Becoming Your Own Best Friend

6 Paths to Personal Best Friendship

I can remember as even a tiny little girl (around 4 years old) my mother telling me “to marry my best friend.” What she forgot to mention (aside from the fact that yes, eventually I might actually not be totally grossed out by kissing, let alone boys), was that I first had to fall head-over-heels in love with me. I first had to truly know what a best friend was and could only do so, by best-friending myself.

Here’s the thing. The best friend you can ever have stares you right in the mirror every morning when you brush your teeth. She is brilliant in every way – kind hearted, intelligent, capable. And it is this best-friendship that can serve as the catalyst to other best friendships, including one with a romantic partner. However if, when you look in the mirror, to gargle, blush up, flat iron or otherwise, you don’t beam brightly with what you see, what you see is not the reflection of a best friend, now is the time to fall in love with you. Now is the time to become your own blood-sister.

Falling madly in love with yourself is all about treating yourself the way you would treat any other friend you adore… with utter kindness, generosity, forgiveness, encouragement and so on. It’s about loving unconditionally, being honest and always showing up for YOU… no matter what. Only when we have arrived as our own best partner in life, can we become the best friends and partners to others.

So how do you become your own best friend? Here’s how…

1. Kiss & makeup with yourself. Whether you have long been at battle with yourself, constantly calling yourself names, discouraging yourself or otherwise being unkind, or if this is a recent state of affairs, it is time to put an end to the war on yourself. Calling a ceasefire of sorts can best be done by either verbally apologizing to yourself for not treating yourself the way you should have been or by writing yourself an “I’m sorry” letter. Personally, I find the latter to be most effective.

2. Honor yourself. Think about why people are attracted to you – what makes them want to spend time with you. Recall compliments you have been given, regardless if you believed them or not. Think about what you offer to the world to make it a more positive place. Remember accomplishments you’ve had and what it took within YOU to achieve them. Jot all of these down to make a comprehensive list of what makes you, uniquely YOU! Read a few aloud each morning, dwelling on the goodness that bubbles inside of you as a reminder of how special and lucky you are to get to be with you all day long. Keep these handy for your less than feel-good moments.

3. Date yourself. Choose three things (out of your normal routine) that you enjoy doing and each week, commit to doing at least one of those alone, not lonesomely but as a gift to yourself. Think of it as a time out from the world – as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself. This could be cozying up with a book and a cup of tea at a local coffeehouse, visiting a museum, taking a jewelry making class, feeding the ducks, etc.

4. Nurture your dreams. Best friends help each other identify dreams and encourage each other on their path. So think about what your strengths are, what brings you most joy in your life, what feeds your soul. Think about what you love to do, to be. Think about who you love to be around, where you love to be. What are your values for yourself and others? What are your gifts for the world and who is the woman you are becoming? How can all of this be melded into something that you will be proud of and excited to wake to each and every day? Allow yourself to grow these ideas as big as you want, letting nothing get in your way!

5. Be real with yourself. Best friends are those that can tell you the truth even when it stings a little. They don’t do it to hurt, they do it to help. So, when you find yourself in a prickly situation, stop and ask what type of advice a BFF would lend and then, take it! Remember, this advice should come from a place of concern and care, not from a place of criticism. Being able to guide yourself in such an honest way will give you control over your decisions and emotions.

6. Celebrate your successes. Just as you would sprint over to a BFFs house with a bottle of bubbly to acknowledge her new job, her finally breaking up with Mr. Wrong or even the purchase of a fab new pair of shoes (ok, maybe that’s just me and my BFF), do the same for yourself. Don’t wait on someone else to toast to your successes… do it yourself. Hugging and hi-5′ing yourself encourages you to do more great things and with more great accomplishments, comes more self-love. What a gorgeous cycle!

Here’s to your new BFF status!

Live and love largely,

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.