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How to like yourself: 7 key tips to become your own best friend

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Becoming your own best friend is an important part of growing up.

Being your own best friend means learning to be self-reliant and independent. Being your own best friend means self-improvement and working toward your goals.

There’s no right way to become your own best friend. But here are 7 tips that can help make it happen.

1) Give compliments to yourself

This may seem obvious, but often when people are down in the dumps they don’t see the good things in themselves.

Instead of focusing on what they don’t like, they should focus on what they do like. This can be difficult, as we are often conditioned to see our flaws as our greatest assets.

However, many self-care practices work to change this process. One way is to start by giving yourself compliments.

When you notice a positive quality in yourself, focus on it and tell yourself how you can use it in your everyday life.

Think about it:

It’s important to give yourself regular compliments. If you don’t, you may come to resent yourself and compare yourself to others.

You may fall into the trap of thinking you don’t deserve to be happy. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself compliments.

Be honest with yourself, but don’t place too much importance on the things you don’t like. You can always change them later if you want to.

And you know what?

Giving yourself regular compliments is the most effective way to become your own best friend. Friends are the ones who will always recognize your strengths and compliment them.

2) Take time discovering more about your character

It can be easy to feel like you know yourself, but you don’t. You will never know your full character until you get to know yourself better.

This means spending time getting to know yourself, rather than relying on what others have told you about yourself.

There are no straightforward questions that will give you all the answers, but there are questions that will get you started on the path to self-discovery.

And the best part?

You can discover what makes you unique and practice gratitude for them. We all have traits and characteristics that make us who we are.

If you’re a perfectionist, who constantly stresses over mistakes you’ve made and things you haven’t done yet, you need to practice saying “thank you” for the things you’re good at, while being kinder to yourself when you’re not.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to stop comparing yourself to others. Remember, we’re all unique, and there’s no one way to be happy.

What it means is this:

You were born with a unique set of traits, and while others might like math or history better, those are not you. You were brought up with certain ideas and society’s expectations, but those do not define you.

You can like the person you are, not the person others want you to be.

3) Believe that you are fundamentally worthy

Believing that you are fundamentally worthy helps you increase your self-confidence. And a good friend is the one who always tries to help you become more confident.

So to become your own best friend, you have to understand that you’re worth the best things.

And just think:

There will always be challenges in life. We all face them, some more than others. But when you believe that you are fundamentally worthy, you can overcome challenges and become stronger because of them.

It’s important to believe this while you’re young, because if you don’t, you may grow up to believe that you aren’t worthy, and so you feel like you have to prove yourself wrong.

But if you believe that you are worthy, you can let go of proving yourself wrong and start living your life the way that feels most natural to you.

You’re worth it. You’re allowed to have goals, to want things, and to work for them.

It’s not selfish to want to feel good about yourself. It’s not a sign of vanity to want to like yourself. You’re allowed to make yourself a priority.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to do everything everyone else wants you to do. You don’t owe your time to anyone but yourself.

It’s okay to say no, to back out of something, or defer something. It’s not a sign of weakness or a lack of commitment; it’s a choice.

4) Cultivate self-awareness

You can’t be your own best friend until you’re aware of what makes you tick.

Self-awareness is the foundation of self-esteem. It’s the gateway to self-acceptance and self-love. It’s the first step to becoming your own best friend because it’s the first step to detaching from negative self-talk and feeling good enough.

Self-awareness starts with being curious about yourself.

Why do you do the things you do? Why do you say the things you say? Why do you think the things you think?

You might not like all of the answers to these questions. But that’s okay. The answers will come with time.

There are some ways you can use to develop your self-awareness

• Journaling

Journaling is one of the oldest forms of self-awareness. It can be used to process emotions, sort out your thoughts, and find a creative outlet.

Try writing about a time when you felt particularly joyful, or write about a time when you helped someone else. Whether you write in a journal or free-flow, try to go back and read what you wrote.

What were your thoughts at that time? How has your thinking changed since then? What did you learn from that?

• Meditation

You don’t have to sit on a cushion with your eyes closed to meditate. You can sit somewhere peaceful, put on some calming music, and focus on your breathing.

You can also try using a mantra, a quote, a word, or a sound. Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine.

Try to meditate for a little while every day. It doesn’t have to belong, and you can take as little or as much time as you need. Meditation helps you understand more about yourself

• Go on a hike

Hikes provide an opportunity to get away from it all and clear your mind. They are also a great workout and will help you get in touch with your body and clear your mind.

Hiking is a great activity for self-esteem because it can help you get in touch with your body and appreciate what it can do.

You’ll feel great after a hike and will have a better appreciation for your body. Plus, you can bring along food and beverages, so you don’t have to worry about conserving water or finding a spot to stop and eat.

Self-awareness also means you’re able to see yourself from other people’s perspectives. You’re able to see your struggles from other people’s viewpoints. You’re able to see your faults and shortcomings from other people’s vantage points.

