to yourself fundamentally molds the way you see yourself and treat yourself.

We are conditioned to beat ourselves up.  Our Inner Bullies are part of us.  As much as we'd like to release our Inner Bullies permanently, it's not possible.  But, that doesn't mean we have to give into them, and most of us forget that we have power over our inner critical voice.

Unfortunately, most of us listen to everything they say.  We believe every put-down, insult, and untruth they sling our way.

“Ugh...you’re so fat.”
“Why would you think you can get that promotion?”
“No one is talking to you at this party because you’re too boring.”

Any of that sound familiar?

This type of dialogue needs to stop.  

Seriously, would you say any of these things to your best friend???  Would you put up with your best friend saying these things to YOU?

I know it seems difficult to imagine being able to talk to yourself with kindness, but yes, you can expect to get to a place where you rarely have these types of thoughts.

No, you can't banish them completely, but you can drastically reduce them simply by being aware of what you’re saying to yourself and working on seeing yourself in a better light (i.e. more compassionately).

I used to have the worst inner dialogue where I beat myself pretty much throughout the day.  It was horrible!

Then, I got tired of it.  I was sick of feeling bad about myself all the time, so I decided I needed to approach things differently.  It took awhile, but after focusing in on what I was saying to myself and actively stopping it and thinking something positive, I eventually got to the point where I rarely think such negative thoughts about myself.

Do my Inner Bullies still try to talk trash to me?  Of course, that’s part of life, but it’s not often, and when they do, I know something else is going on, and I deal with that, not the mud they’re slinging at me.


 

TRY IT OUT!

When you catch yourself having these types of thoughts, stop them in their tracks.  Then think about what you would say to your best friend in this situation.  Then tell that to yourself.  Try that for a week and see how much better you feel about yourself!
 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

We are our own worst enemies, and most of us treat ourselves worse than we’d treat an enemy.

It’s time to rethink our default approach to how we talk to ourselves, think about ourselves, and treat ourselves.

Instead of inflicting self-abuse, it’s time to treat ourselves like we treat our best friend.

Learn to be your own best friend and watch yourself grow beyond what you thought you were capable of ever being.

Need help with any of this?  Leave me a comment, send me a message, or let’s work together!