BEST FRIEND: “a term of endearment for one’s closest and most cherished friend.” (dictionary.com)
BEST FRIEND: “a person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust and someone in whom you confide.” (yourdictionary.com)
BEST FRIEND: “someone who is there for you through thick and thin.” (urbandictionary.com)
So, let me begin by asking you if you are your own best friend?
I took for granted a lot of things growing up as an only child, but several times I found myself wondering what it would be like to have at least one sister or brother. At this stage of my life, I’m glad I grew up as an only child. It has helped me cope with life events with greater ease.
One of the hardest tasks I find of many women is that have difficulty being with themselves.
- Single women are looking for that one best friend or that soul mate to spend their life with.
- Married women are looking for other married women to do things with.
- Moms are looking for other moms so they can arrange play dates for their children and drink coffee or margaritas and have adult conversation while their kids play.
- Career women are looking for friends, both at the job and outside the job, to get together with.
- Senior women are looking for people to spend time with for activities, coffee and conversation, or travel.
- Divorced women are either looking for people to spend time with to help them get through/over the divorce, or after the divorce, many are looking for that next significant other.
As I was out for a walk the other evening, the need for companionship was brought to my attention by a lady who drove past in her SUV. She stopped, rolled down her window, and introduced herself when I caught up to her.
LADY IN VEHICLE: “Do you walk at this time every evening?”
ME: “Nope. I take my walks when the weather and time allows.”
LADY IN VEHICLE: “Aren’t you afraid of walking alone.”
LADY IN VEHICLE: “Oh, I’d be afraid of walking around here alone. I was wondering if you walked regularly and would want someone to walk with.”
NEVER do I want to be so scared to do anything that I had to find a friend first. NEVER do I want to feel so alone by myself that I need to be surrounded by people.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-social. I love being with people. It’s just that I am comfortable enough with myself to do something or get involved in something even if my friends are not interested.
I got married the first time in 1983 and had my first son in 1984 and the second in 1986, by I began filing for divorce in 1997. The skills I learned about being by myself (Yes, I had two sons, but when they went to bed, I was alone.) helped me as I coped with divorce. I met my second husband in 1998 (I wasn’t looking.) and we married in 1999. In 2010, he became an over-the-road truck driver, so I drew on my only child skills once again.
It’s powerful being comfortable with yourself and your own best friend.
- Your confidence grows.
- Your independence grows.
- You learn you are capable of doing things you thought you couldn’t.
- Your pride in yourself grows.
- You learn what actually makes you happy.
- You learn to treat yourself with respect.
- You will always be with you.
Life becomes infinitely easier when you are comfortable as your own best friend.
Why should you learn to be your own best friend?
If you didn’t grow up as an only child or haven’t lived alone for a length of time, it can seem challenging and a bit crazy to work on being your own best friend.
But at some point you will realize that you don’t know who you are and that something is missing in your life. People go for years searching for what they are missing in their lives: They changing jobs or at least work places. They join different clubs and groups. They go back to school because maybe the degree will fill that void.
Friends can move away, but you will always be in the company of you.
As you age, friends and/or your spouse may pass away, but you will still always be in the company of you. (Sorry, I’m a realist in this point: Life always ends at some point in death.)
How to learn to be your own best friend?
#1. Start to treat yourself like you would treat a best friend. That includes putting an end to your negative self talk and learning to compliment yourself.
#2. Take your own advice. You know, that advice about health, fitness, nutrition, relationships, or work that you readily give others? Use it yourself. If you need to develop better habits, do so. If you need to begin an exercise routine, do so. If you need to take a vacation get-away, do so. Yes, even though it means going or doing something by yourself.
#3. Practice positive self-communication. Phrases like “I’ve got this.” or “I can do this.” go a long way to bolster your confidence and self-esteem. Practice “seeing” your success. (Lolly’s experiment)
#4. Sit quietly to learn where you are emotionally hurting. Offer yourself compassion and believe that compassion. Learn to accept the life experience without needing to be in charge of the experience.
#5. Discover your interests. Take classes (in person or on line) to explore your interests and talents and just bring yourself to the experience.
#6. Try once a month, if not once a week, to go somewhere by yourself: the local coffee shop, a movie, the zoo, a museum. Feel comfortable going by yourself.