5) Learn how to support and comfort yourself

Learning to support and comfort yourself is an important part of being your own best friend.

Support means being there for yourself when you need it, and not putting pressure on yourself to do it all on your own. Comfort means finding what relieves the tensest nerves and helps you relax and then focusing on that.

You may have to try various methods to find what works for you. You may have to experiment. But the more you do it, the easier it will get.

But how?

• Recognize and honor your needs. 

Everyone has different needs, depending on their age, health, genes, and lifestyle.

For instance, you might need more sleep than somebody else, or you might need more activity than somebody else. The important thing is to honor your needs and not beat yourself up if you’re not meeting them.

If you need more quiet time, allow for it in your schedule. If you need more exercise, make time for it. And if you need more downtime, respect that too.

• Say attentive and affectionate things to yourself

When you’re feeling down or like you need a friend, try saying thoughtful and affectionate things to yourself.

Remember, your inner voice is a very important part of your life. It’s the part of you that listens to your feelings and nourishes your soul. So when you’re feeling lonely or sad, listen to that voice. Talkback to it. Tell it what you like about yourself and how you’re doing.

You can also choose to write down your thoughts and feelings instead of talking to yourself out loud. Doing this can help you process your emotions and bring you closer to your goals.

Tapping into your inner voice and nourishing your self-esteem can help you become the best version of yourself. This can help you become the most effective version of your friendliest self.

• Do a random act of kindness for yourself each day

You are the master of your happiness. So, make sure you’re choosing to be happy.

Your happiness is the result of your choices. So, choose to be happy.

Be proactive!

Every day, take 5 minutes out of your day to do something for yourself. It could be a kind word, a gift, or a random act of kindness. By choosing to be happy, you’re choosing to be your best friend

6) Enjoying your own company

You are the only person who can decide what you like and don’t like. There may be things that you enjoy doing that don’t make you happy, or that you don’t enjoy doing at all.

There is no right or wrong way to have fun, and the key is to choose what you want to do and then do it!

• Spend quality time with yourself doing a hobby

The more you connect with your hobbies the more you’ll connect with yourself.

There are lots of ways to spend time with yourself. You can journal, read, draw, listen to music, take a cooking class, or go to a museum. The key is to choose an activity that lets you be creative and think out of the box. Something that gives you space to be you.

If you don’t have any hobbies, this might sound like a crazy suggestion. But it’s not.

Hobbies give you something to focus on other than yourself. They help you avoid comparing yourself to others and instead just focus on what you have.

They give you something to do during your downtime that’s not socializing or spending time with others. And they keep your brain from becoming too full (overwhelmed and stressed) by giving you something to do.

• Go on a date with yourself

Dating yourself can be a really helpful way to experiment with new things and try things you’ve always wanted to do but have put off for some reason.

First, pick a time and place that you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to be in an actual romantic relationship (although it can be fun to explore that side of things). And then, start dating yourself like you’re dating a friend.

• Learn how to have fun alone

No one is suggesting you should never be alone.

We all need time alone. It’s important to have your personal space. But when you’re alone, why do you feel lonely? What can you do to enrich your own company?

Try making a to-do list for the day. Choose an activity that interests you and that you’re excited to do. Then, when you have time, see if you can do that activity as an alone-time activity. Doing something you enjoy can help take your mind off of things.

7) Accept, rather than punish yourself

Self-acceptance is the first step to self-forgiveness.

If you accept yourself, you can forgive yourself for past mistakes and move on. It doesn’t mean that you condone them or don’t want to change, but that you understand where you are coming from.

If you punish yourself, you are going to end up hurt and frustrated. Plus, it won’t help anything. You have to do it differently: accept yourself, love yourself, and then do whatever you have to do to become the person you want to be.

All this may seem like a lot to take on, but it’s not. It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge that is meant to be taken on. You are meant to be your best friend, and you are meant to grow up and become an independent, self-reliant person.

And remember:

• It’s important to accept yourself, both the good and the bad, as this is the only way to move forward. 

Oftentimes, we will make negative assumptions about ourselves because of society’s standards or what others say. When we accept ourselves, we begin to see that we are worthy of love and respect, regardless of what we’ve done in the past or what we currently think we should be doing.

• It’s important to learn to forgive yourself.

You will mess up. You will make mistakes. You will make decisions that you later regret. No one is perfect. We all have regrets. But you can’t forgive yourself if you don’t forgive yourself.

Make it a goal to love yourself more each day. Forgive yourself for mistakes you make and permit yourself to like yourself just the way you are.

Finally, learn to like yourself by taking care of yourself. It’s important to nourish your body, mind, and spirit so you can be your best self. Nurture yourself with self-compassion and you’ll be able to extend that compassion to others.

When you love and accept yourself, you are empowered to like and admire others. Self-love is a journey, and like with any journey, it’s a process. But with a little bit of effort, you can become your best friend.

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