Becoming your own best friend.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Friends

Best friend.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Would you treat a friend that way?

You teach others how to treat you. How you treat yourself is the model for the kind of treatment you get from others. Part of recovery, from whatever challenge you are recovering from, is to develop a good support system. That support system should begin with you. If you don’t treat yourself right no one else will.

Some people think they need to whip themselves in order to become a better person. Being cruel to yourself does not make you a more loving person. Learn to be a good friend to yourself and you will be practicing being a better friend to others. You need to be a good friend to have friends. Treat yourself better and you will find treating others becomes your normal way of being.

Here are some things you can do to treat yourself better.

Recognize what you do right.

People who only hear about the things they did wrong, start to feel like they can’t do anything right. Makes sure you are taking the time to notice the things you did well. Give yourself a mental round of applause for your accomplishments. Do not minimize what you accomplish by saying it should be more. Friends accept friends as they are and see the good in them. Do this for yourself.

Talk nicely to you. No name-calling.

Calling someone names and putting them down damages relationships and it hurts others. Do not call yourself names. It is a form of bullying, maybe even abuse. How can you expect others to treat you well when you abuse yourself?

Practice good self-care.

If you value things you take care of them. If you care about others you want to take care of them. Do the same for yourself.

Accept that however you are is OK.

Learn to accept yourself as you are. Sure you can try to grow and improve, but how you are now is OK also. This is the great dilemma of life. You have to accept yourself as you are to be able to grow. You will become a better person because you care about yourself not because you try to whip yourself into shape. Love yourself warts and all.

Want better for you.

A real friend wants the best for their friends. Want the best for you. Plan for a better life. Do not let where you are, determine where you are going. Be happy in the place you find you but always be striving to make you and your corner of the world better.

Make sure your needs are met.

You can’t get very many miles out of a car with an empty gas tank. Dead batteries do not make things go. Give yourself the best nutrition you can. Get plenty of sleep. Cars that are driven too far, too fast, break down. So do people, Do your daily maintenance. Keeping yourself together includes paying attention to your emotions as well as your body’s physical needs. Noticing you are depressed and using your tools to feel better will keep your emotions in better condition.

Challenge unhelpful thoughts.

Most people have a swarm of unhelpful thoughts every day. The should’s and can’t’s, the musts and have-to’s. If those thoughts you have, are holding you back challenge them. Do you really have to or is this something you are doing for someone else?

Work to please you not others.

If you get pleasure out of doing something well that pleasure will motivate you to keep going. Try to please others and they may let you down. We rarely get as much recognition from others for a job well done as we want. If you make sure to give yourself that recognition, you will never be lacking in that essential ingredient – approval.

Show yourself, love.

If you love someone you need to show it. Kids who never hear from their family that they are loved can grow up to think they are unlovable. If you do not think you are lovable no amount of love from others can fill up that empty hole. Learn to do little things for yourself that tell you that you love yourself. Then share that love with others who also love themselves.

Loving yourself does not make you selfish or self-centered. Feeling good about you is a strength that allows you to care about others.

Forgive yourself.

All humans make mistakes. There are no perfect people and the more you do in life the more mistakes you will make. Learn to forgive yourself which makes forgiving others so much easier. Fail to forgive yourself and you can become a judgmental person who is unable to find anyone who measures up to their standards.

Get honest with yourself.

Sometimes a real friend needs to tell their friend the truth. Learn to tell yourself the truth. You do not need to pretend to be better than you are. The way you are is just fine. You will become a different person over time. Life experiences change us.

The people who grow and improve are the ones who are able to face the truth about themselves and still like who they are. Knowing the truth can free you to make the changes you need to make to move forward. Lying to yourself is a prescription for staying stuck in your problem-filled life.

If you want more or better friends, begin by practicing being your own best friend and then expand that to befriending others. Let me know how this friend thing is working for you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

What is this thing we call friendship? Being and having friends

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Friendship.

Friendship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Hard to define, easy to know when you have it, this thing called friendship.

Reflecting today on this thing we call friendship that means so many different things to each of us. Today on this day we call a “day off” I had the chance to read some of the posts by other bloggers. A recurrent theme was about friendships, what they mean, and how we know if we are a good friend or if we have one.

No relationship is so important, so needed and so misunderstood as friendship. When we have friends we may wonder if they are worth the effort, but when we are without them even briefly we wish they were here.

Friends are not here on earth like a prepaid credit card to use when we need them. There are those people who treat or mistreat others in the name of friendship by constantly asking from them and then being unwilling to reciprocate.

Friendship is of course not ever fully reciprocal. The more you struggle in life the more you need friends. What is reciprocal is the caring about each other, not the doing for each other.

Anyone who seeks out a friend for what they can do for you is being short-sighted and probably abusive. The things friends do give us are intangibles that can’t be measured in money or acts. A friend cares about you when you can’t care about yourself. They love you, sometimes because of, not in spite of, your flaws.

True friends do not keep ledgers. Friendship is not a trade. They do not do 3 things for you because you did 3 things for them. Friendship is about caring sometimes even when you can’t do anything for that friend except care.

Friendships usually start around shared experiences and time spent together. We go to school together and we become friends. We work together and we become friends. We may have church friends, club friends, or blogger friends.

Real friendship grows beyond those shared activities. Many of us have been blessed to have friends with whom we keep up relationships long after the time to share an activity has ended. People in their senior years tell me about friends they have had since kindergarten. Somehow these friendships survive years of separation punctuated only by an occasional greeting card or email.

Some couples describe their mates as their best friends. The best romantic relationships often include two people who were friends first. Some couples even fall out of love but not out of friendship.

There is nothing lonelier than a person without friends. Family, you are stuck with but friends you chose and they chose you.

Life is a journey. We move along in time as well as space. Along that route, we meet friends. Some friends are with us for only part of the journey and others, their path crosses ours repeatedly throughout our lifetime.

To have friends it has been said, we must first be a friend. Being that friend takes effort. It means investing in that relationship.

If you have friends you know how very important and necessary they are. If you have few or no friends you most likely already know what is missing. What you may not know is how to go about making those friends.

Approach each new person as a potential new friend until they prove otherwise. Treasure those friends you have and nurture those friendships. Keep those friendships safe in the warmth of your heart.

Put your hand out in welcome and see who responds.

To have many friends you must befriend many.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel