How to Be Your Own Best Friend by Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz
How to Be Your Own Best Friend
A best friend is someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, rely on in moments of crisis and celebrate meaningful life events with. But developing the skills to be your own best friend means you can rely on your own judgment and be your own source of comfort when you need advice or support. Being your own best friend can also be a great way to work through feelings of loneliness, insecurity, and instability in your life. By cultivating a productive and positive self, you can learn to trust yourself on a consistent basis and turn inward to work on any issues or problems you may encounter.
Creating a Healthy Relationship with Yourself
Spend time getting to know yourself.Think about what drives and motivates you, your likes and dislikes, and your strengths and weaknesses. We tend to look outward to figure out our own tastes, ideas, goals, and pursuits, from gossip around the watercooler at work to Facebook posts and Instagram likes in the palm of our hands. But the more you understand yourself on an honest and real level, the easier it will be to like and respect yourself for who you are, rather than who you think you are according to other people, trends and circumstances in your life.
- Get a pen and a piece of paper or your journal and consider prompts like, "Things I like", "Who I am right now", and "What would I tell my 99 year old self?"Write down your answers and then read them over. These prompts should help you delve deeper into getting to know yourself.
- One-on-one therapy, as well as lifestyle workshops and clinics can help you develop a deeper self awareness. Investigate the various self development services available to you in your area, or online.
Think about your relationships with other people.Consider how you interact with the people in your life, from your partner or your loved ones, to casual acquaintances and strangers on the street. Your attitude towards others reflects back on your sense of self, and good relationships in your life can serve as models for how to be your own best friend.
- Write down the names of the people you consider important in your life, and why they are important to you. Think about questions like, "Why am I grateful to have these individuals in my life?" and "What would these individuals say at my funeral?"
Set achievable goals for yourself.Rather than rely on others to set goals and expectations for you, create and set reasonable goals for yourself.These goals can range from small changes in your life like doing the dishes and organizing your space to larger and more challenging ones like taking a public speaking class or applying for a desirable new position or career role. By setting yourself up so you meet your own expectations, you can take control of what you expect from yourself and feel good when you achieve each goal.
- To determine how achievable your goals are, consider questions like: "Is my goal specific?","Can I measure my goal?" and "Is my goal relevant to my desires and my life?"
- Keep track of your goals in a journal or diary. As you keep track of your progress, finish each entry with a positive affirmation like "I approve of myself" to reinforce personal recognition of your achievements.
Enjoying Your Own Company
Get out of your comfort zone.Changing your normal routines and settings or taking yourself out of your norm completely can help you get to know yourself better.
- Take a solo trip to a foreign country or place. Solo travel is a great way to place yourself in a situation where you are navigating a new, different environment and experiencing being alone for an extended period of time. You will also have to develop strong independence and self reliance, as well as an openness to the different attitudes and customs of others.
- If you aren't ready for drastic alone time in a foreign country, going for a short walk around your neighborhood alone or minimizing the distractions you have access to in your home and daily life can give help you embrace change. Even small shifts in your normal routine can allow you to challenge yourself and get to know yourself better.
Develop daily interests you can enjoy doing alone.Cultivating a hobby you can enjoy alone or an activity that involves just you is a good way to get use to your own company and appreciate it.
- Solo activities like fishing, knitting, surfing, writing, reading, or even meditation will deepen your understanding of yourself and create meaningful alone time. It will also help you cultivate self-love, an important factor to being your own best friend.
Go on a date with yourself.We have been conditioned to enjoy ourselves in the company of others, but not in the company of ourselves.So it's important to learn how to have fun alone, whether it's movie and dinner or live music and a beer.
- A solo date night out will help you enjoy your own company in a positive way. Without the distraction of someone else sitting across from you, you may find you pay more attention to the movie or the band, or that you are more aware of your own opinions and perspectives on the environment around you.
Make sure you treat yourself.All that special attention and affection you receive from a best friend? You also have the exact same power to do the same for yourself.
- Enjoy a relaxing massage, buy flowers for yourself, or a special gift. Random acts of kindness illustrate you love and respect yourself.
Compliment yourself and mean it.In their seminal 1974 book, How to Be Your Own Best Friend, psychologists Mildred Newman and Bernard Berkowitz discuss the value of self worth during the process of becoming a good friend to yourself. They recommend: “when you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it, relish the experience, take it in.”By acknowledging your self worth and cultivating inner value, you are taking control of what makes you feel good. Rather than try to fit your choices and decisions into what someone else defines as successful or powerful, turn inward and acknowledge that you have value and meaning in the world. Don't wait for someone else to recognize your self worth.
