Learning to like yourself seems like it should be something that you could do automatically. You hang out with yourself all the time, surely, at one point or another, you could become friends with yourself. But it’s not as simple as that. Cultivating a relationship with yourself takes time and effort; it’s something you have to want to do.
Think about your friends. Why do you have a relationship with them? Because there was something you found interesting and enjoyable about them. Spending time in their company makes you feel good – otherwise you wouldn’t spend time with them.
Friendship is a relationship built upon choice. You don’t have to be friends with everybody (or anybody for that matter), but many people would find a life without friends to be dull and unsatisfying. Friends are a welcome (and necessary) addition to our lives, and they are completely voluntary relationships.
But the question is – do you think about the relationship you have with yourself the same way? Are you friends with yourself? I think a lot of people are skirting the line between stranger and acquaintance (and some of us are downright enemies). But why not begin to become friends with yourself? If friends are so enjoyable, then being friends with yourself is doubly enjoyable, since you never leave your own presence.
When you become friends with another person you notice certain things about them. They may have a very particular sense of humor that you’ve never seen another person express. Or they may have a sense of compassion for others that you admire. Or maybe they are totally eccentric and you appreciate that you’ve never seen a combination of qualities quite like they possess. Whatever it is, when you build a relationship you pick up on things that make that person stand out to you.
It’s the same with yourself. The first step in liking yourself is to know who you are. What are your unique qualities? How do these qualities combine to form who you are? Think about all the things you bring to the table. Imagine yourself as another person, and ask yourself what you would find interesting about yourself if you had just met. Your unique qualities add up to some contribution you make towards other people. Seeing this for the first time is enough to make you aware of how valuable you are. And also, how enjoyable you are.
Being an individual is synonymous with being unique, so if you want to develop a relationship with yourself find the ways in which you make a contribution that no other person can quite match. Find the things that make you, you, and see them for the gift that they are.
Treat yourself as you would treat others and you will be friends with yourself in no time. 😉
Are you friends with yourself? Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.