The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself.
When you know and love who you see in the mirror, you find the answers and acceptance you’ve been seeking in others. When you learn to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself, you also pursue healthier relationships with those around you.
When you become your own best friend, you become a more fulfilled you.
Here are three reasons why you should be your own best friend, along with action steps to help you get started today:
1. No one will ever know you better than you can know yourself.
It’s a loud world. Everywhere you turn, there are advertisements, social media feeds and expert opinions, not to mention the advice of friends and loved ones.
It’s hard to hear your own voice over the constant stream of everyone else’s input.
But what if you could turn off all that exterior noise? What if your own voice was the loudest one you heard?
What would it say?
It’s time you turn up the volume of your inner self. It’s time you realize that no one else can really know who you are, how you should spend your time or what you should create with your life.
Only you know what is most meaningful and fulfilling for you. Only you have the answers.
So stop listening to everyone else and get to know yourself. Ask yourself the important questions, and answer them honestly.
Be your own confidante so you can be your own guide.
Get to know the real you by answering these three questions for yourself:
- What feeling or idea have you been ignoring in favor of others’ advice?
- How much happier would you be if you stopped neglecting your own goals and ideals?
- What changes have you failed to make that would bring you happiness if you finally made them? Why haven’t you made those changes?
2. When you treat yourself with love and respect, you expect the same loving and respectful treatment from others.
If you habitually nitpick your perceived flaws or tear yourself down for every misstep, you’re more inclined to let your friends and family talk to you the same way. If you aren’t treating yourself with love and respect, you won’t have the self-assurance to ask for loving and respectful treatment from others.
When negativity and criticism become your norm, you forget that you can choose a happier, healthier norm.
However, if you treat yourself the way you should be treated – with the utmost love and respect for your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing – your norm will shift to one of positivity. And, in turn, you’ll expect more positivity from your relationships.
When you love and respect yourself, you won’t tolerate anything less from your friends and family; you’ll have a higher standard for how you expect to be treated. Remember, love and respect aren’t luxuries or added bonuses; they are non-negotiables.
Accept nothing but the best treatment, and remember that you have the power to set the pattern for how you’re treated.
Treat yourself better, and set the pattern for others to treat you better, by doing the following:
- Forgive yourself for your flaws; they’re just parts, they aren’t the whole package. They don’t define you.
- Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell and don’t punish yourself.
- Remember that you aren’t obligated to tolerate anything less than loving and respectful treatment.
3. When you stop seeking outside approval, you find that you don’t need it.
Something magical happens when you can see yourself in the mirror and believe that you are enough: you won’t need to hear it from anyone else. Affirmation, acceptance and approval will already be yours.
It won’t matter what your mom or your boss or your neighbor thinks, because you’ll know exactly who you are and what you’re capable of. Your realization of your own personal greatness will far surpass any compliments or pats on the back that someone else could give you.
So how can you get to this magical place of self-approval? Ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you seeking the approval of others, and why is it so important to you?
- What would it take for you to accept and approve of yourself?
Remember that relationships should be based on what you’re willing to give, not what you’re hoping to get. And the same goes for your relationship with yourself: if you’re focusing on who you think you should be, you’re failing to appreciate who you are right now, right here.
Now go look in the mirror – your best friend is waiting for you.