Too often, I think, we’re our own worst critic instead of our own best friend.
I mean, think about the way you treat your friends. The people you love and care about. Most likely you’re generous, forgiving, supportive, and always in their corner (but willing to give some tough love if necessary).
Now think of the way you treat yourself. Is it the same?
I’m much harder on myself than I am on the people I love. I don’t think that’s anything out of the ordinary – in fact, it’s one of the reasons it can be so hard to take our own advice. But if we were our own best friend, things would no doubt get a lot easier. We all beat ourselves up sometimes, we all expect too much of ourselves sometimes. I expect myself to be stronger than I am, farther along than I am, happier than I am – all that jazz.
But quite frankly, if a friend of mine was telling me that I should be all of those things, I’d dump that friend in a minute. Because what kind of friend doesn’t just meet you where you are, without judgement? A shit friend, that’s who. And I think that we spend a lot of time being a shit friend to ourselves.
Lately I’ve been pretty hard on myself for still struggling with all the negative feelings that accompany a big break-up. “It happened ages ago”, I tell myself, “What kind of person isn’t over this stuff by now?”
If a friend of mine said the same thing to me, I would ask them who the hell they think they are. After all, no one understands your own situation like you. And yet I beat myself up without a second thought to it. Upset that I’ve gone past the “time limit” it should take to get over – not the person – but the feelings of hurt and anger that went along with the ugly end of it all.
Well, here’s a newsflash -there is no “time limit”. You feel how you feel for as long as you feel that way, and while you shouldn’t wallow in it, you also shouldn’t hate yourself for not being where everyone else thinks you should be. Just keep working on moving forward. Because even if you feel like you’re getting nowhere, eventually you will look up and find that you’re surrounded by a completely different world. What that world looks like is up to you.
So I guess the long in short of it is that you should actually treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Be encouraging, compassionate, and understanding. Be your own best friend.