Best friends are fantastic!
While I don’t have an army of friends, I have been gifted with some truly precious best friends. I have been best friends with one of my girlfriends for 34 years. There’s not much we don’t know about each other and we love each other dearly.
My life would simply not have been the same had I not met her.
Best friends laugh together, be there through the tears and hardship and celebrate all the wonderful moments life has to offer.
Yet despite this strong bond, our friends have lives of their own. They may have partners and/or children and careers and dreams of their own. Lifestyle choices can lead friends in different directions as well as lead them back to each other.
As much as we rely on our friends, they can’t always be there when we need them. That’s when we have to take control and be our own best friend.
Here are my top 10 thoughts on how to be your own best friend.
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1. Like yourself
You like your best friend. You like them despite the fact that you know their faults. You like them despite some of their annoying habits.
Why is it that so many of us have a hard time liking ourselves the same way? Like and respect yourself despite and sometimes because of your flaws.
At first glance, this one might seem a bit of a no-brainer but it’s amazing how many people walk around full of self-hatred (which often comes pouring out as anger and hostility).
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2. Enjoy your own company
I think regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert you need to be able to enjoy your own company.
This doesn’t mean you have to live in a cave or be away from people, you simply have to enjoy your own company enough to be alone with your own thoughts, feelings, and inner conflicts.
If your only reason for being around people is to avoid the thoughts spinning around in your head, you might need some alone time and self-examination.
3. Seek validation from within
Often people are too quick to seek outside validation. They need people to tell them they are doing a good job, they look good, or that they are a nice person.
Whilst compliments are lovely, the problem with constantly needing outside validation is the minute someone isn’t telling you how great you are your confidence plummets.
Of course, the other issue is when someone says something negative about you. You will be much more likely to cope with a negative comment if you source your validation from within.
Related post – Stop Waiting for Acceptance – Accept Yourself
4. Be able to compliment yourself
While we are on the topic of validation and acceptance, to be your own best friend you need to be able to compliment yourself.
Think of all the wonderful things you say to your best friend. Think of the ways you compliment and support them.
Now think about how you can do that for yourself.
Knowing your own worth definitely helps.
Related post – Know Your Own Worth
5. Learn how to pick yourself up
Our best friends are there for us when life gets really difficult as well as helping us deal with everyday issues.
Sometimes our friends may simply not be around or not be available when we need them. Often they have their own issues to deal with. People have busy lives.
It’s probably important to mention here that whilst talking to friends when you are feeling down is good, you need to make sure the support is reciprocal.
It shouldn’t always be about speaking to one particular friend when you are sad and then not being there for them in their time of need or not being interested in spending time with them when you are happy.
Your job as your own best friend is to be able to work through those down moments. It’s important to talk to yourself like your best friend would.
Be nurturing and supportive but also practical.
6. Make yourself laugh
While it’s wonderful to have friends to laugh and have fun with, we also need to have the ability to make ourselves happy.
Laughter, having a sense of humor, and not taking ourselves too seriously are vital for our sense of well-being.
We can’t and shouldn’t be serious all of the time. Sometimes it’s about knowing what will make us smile.
Related posts on having more fun and laughter in your life –
- Are You Having Enough Fun?
- How to Laugh More
- How to Smile More
- How to Lighten Up – 25 Tips for More Fun, Play and Relaxation
7. Be kind to yourself
Your self-talk is important. Monumentally important! It took me longer than I care to admit to fully understand what a huge impact this has on our lives.
You wouldn’t call your best friend fat after she ate a big meal. You wouldn’t call him or her ugly or dumb. Yet these are just some of the many horrible things we tend to say to ourselves.
You wouldn’t say nasty things to your best friend now, would you? So don’t say them to yourself.
Respect yourself enough to be kind.
Related post – 3 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Positive Self-Talk
8. Believe in yourself
When your best friend tells you he/she believes in you it’s a great feeling. Your self-esteem skyrockets and you feel full of confidence, motivation, and hope.
As I mentioned in an earlier post The Importance of Show and Tell in Relationships, telling people you love them is important. Showing them equally so. While lots of people say “I love you”, I firmly believe “I’m proud of you” is incredibly powerful.
So let me ask you this. When was the last time you said to yourself, either out loud to inside your head, “I am proud of you” and really meant it? I don’t mean saying it affirmation style every day to try to make yourself believe it.
If you can’t remember the last time you did this, it is time to start being more proud of yourself.
9. Embrace your individuality
While friendships are wonderful, they can also come with challenges particularly when people are struggling with feelings of envy or jealousy.
Friends (yes even the best ones) can sometimes compete, compare and copy you.
Jealousy and envy can raise their ugly head in the best friendships from time to time.
I have to admit I fell into this trap when I was younger. I looked up to one of my friends and tried to be more like them. Ultimately it didn’t work, causing some painful lessons along the way.
Love your friends but don’t try to be them. Be proud of your own individuality. Give envy and jealously the flick.
Related post – 10 Ways to Use Jealousy to Your Advantage
10. Be your own cheer squad
Give me a ‘T’, give me a ‘H’, give me an ‘E’, give me an ‘A’, Gooooooo ‘Thea’.
Okay, I think it’s safe to say I won’t make the cheer squad any time soon. The point is you need to be able to motivate and energize yourself because you won’t always have people around to do this for you. Sometimes it will be quite the opposite – people might be trying to drag you down with them.
By being your own best friend, the time you do spend with your friends will be much richer – full of love, encouragement, and laughter.
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