Many people look beyond themselves to find happiness, when actually the journey to a healthier, happier life starts from within. Becoming your own best friend can be the missing link to contentment, by helping you to trust your own abilities and love yourself – flaws and all.
Charine Glen-Spyron, a clinical psychologist at the Bella Vida Centre, gives guidance on making friends with the most important person you know… you!
What does being your own best friend mean?
It means taking care of yourself. Often, we focus so much on taking care of others, that we tend to neglect caring for ourselves. Becoming your own best friend also means valuing and respecting yourself as much (if not more) as you do others.
Why do people tend to rely on others instead of looking within for answers?
People are funny that way: often, we know exactly what it is we want to do, or what is right or wrong, but we don’t want to acknowledge that. Instead, we rely on others to give us that extra push, to confirm what we already know. Other times, we want others to advise us so we don’t have to take the responsibility should things go wrong. It’s much easier to blame someone other than yourself. Lastly, the interactive pattern by which we were raised also plays a part in how reliant you are on other people and their opinions.
How important is it to love yourself before you can love others?
It’s extremely important. If we can learn to love ourselves for who we are and accept that we aren’t perfect and have flaws too, then we can learn to love and accept others for their good and bad. Appreciating people’s good and bad sides is difficult without having an understanding and acceptance of ourselves.
How can you develop a great sense of self-worth?
- Society tends to focus and emphasise the negative, forcing us to look at ourselves in a negative way too. Focus on your positive aspects instead. Understand that you are only human and have faults, but find a balance and realise you have great qualities, too.
- Adjust your perception of yourself.
- Do the things you enjoy, with or without other people to enjoy them with. While focusing on the needs of others, we tend to forget to meet our own needs.
- Stand up for yourself by learning to assert yourself.
- Learn to say “no” and stop being a people-pleaser.
How can you begin to give yourself affirmation instead of seeking it from others?
Looking in the past will give your some perspective. Take note of all you have achieved and some of your proudest moments. Find the things that used to make you feel good about yourself and allow yourself to bask in those moments. Revisit the past, recreate those moments and reaffirm your worth!
How can I start to enjoy my own company?
- Do the things you enjoy.
- Make time for yourself.
- Spend time with the people you love who and make one of those people YOU.