How to be your own best friend

The longest relationship you’ll have is with yourself, so invest in it, says Sarah Neish


How to be your own best friend

Trust yourself

We put our trust in other people, yet often mistrust our own opinions and judgement. ‘It’s sometimes good to question yourself, as it serves as a safety precaution,’ says psychotherapist Emma Baskerville. ‘But self-doubt should be a checking process, not an over-ride. Have faith in your decisions.’

Be forgiving

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself. A failed project or relationship can burden you for years. ‘We hold on to mistakes to verify any negativity we already feel about ourselves,’ says Baskerville. ‘I did this thing, so I must be a bad person.’ There’s no gain to punishing yourself over and over, so let go of old guilt.

Choose you

If you only spend time alone when no one else is available, you’re settling for your own company rather than choosing it. Other people are constantly benefiting from your energy, kindness or humour, which can leave nothing for you. Plan a day for just you, and try to focus on who’s there, rather than who’s missing.

Find respect

We respect our friends for many reasons, not just for landmark achievements. We’re proud of them for staying positive through tough times, biting their lip when someone provokes them, for being a patient parent or loyal sibling. ‘What are your less obvious achievements?’ asks Baskerville. ‘Give yourself respect for these.’

More inspiration:

Read The call of silence by Mark Vernon on LifeLabs

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