Friendship isn’t always easy. Friends can move away, forget your birthday, or say something insensitive. It’s almost as if friends are just people—and, well, they act like it.

So, What is Friendship?

Friendship can spring from shared values, hobbies, or just seeing the same person every day on your commute. It’s woven into what we need for a healthy support system to help us feel less alone in the world.

According to popular ideas about friendship, a true friend is always on your side. They’ll watch out for you and never betray you or make you feel bad. However, as wonderful as this sounds, we often find ourselves facing the reality that friends are just people, too. And people can be unreliable, self-focused, and sometimes oblivious to others’ needs.

But there’s one person who will always be there for you, and that’s the person you see in the mirror every day—yourself. And that’s great news because you can cultivate a profound friendship with yourself. When you’re your own best friend, you can:

  • Offer yourself approval instead of waiting for it from others
  • Lovingly watch out for yourself and ensure you’re safe
  • Soothe yourself when your heart is breaking
  • Make yourself laugh and inspire yourself to see life with fresh eyes

When you can count on and appreciate yourself, your good friend is always nearby and ready to help.

Navigating Friendships with Yourself and Others

Even so, you might still want to connect with others because it’s fun and beneficial. When talking to yourself, be friendly! Be understanding! Never be mean!

Being your own best friend helps you navigate difficulties with friends who aren’t you. For instance, a close friend of mine recently moved away. At first, I was angry because I didn’t want her to leave. Then I realized I can’t control other people’s actions. But I could notice that I was upset and needed to be kind to the part of me that was hurting. My inner best friend comforted me when I felt abandoned, and that helped me appreciate that my friend was doing what she needed to do, while I still had my closest friend by my side.

By turning to yourself for lifelong companionship, you’ll always have someone ready for adventure or a quiet night in. You can be your own best friend forever and make the world a better place by loving yourself.

7 Ways to Be Your Own Best Friend

  1. Appreciate Yourself: When you look in the mirror, recognize the unique person staring back at you—there’s never been anyone like you!
  2. Speak Kindly to Yourself: Be friendly, understanding, and never mean.
  3. Give Yourself a Self-Hug: When you need love, try giving yourself a hug.
  4. Affirm Your Love for Yourself: Don’t be shy; say your name and tell yourself, “I love you.”
  5. Schedule Kindness Dates: Plan time to do something caring for yourself.
  6. Make Yourself Laugh: Find ways to bring joy to your day.
  7. Practice Contemplation: Engage in practices that keep you tuned into your body, mind, and emotions so you can access your inner wisdom.

A Practice to Cultivate Self-Friendliness

It takes practice to become your own best friend, so try this:

  1. Find a Quiet Moment: Experiment with placing a hand over your heart or on your cheek. Choose whatever feels most friendly and comforting.
  2. Set an Intention: Intend to spend time with your best friend—yourself.
  3. Breathe: Close your eyes and breathe in for a count of five, out for a count of seven, repeating three times.
  4. Offer Kind Words: Say these words (or modify them to your liking):
    “May I be happy.
    May I be healthy.
    May I be my own best friend.”

Closing Thoughts

With practice and intention, you can build a lifelong friendship with yourself, creating a loving, supportive relationship that helps you navigate the ups and downs of life with confidence and joy.