Ripples #916: Self Friendship!
Dec 12, 2016
Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
-Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Hollie in Stoughton, WI
I think the beating in our hearts was put there to remind us that even when we feel alone in the world, a part of us marches on. That even at our lowest there is something inside us that we can lean on and turn to. That even when we have no one else, we always have ourselves.
-Beau Taplin, shared by Jessie in California
I’ve met many people who are rock stars when it comes to extending the gifts of friendship: respect, trust, compassion and an occasional willingness to put the other person’s needs above everything else. In the long run, though, maintaining healthy connections with others also requires a commitment to extending these gifts to yourself, too.
This can be *especially* challenging for those of us who identify as leaders and helpers. We tend to deny ourselves the gifts of self-respect, self-trust, and self-compassion in the name of serving others. While that might seem gracious, what we are REALLY doing is inviting people to disregard our needs AND modeling the assumption that good people are required to ignore their own needs. I happen to believe these are neither accurate nor healthy.
People who are unable to at least occasionally put their own needs at the top of their priority list will eventually let others down as they grow to resent the burden of always putting other people’s needs ahead of their own. This can lead to complete burn out as well-intentioned people eventually become unable to show up at all.
So how good of a self-friend are you? Are there ways you could ultimately be a better friend to others by first improving your self care skills? This can sometimes feel indulgent, especially to the generous helper/leader types. Reflect on these notions, and perhaps discuss them with trusted friends who can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. And who knows, those conversations might pave the way for ripples of self-friendship to extend through your network.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. Yes, there is such a thing as taking this concept too far. And yes, you can probably think of some self-centered people in your life and wonder if I am suggesting you become more like them. No, I am not. 🙂