Since college, I have been told that I’m a really good friend. I’ve got the good listener part down and I’m a pro at dragging my friends to get pints of Ben and Jerry’s whenever they have bad days (or if I do).
I asked my best friend what words she would use to describe me as a friend and she said, “genuine, loyal, warm and appreciative,” and I was humbled by that. I love being a good friend.
What I’ve struggled with in the past is being my own good friend. I tended (and still tend) to be very hard on myself, only focus on my flaws and compare myself to other girls.
What I don’t really understand is if I am able to be a good friend to other people, why can’t I be a good friend to myself? I emphasize all the amazing things about my friends and don’t even see the things that they think are flaws, so why is it so hard to do it for myself?
I understand that we are our own worst critics. I swear we’re wired that way. Self-love is a scary, daunting and confusing thing that I’m not sure I will ever wrap my head around, but for now, I’m working on me. I think everyone should work on them.
In a blog post written by Hali Tsotetsi on mindbodygreen.com, she listed 12 great reasons to love yourself. I have a few favorites.
“Love yourself because it isn’t up to others to love you.”
I think we forget how true this is. Nobody has to love us. We give them reasons to everyday just by being us, and what I’ve really come to realize is that when we love ourselves, it’s easier for others to see how much they should love us too. It’s a blessing that other people love us, so we have to own the love that we deserve.
“Love yourself because wishing to be someone else is a sense of misery and exhaustion.”
This is a big one for me. I spend way more time than I want to admit admiring other people and wishing I was them. Why do we do that? We’re not them, we’re never going to be them, we are going to be us forever, so we should quit imagining otherwise. It’s a colossal waste of time and energy and will only make us feel worse.
“Love yourself because while people come in and out of your life, you will always remain.”
By far the most important thing I have taught myself is that I can trust myself. I believe in myself and would never go against what I stand for and what I value and that is so crucial to loving myself. Above all else, I know that if for any reason, everyone I loved walked away, I would still be there for me. We’re the only ones who can pick ourselves up and stand up for ourselves.
“Love yourself because you’ve been blessed with the skin you’re in, so wear it comfortably.”
When it comes down to it, we are more lucky than we realize just to be here. Like I said before, we can’t change who we are, so we might as well be as comfortable as we can with ourselves. That means owning who we are, believing in who we are, sharing who we are with the people who love us and being confident in who we are.
And most importantly:
“Love yourself because once you accept who you are, you can focus your energy on other matters and people in your life.”
I think I figured out why I’m a good friend. I’ve learned how to be my own good friend which has allowed me to focus on being there for the people in my life. I’ve learned to love myself so I can put my energy into other things that matter. That’s a beautiful realization. Be your own good friend.