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The Benefits of Being Your Own Best Friend

best friends

So, the other night as I was watching Chelsea Handler standup and sipping a glass of wine on my couch alone, a thought occurred to me. “Man, I really like hanging out with myself.” I was sitting there in my empty living room in my empty apartment, genuinely enjoying my own company. This may not seem like such a huge deal, but there was a time when I was not able to do that. For a good portion of my life, it was hard for me to be alone with just my thoughts and myself; I usually needed someone else to be there in order for me to really feel happy or relaxed. I couldn’t just be alone and hang out with myself. That’s why it was such a pivotal moment the other night when I realized I am finally that person who can hang out with herself and be totally content with that. The happiness this brought to me is almost beyond words. I am finally becoming my own best friend.

I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “love yourself or no one else will.” I’m not sure I completely agree with this literally, but I do agree with the general message behind it. No, you don’t need to full love yourself before anyone else will ever love you, but yes, it is very important to at least be OK and comfortable with yourself. Once you become your own best friend, there’s not as much pressure to be with anyone else; you no longer feel as dependent on anyone else, be it friends, family, or a significant other. And this is a wonderful thing. I’m not saying every day I wake up completely head over heels for myself (I’m not Kanye) but I do, for the most part, like who I am as a person and don’t mind just being by myself and hanging out alone. It took a long time for this to happen and I’m admittedly still working on it, but I’ve noticed such an improvement in my life ever since. There are so many perks to being your own best friend.

For one thing, if someone blows you off or cancels plans on you, you won’t feel like it’s the end of the world. You won’t question whether or not the person likes you, and more importantly, you won’t question whether the cancellation of plans has something to do with you. You will simply shrug it off and accept it for what it is. In fact, you may actually be relieved to hang out with yourself instead.

Also, it becomes way less scary and anxiety provoking to face a night alone. If anything, nights alone are something to look forward to. You can order or make your favorite food without worrying about anyone liking it or agreeing with it, watch your favorite movie, read your favorite book. Basically, you can just do whatever you would like to do because it is you you’re hanging out with.

It becomes a lot easier to talk yourself out of a bad mood or a slump when you’re your own best friend, too. When you start feeling down about yourself or your life, you are more capable of telling yourself how awesome you are and picking yourself back up again. This is almost impossible to do when you don’t really like yourself, so it’s nice to have a helping hand available without anyone else around.

Negative things people say to you affect you a lot less dramatically when you’re your number one person. If someone makes a snide remark or a backhanded compliment, you find yourself either not getting upset at all about it or brushing it off fairly easily. Because, after all, you know how amazing you are, so why the hell do you care what they have to say.

It becomes a lot less stressful planning something you want to do when you know that you are completely fine with doing it alone. If you want to head to the park on your day off, it’s no longer a problem if none of your friends are free that day or no one is able to accompany you.

In the long run, it really pays off to develop a relationship with yourself. It’s almost crucial to love hanging out with yourself, and being your own best friend. Because, at the end of the day, who has really and truly always been there for you? You.

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