“Be your own best friend” is great advice, but it does beg the question how would you get along with your best mate if you were to spend every single minute, of every single day with them? No toilet breaks. Every. Waking. Second. With. Them.
Spending an entire lifetime with anyone, from the minute you are born to the very last breath you take is never going to be a bump-free journey, there will be fights along the way, but if you make that person a firm friend it will go a lot smoother.
It is after all a unique situation; you are the only person that you have to spend your WHOLE life with. Everyone else can ultimately be escaped from, even those that require a Sleeping-With-The-Enemy-style fake-your-own-death level of effort (but let’s not talk about Grandad again this week).
Fair’s fair, everybody already knows they SHOULD “love themselves”, SHOULD feel they’re “worth it” and SHOULD “be their own best friend” which can make you feel even more of a failure during those times when you find yourself difficult to be around. With that in mind my aim here is to impart as many helpful tips as I can.
You might wonder what qualifies me to give this advice, and the simple answer is absolutely nothing, but equally there is NOTHING stopping me either.
I don’t know if it just comes naturally to me, or if I watched too many episodes of the A-Team as a child, but I’m so supportive of myself that I would more accurately be described as “my own best-enabler”.
This is how most people’s inner critic sounds if they eat a biscuit when they should be on a diet:-
Whereas I’m more like:-
First tip, be gentle with yourself, start out slow by looking out for opportunities to either compliment or support yourself with kindness.
If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. Easy right? Wrong. It is actually easier to be critical than it is to be constructive so you’re going to have to put some effort in. Look at the judges on any reality TV show, who looks like they’re working hardest Simon Cowell or Alesha Dixon?
Sometimes an easier way to deal with internal criticism is to think of it the other way around – what would you do if your best friend had just said that to you?
I’ll level with you, I used to have a vicious inner critic but I didn’t like her so I stopped listening to her, not by ignoring what she said but by internally screaming “SHUT UP!” before she got her first word out. It took a while but that b**ch backed the hell down eventually.
Remember that ALL human beings are both fabulous AND flawed, those are not separate groups. Stop being so hard on yourself, and start defending yourself instead.
You will spend your entire life with YOU, right from the very start to the very end. The only respite you will get from yourself is sleep, and during your twenties some bouts of alcohol-induced unconsciousness, so my advice is to make good friends with yourself early on if you can, but if you didn’t, it is NEVER too late to start.