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How to Be a Real Friend

MP900439453I was venting, getting it all out with someone I trusted. I was looking for her advice because I was confused about how to handle an unexpected situation. There was a significant sum at stake. I wasn’t sure whether to bob or weave. I was feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and stupid. And I said so.

“Don’t talk about my friend Catherine like that,” she interrupted me.

I laughed and kept talking.

“No, seriously,” she interrupted again. “Don’t talk about my friend Catherine like that. I wouldn’t listen to anyone else say that about you so why would I listen to you do it?”

She was right, and I had no idea I was being so mean to myself until she pointed it out.

What are you saying about yourself?

If you are feeling low or weak when faced with a situation, listen to yourself. Write it down. All the crappy, low-down feelings you have about yourself. Now flip it. Picture yourself being someone confident, positive, and smart. Cross out the old negative thoughts. Write about that person until you have a strong mental picture in your head and a powerful connection in your heart. What would that person say or do?

Be that person by talking to and about yourself that way. Do what a real friend would do for you.

16 Comments

  1. Corinne Rodrigues on January 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    You’re lucky to have great friend. It’s amazing how we will give ourselves such scant respect and treat ourselves in ways we wouldn’t dare to treat other people!

  2. Charlotte Henley Babb on January 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I have a friend who is willing to call me on putting myself down. A friend like that is worth her weight in gold or platinum or di-lithium crystals.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we taught ourselves, our friends and our children to stop beating ourselves and give ourselves the respect we give others?

    • Catherine on January 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      It’s always interesting to me how we know how to be good to ourselves, but we aren’t always aware of what we’re doing. You’re right. A person willing to point that out to you is worth their weight in gold.

  3. Veronica Campos-Hallstrom on January 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Good pals are invaluable. They can serve as great mirrors that are not fogged over. When we look and listen to them we need to see more clearly and often we do.

  4. Veronica Campos-Hallstrom on January 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Awewsome post! I agree that you need to learn to be open to what can and does inspire you. I am inspired by many things everyday. I carry my camera around for that very reason. Sometimes when things appear in front of me like magic, and light a spark for action the camera is also handy to document. I rely on gaining inspiration everyday because I am an artist and I need what gives me visual prompts.

  5. Eugene Uttley on January 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Great post.

  6. Amy on January 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing! It takes a good friend to call a person out on there negativity. I like how you included the turn-around part. I have tried to incorporate the “act as if…” model into my daily life.
    Very powerful!

  7. Delfin Joaquin Paris III on January 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Setting boundaries is one of the most courageous acts you can do. Well done!

  8. Debra Jason on January 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I’m so fortunate to have several friends who know how to boost me up when I’m being down on myself.
    Now, I am focusing on how to talk to myself & treat myself as I would a beloved friend.
    Thanks.
    ~Debra

  9. Brenda Spandrio on January 3, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    WOW! In this era where people are posting such vitriol on FB, twitter or blogs, this is an amazing challenge to rise above all that. Thanks! And thanks, too, for the reminder to be kinder to oneself.

  10. Erica Ardali on January 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Being in Direct Sales, an industry dominated by women, I get this a lot. I have to tell consultants don’t treat her that way, or talk about so and so you don’t know where she’s been or what she’s been through. On an on… ugh! It’s never ending. But I have to teach the divas on my team that gossip/hating etc is not going to improve your situation, so stop it.

  11. Retha Groenewald on January 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Wow, this is an awesome post. I have never thought about treating myself as a real friend. That would enrich the friendships I have.

  12. Crystal Touchton on January 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Unfortunately if we think about it, I think we all let negative self talk get the better of us. I’ve been trying to “catch” myself doing this, and I never realized how often I was negative toward myself until I started actively looking for it.

  13. Judith on January 5, 2013 at 3:32 am

    That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

  14. Cheri on January 5, 2013 at 8:04 am

    You’re right: it’s far easier for most of us to dish out the negativity in our own direction than it is to see the positive. We all need to work on being kinder to ourselves, and you’re blessed to have someone in your life who helps you learn that lesson.

  15. Debbie on January 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Nice post… So true that it is easier for us to be hard ourselves.

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