- Complimenting yourself helps you focus on the positive aspects of your day rather than the negative. Avoid negative self-talk like calling yourself names and putting yourself down. If you wouldn't talk to a friend that way, don't talk to yourself that way! Instead, work on positive self talk until it becomes a habit.
- A good best friend will have a good sense of humor, so have a good-natured attitude towards yourself and the things you say, think, and do. By being positive and supportive of yourself, you won't take yourself too seriously and will be able to laugh at yourself in a healthy, helpful way.
Work on improving your friendship everyday.Whether you note any improvements or adjustments to your relationship with yourself by writing down your thoughts and challenges in a diary or journal or if you make mental notes of your journey to self discovery, it's a good idea to track your progress as you develop your friendship with yourself.
- Notice if your sense of independence, self worth, and self love are positively affecting your other relationships, and helping you to achieve your goals. Consider if your fear of being alone has lessened and if you can now fully enjoy your own company.
Have a feel of what it means to understand yourself by having quiet times and just enjoying the moments you have with yourself.You'll learn a lot about yourself when you take moments of the day and do what you love. Take the time to treat yourself good as you would a great friend. You know your favorite upbeat song, the one that energizes you and makes you feel great when you hear it? Put it on repeat and dance like no one is watching! Enjoy you all by yourself!
QuestionWhat if self-discovery is making me feel bad about my weaknesses?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is perfectly normal; realizing your weaknesses takes a lot of strength. Try working on your weaknesses and overcoming them. Everyone has flaws and weaknesses. Some people choose to ignore or deny them, while other people choose to acknowledge them and work on them.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I find myself after losing all my friends?I Am My Own Best Friend, firstCommunity AnswerNow's the time to try those things you never got around to doing, like getting organized, taking a class, reading more, gardening, painting, visiting art galleries, or whatever. Think about all the things you most enjoy doing with others, and begin doing those things by yourself. Explore what really makes you happy and what interests you most when you're not going along with what others are doing.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell my friends I don't want to do something with them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell them politely and firmly.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if something is making me down?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust ignore them. Always remember that you are better than them. They are trying to make you down, people who are used to letting down others or hurting others will never stop being this way. Do not listen to them and be down, because they are not saying the truth and it's their character, not your reality.Thanks!
QuestionI now realize after twenty years that my four best friends aren't really good friends. How do I move on gracefully?Jessica PurgasonCommunity AnswerIf you realize your best friends aren't really good friends, then try to move on by meeting new friends, try to work it out with your old friends, or just put your mind to something else like a sport!Thanks!
QuestionNo one really talks to me and I have very low self esteem. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI went through a similar struggle and I discovered that immersing myself in activities I loved helped me to be happy with myself. I began drawing a lot and listening to my favorite songs more often. I made sure I always had some time every day to do something I enjoyed, like going on a walk or even just getting a coffee. I encourage you to find the small things that make you smile and go from there. Once you can be happy by yourself, confidence will come naturally. What do you love? Where are your favorite places? Who are your favorite musicians? Find these things and dive into them. Be proud of who you are, no one else is like you!Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get rid of my female best friend and be okay with myself as a male?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is usually not a good idea to ditch your best friend. It will probably upset them very much. Maybe you should be happy with the fact that you have a best friend and just have fun with her.Thanks!
QuestionMy best friend is very needy and always asks me for things. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI think you should talk to her. She is obviously feeling clingy so you should try to figure out why. Just sit down and have a conversation with her. If this doesn't work, just gently let her know that you need some space.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I have a friend who complains to me all the time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf it bothers you, talk with them about it. Or just stop being friends with them.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay if I am friends with a girl who's much younger than me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it's fine to be friends with someone who's much younger than you.Thanks!
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Português: , Deutsch: , Italiano: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Русский:
Video: Why Dr. Phil Wants You to Be Your Own Best Friend | Oprah's Lifeclass | Oprah Winfrey Network
How to Improve Your Perspective on Women
Should All Men Wear Engagement Rings Like Johnny Depp
3 Supplements That Prevent UTIs
Home Remodeling: Small Space Old Industrial Building Under 870 Square Feet
How to Build a Settlement in Brunelleschi: Age of Architects
1.MarvelsDaredevil (Season 3) — Premieres October 19 on Netflix
INSIDER video is hiring a writing intern for home products and design
Competitive Swimming Helps Teen Cope with Epilepsy
9 New Ways to Tone Up with Dumbbells
16 Beauty Rules Worth Breaking
How to Care for Your Face (Males)
How to Calculate Your Heart Rate
How to Make a Guy Like You (Pre Teens)
How to Make a Corsage