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You’ve got this! Licensed counselor Tracy Becker answers your questions.

Sam asks: I am my own worst enemy. How can I be a better friend to myself?

By Tracy Becker

Licensed Counselor

Hello Sam, thank you for this great question. It is unfortunate that many, if not most of us, go through situations in our lives where we know we aren’t being our best, we are sabotaging our success, practicing a lot of negative and self-deprecating thoughts, and behaving in ways that will never turn out in our favor.

I have often said that the longest relationship you are going to have in your life is the one you have with yourself. Thus, this relationship has to be strong, positive, forgiving, honest, disciplined and uplifting. That’s a lot to ask, right? But it is what is required for undoing what’s already been done.

I would suggest a simple exercise to get started. Write down all the qualities that you believe a good friend would have. Spend some time on it, read a book or article on friendship, and ask a few people you admire about this.

Then examine this list to determine which qualities you have – which you do have some – and ask yourself what it would take to enhance them. An example would be: if you have the quality of kindness, what can you do daily to enhance this quality? Create a plan and follow through. Do this until you are working on enhancing all the good qualities you have.
Secondly, choose one quality on the list that you would like to have, but feel you may be lacking. Do the same thing. An example would be: Maybe you find yourself telling “little white lies” for no reason, and you want to be an honest person.

Make a decision to monitor your urges to lie. Then take the time to evaluate what made you, in each of those moments, want to tell a lie? This will take commitment and time, but you can work through this. In a very short time, you will notice that you are being a better person to yourself. That makes it easier to be a better person to others. Best wishes, Sam.

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