Trying to be a better friend to yourself sounds like an odd idea. Initially because we naturally imagine a friend as someone else, not as a part of our own mind.
But there is value in the concept because of the extent to which we know how to treat our own friends, with the sympathy and imagination we seldom apply,to ourselves.
If a friend is in trouble, our first instinct is rarely to tell them that they are fundamentally a sh*thead and a failure. If a friend complains that their partner isnt very warm to them, we dont tell them theyre getting what they deserve. we try to reassure them that theyre essentially likeable and that its worth investigating what might be done.
In friendship we know instinctively how to deploy strategies of wisdom and consolation that we stubbornly refuse to apply to ourselves.
There are some key moves a good friend would typically make which can provide a model for what we should, ideally be doing with ourselves, in our own heads.
Firstly, a good friend likes you pretty much as you already are. Any suggestion they make or ambition they have about how you could change builds on a background of acceptance.
When they propose that you might try a different tack, its not an ultimatum
or a threat. Theyre not saying that you have to change or be abandoned.
A friend insists were good enough, already, but they want to join forces with us to solve a challenge they feel we would properly benefit, from overcoming.
Without being flattering, good friends also constantly keep in mind certain things, were getting right!
They dont think anything wrong with the odd compliment and emphasis on our strengths. Its quietly galling how easily we can lose sight of all our own
adj. ?g?:l?? markedly irritating
good points, when troubles strike.
A friend doesnt fall into this trap. They can acknowledge the difficulties while still holding on to a memory of our virtues. The good friend is compassionate;
when we fail, as we will，they are understanding and generous around our mishaps. Our folly, doesnt exclude them from the circle of their love.
n. bad luck n. 愚行
The good friend definitely conveys that to err, fail and screw up is just what
vi. make a mistake
we humans do.
We all emerge from childhood with various biases in our character which evolved to help us cope with our necessarily imperfect parents and these acquired habits of mind will reliably let us down in adult life.
But, were not to be blamed because we didnt deliberately set out to be like this. We didnt realistically, have a lot of better options.
Were indelibly required to make big decisions before we ever really understand whats at stake or how our choices will play out.
We steering blind in all our large moves around love and work. We opt for a move to a different city，but we cant possibly know whether were going to flourish there.
We have to select a career path when were still young and we dont know what our latent needs will be in long term relationships
We have to make a commitment to another person before we understand what it will be like to tie our lives, so deeply to theirs .
The good friend knows that failures are not in fact, rare. They bring as a starting point their own and humanitys vivid experience of messing up into play as key points of reference.
Theyre continually telling us that our specific case, might be unique but that the general structure, is common.
People, dont just sometimes fail. Everyone fails, only, we dont know about it. Its ironic, yet essentially hopeful that we usually know quite well how to be a better friend to near strangers than we know how to be, to ourselves.
The hopefulness lies in the fact that we do actually already possess the relevant skills of friendship.
Its just, we havent as yet directed them to the person, who probably needs the most — namely— of course ourselves.