Friendship ain’t easy. Sometimes friends move away, forget your birthday, and say insensitive things. It’s almost as though friends are also people—at least, they act just like them.
So what is friendship?
Friendship might spring from shared values or hobbies or always bumping into the same someone on a daily commute. The desire for friendship is woven into what we need for a healthy support system to help us to feel not so alone in the world.
According to many popular ideas about friendship, a true friend is someone who is on your side, no matter what. A true friend watches out for you and will never betray you or make you feel bad.
As wonderful as that sounds, we continue to run into the unpleasant reality that friends are people. And all of us people can be unreliable, self-focused, and sometimes oblivious to the needs of others. But there is a fascinating charmer you can cultivate a great relationship with, and that lifelong friend is the good buddy you find in the mirror everyday, known as the one you call “Me.”
And this is really great news! You can nurture a profound friendship with yourself. When you are your own best friend, you can:
- Offer yourself approval rather than waiting for it from others
- Lovingly watch out for yourself and ensure that you’re not in danger
- Soothe yourself when your heart is breaking
- Make yourself laugh and inspire yourself to see life with a fresh view
When you learn to count on and appreciate yourself, your dearest friend is always nearby and ready to help.
Even so, you still might want to connect with others, because that can be fun and beneficial too.
When you talk to yourself, be friendly! Be understanding! NEVER BE MEAN!
When you are your own best friend, it can help you navigate difficulties with friends who aren’t you. For instance, a good friend of mine just moved away. At first I was angry because I didn’t want her to move. Then I realized that I can’t control what other people do. But I could notice that I was feeling upset and that I needed to be very kind to the part of me that was hurting. My inner best friend comforted me when I was feeling abandoned, and that helped me appreciate that the friend who moved away was doing what she needed to do and that I still had my dearest friend with me.
With the opportunity to turn to yourself for deep, life-long companionship, you can always find someone on the inside who is up for an adventure, or in for a quiet night. You can be your own best friend forever. You can make the world a better, brighter place by loving you.
7 Ways to Be Your Own Best Friend
- When you look in the mirror, appreciate the unique person staring back at you—there’s never been another you!
- When you talk to yourself, be friendly! Be understanding! NEVER BE MEAN!
- When you need lovin’, give yourself a self-hug. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
- Don’t be shy to use your name and tell yourself that you love you.
- Make a date with yourself to do something kind and caring.
- Make yourself laugh.
- Take time for contemplative practices that help you stay tuned in to your body, mind and emotions so that you might always be able to access your inner wisdom.
A Practice to Cultivate Self-Friendliness
It can take practice to get into the groove of being your own best friend. Try this:
- Find a quiet moment and experiment with placing your hand over your heart area, or maybe putting a hand on your cheek. Allow yourself to choose whatever feels the most friendly and comforting.
- Have the intention that you are going to be with your best friend.
- Now you might like to let your eyes close and take a moment to breathe in for a count of five and out for a count of seven, three times.
- When you are ready, offer these words for the well-being of the lovely person known as you (or feel free to change these phrases and write your own!): “May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be my own best friend.”