I should probably start this post off by saying that I love my best friend and I’m a big advocator of embracing your friends and family. At the same time, I think there’s something so comforting about knowing that you’re happy with your own company and there’s a certain sense of relief in knowing that you’re comfortable being alone.
As much as this post might make me sound like the weird girl from Mean Girls who just wanted to bake a cake made of rainbows and smiles (remember her?) I really do think it’s important to work on being your own best friend. I’m talking about being kinder to yourself, happy with your own company and confident in who you are as a person. That’s not difficult at all, right?
Here are 5 reasons why you should try and work on being your own best friend:
I’m aware that I sound like the biggest cliche on earth here, but if I’ve learned anything in the past few years it’s that life is unpredictable and it tends to metaphorically slap you in the face when you least expect it.
When all hell breaks loose it’s almost a natural inclination to look to someone else for help, comfort or guidance and the last thing you need when you’re feeling crappy is to feel even worse because you’re ‘alone.’ Again with the cliches, but you aren’t alone. You actually never are alone and never will be, that’s kind of the beauty of the whole ‘being your own best friend’ thing. Be the one to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on (and cry for a few hours straight if that’s what you feel like you need to do).
Embracing your own abilities and knowing that you’re able to solve things on your own gives you an incredible sense of independence and satisfaction because you’ll know that when push comes to shove, you can handle anything that comes at you and as long as you have yourself, you’ll pull through in the end.
I feel like we’ve all been there. We want to go out and see a film, go shopping or go out somewhere but everyone is busy or unavailable so we just don’t end up going at all (solo Grey’s Anatomy marathons in my pyjamas usually end up happening instead). I’m guilty of thinking this way, like if I don’t have company then I don’t want to do anything but that’s kind of crazy when you think about it. Are we not able to just enjoy our own company? My god, do I find myself that annoying?!
Try treating yourself like your own best friend and wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go, whatever you want to do, go out and do it. You’ve got you for company and that’s really all you need.
Something that I really dislike about myself is how much I seem to thrive on other people’s praise, almost as if I can’t let myself just be happy with something (anything) that I’ve done until someone else confirms that I’ve done a good job, then I’ll believe it. How twisted is that.
Something amazing happens when you start encouraging and supporting yourself like a friend would though. You start to get into the habit of not looking to others for things like gratification or pats on the back and then the next time you do something amazing you can just be proud and relish in your achievements and success yourself, then share those achievements with others later if you choose to.
It’s not about withholding things from your family or friends and it’s not about having to do everything yourself, it’s more just learning to let yourself feel satisfied and fulfilled with what you’ve accomplished in your life, without needing an ‘A+’ or a ‘Wow you did a great job’ to make you feel good.
There’s you, for years and years (hopefully) and that’s it.
Really think about it, you’re stuck with your own company for the rest of your life, so enjoy that inner monologue of yours because it’ll be with you for the long haul. People talk a lot about making sure that you surround yourself with healthy relationships and positive people but the way I see it, the relationship you should be trying to improve the most is the one you have with yourself. It’s the one and only relationship you can’t avoid so I think that pretty much ranks it at the top of the list. I mean, it’d be pretty awkward to try and ignore yourself for the rest of your life.
The reality is that friends come and go, family can come and go, relationships can end just as quickly as they begin but through it all there’s still you. (See I told you I was going to start sounding like the weird girl from Mean Girls…). Seriously though, you’re literally going to be with you forever so we all might as well start trying to get comfortable with who we are and all that we have to offer.
I think a lot of us have a tendency to be quite negative and harsh on ourselves and so unfortunately it’s easy to end up in a toxic cycle of self-doubt and sometimes self-hatred that fuels that negativity. Think of all the belittling things you say about yourself in your head, would your best friend say those things to you? Probably not, and if they do then are they really that great of a ‘best’ friend?
Some of the most complementary and kindest things that have ever been said to me have come from my best friend. See now the fact that I never tend to say things like that to myself shows me straight away that I need to go easier on myself. For mental health especially, I think the kinder you are to yourself the easier it is to be kind and generous to others as well. So the next time you’re being harsh or dismissive of your abilities, have some compassion, pretend like you’re talking to your best friend and forgive yourself for any of your ‘mistakes’ or perceived flaws.