Be Your Own Best Friend With These 5 Traits
Remember when you were a kid and your teacher asked the class to write down the things you loved about your best friend?
For two minutes, 25 kids shouted out answers like: smart, fun, likes Barbies (or Hot-Wheels) and loves animals. Then, Miss What’s-Her-Name cleverly turned the tables and asked you to name the qualities your best friend liked best about you.
Duh. They were the same qualities, right? Because you and your best friend were best friends because you liked the same things.
How about adult best friends?
You’re all grown up now and maybe you’re still best friends with your childhood friend. More likely you’ve moved on and grown to appreciate more mature qualities in your friends. Now, you might look for traits like trustworthiness, honesty and an open mind.
You probably want your friends to be a little like you but you no longer believe they should be carbon copies of your likes and beliefs. Opposites attract, right?
Now, Adult People, pretend that I’m your present-day Miss What’s-Her-Name. I have one question: What does your best friend appreciate about you?
It’s not that easy to answer, is it? We adults try not to spend too much time thinking about our good qualities. Wouldn’t want to appear like we’re stuck on ourselves (How’s that for a flash-back phrase?) or worse, self-absorbed.
There’s nothing wrong though, with admiring your own best qualities. And we all have them. So why not fall in love with the qualities you present to the world? Why not become your own best friend?
Best friends for life
Andrea Miller, editor of the anthology Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings From Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West, scheduled for release next month, writes, “Unconditional friendship with yourself has the same flavor as the deep friendships you have with others.”
Knowing that, let’s begin (or renew) our friendship with ourselves with these five character traits. I picked the five that I most look for in my friends and am learning to love about myself.
Loving-kindness: To me, loving-kindness is unconditional. No matter what I say or do, even if it’s wrong, practicing this trait helps me separate my self-worth from the action I’ve taken. Whatever I’ve done does not detract from who I am.
Gentleness: I cannot abide harshness. There is no reason to ever say mean or ugly things to anyone else, so there’s also no reason to say mean or ugly things to myself. Easy does it.
Self-respect: Francine Ward says that self-esteem comes from doing esteemable acts. Today I respect and nurture myself knowing that I value the person I’ve become.
Loyalty: I do my best to never sacrifice my values and to be loyal to the things that make my heart sing and my toes dance.
Mischievousness: I’m impish at heart and love spontaneous laughter. I try to remember Rule #62: Don’t take yourself too damn seriously!
That’s it, my friends! Let these five character traits be the first of many you appreciate in yourself as you become your own best friend.
A final thought: As you work through this week, when you do something really cool, make sure your best friend knows. Give a mighty fist-pump and say, “Oh yeah, who’s a rock star? I’m a rock star!”
Then give your awesome best-friend self a hug.
Photo courtesy of robenmarie