Sunday, 7 December 2014

Be your own best friend

Learning to be your own best friend is one of the biggest know cures for loneliness. I know it sounds a bit mad, but read on before you make your mind up.



You have been in your own company since that moment you took your first breath. You'll be there when you take your final breath. Apologies for getting a tad morbid, but if you think about it- you are the only true constant in your life. But right now, is that a self-supporting constant or are you being a big bully to yourself?

While you are still breathing you have the very best friend a person could ask for. You know your own secrets and you laugh at your own jokes.

Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who had a rocky time with other children while growing up. The girls on the street, and boys actually, had a particular dislike for me which my mother put down to the very non-progressive idea that they were just jealous. I struggled to see what they could be jealous of, and subsequently spent most my childhood indoors while my sisters played outside.

So now that the sob story is out of the way, I wish I could tell you how much I want to go back in time and tell Little Me that there is a best friend right there for her- herself.

Often the reason we can be so lonely is because we struggle to be in our own company. It's a lonely place if the only person you're with, is insulting you and telling you how worthless you are.

Imagine if you decided to embrace the idea of being your own best friend? What would you do? How would you spend your day?

I bet you are capable of being wonderfully supportive of others. I bet you do kind things for other people all the time. I bet you often advise friends and family members. Well, what about showing yourself the same treatment? What about treating yourself like the precious person you are?

Here are some tips and ideas to get you started: 

  1. Get to know yourself. What do you like? What do you dislike? What are your favourite movies, books, places and people? Look inwards and explore. There's no right or wrong answer. 
  2. Start doing things you enjoy. No seriously, go out into the Big Bad World and do the things you love to do. And do them alone! Forget about everyone else. Life waits for no one. Go now. And if you're not sure what you'd like to do, then look to the previous point. 
  3. Treat yourself well. Take care of yourself the way you would if a friend was visiting. Use the best teacups. Run yourself a bath. Buy yourself flowers. Light a candle as you watch TV. When you treat yourself with respect you'll start to feel a bit better. 
  4. Go on a date with yourself. Yes you read that right. Why not? Forget about what other people think. Is there a movie you want to see? Is there a show you'd like to go to? You'd be surprised by the number of people to be found on their own at these sort of events. It's a lot less strange than you think!
  5. Encourage and praise yourself. If you did something well, then tell yourself so. If you had a hard day but made it out in one piece, then tell yourself well done. Only you know how challenging some things can be, so sometimes you're the only one who can encourage and praise yourself. 
  6. Compliment yourself. I know this can be tricky if your self esteem isn't the greatest. But focusing on the positive is always a helpful thing!
  7. Lighten up and take yourself less seriously. You're not the ogre you think you are at times. You're just a human being, bumbling along like the rest of us. Cut yourself a break. You don't hold your friends to impossibly high standards, so show yourself the same kindness!
  8. Remember to depend on yourself. You are a very capable human being, with lots of great advice, wit and wisdom. I'm not saying to run off to cave to live on your own, but what I am saying is that you are the one thing in your life that you can always depend on to be there for you. You are your rock. And the sooner you realise that, the sooner you will feel free. 
  9. Learn to self-soothe. You can comfort yourself in times of upset. And protect yourself in times of attack. You can speak softly to yourself when you feel afraid and you can hold your own hand through difficult times. 
  10. Remind yourself you're investing in the friendship of a lifetime. The effort will pay off!

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