Making Friends With Me

I have a tendency to be very hard on myself.  I had to learn to stop being my cruelest critic and become a friend.  To do this, I started thinking of how I would talk to, support and encourage a friend and applied it to myself.  I would never tell a friend, “well, you’re sure an idiot.  No wonder no one likes you.”  I don’t blame my friends for every problem that comes their way.  And when they do screw-up, I don’t give them a critic’s eye view of exactly how they screwed up and why this is a reflection of a very serious character issues.  So I won’t do that to myself either.

This was a very hard thing for me to learn.  Somehow I had deeply absorbed the idea that being excessively harsh and critical of myself was part of being a good person.  But while struggling to overcome a serious bout of depression, learning this lesson became a matter of life and death.  For a while I would force myself to write down a list of everything I did that was at all positive each day without criticism or commentary.  When things went wrong before berating myself, I would stop and ask myself, “what would I say to a friend in this situation?”  If I were beating myself up because I had done or said something which was met with disapproval, I would stop and ask myself if my actions were something I would get upset with someone else over.  Pretty much always the answer was no, so I decided that I wouldn’t apply the standards of the most negative, judgemental and intolerant people I run into to myself.  Thankfully, it’s gotten easier as time goes on.

So if you tend to be too hard on yourself, remember: be nice applies to how you treat everyone – even you!

5 thoughts on “Making Friends With Me

  1. I have learned this lesson the hard way…but it is oh so true. There is nothing wrong with being a friend to yourself and speaking to yourself in the same positive way we speak to others. It is a lie to believe that being humble is self-berating. Great post!! 🙂

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