As a question to stimulate reflection, this can be quite powerful. It’s not about narcissistic self-congratulation. It’s about being realistic in the narrative we tell ourselves about ourselves.
Good friends are authentic towards each other. They are not afraid to give critical feedback when it is needed; but they care enough about us to be supportive at the same time. They are not concerned whether we are thin or fat, shy or outgoing. They accept us as we are and encourage us to be the best of who we are.
Here are some questions to aid reflection:
- Do you care for yourself enough? (Do you pay enough attention to your own well-being?)
- How trustworthy are you?
- How valuable would it be to have someone, who shared your values?
- What encouragement would a best friend give you?
- What protection would they give you?
- How would they bring you the gift of honesty?
- What could you only share with a best friend?
- What would they notice that you choose not to notice?
- What would they forgive you for?
Making true friends with ourselves has much to recommend it in terms of mental and physical well-being. Finding the time and space to have conversations with a truly close friend helps restore our sense of mental and moral balance. And sometimes that close friend can be ourselves.
© David Clutterbuck 2023