Are you great at pointing out all your mistakes and being a bit hard on yourself? Well, don’t think there’s anything wrong with yourself, because we all tend to be our own worst enemies as the metaphor suggests. And that’s just it: we are a complex combination of inner ‘selves’ ever evolving and ever exaggerating the divisions. We all have several versions of ourselves: kind, patient, cheerful, grumpy, feeling, caring and the list goes on and on. What’s important says Martha Beck*, is “that many people don’t really know how to be a friend–to themselves.” Here Ms. Beck presents some great advice on how to do just that: be your own friend.

FRIENDSHIP FACT: real friends delight in your happiness.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “ I want to help you have great adventures, rest when you’re tired, and make every experience better.”

FRIENDSHIP FACT: Real friends care about what’s happening to you.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “ What’s going on with you? How do you feel about it? I want to hear everything!”

FRIENDSHIP FACT: Real friends never punish you for being honest, having feelings, or setting boundaries.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “With me you can always feel what you feel and say what you mean. Always.”

FRIENDSHIP FACTS: Real Friends don’t try and live your life for you.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “ I really care when you’re hurting, but I know you’ll be all right in the end. I have faith in you.”

FRIENDSHIP FACT: If you’re in dangerous territory, real friends will tell you.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “Is your gut saying that something doesn’t feel right? Respect that. I do.”

FRIENDSHIP FACT: Real friends like just being with you; they don’t need you to entertain them.

SAY TO YOURSELF: “You don’t have to earn my friendship. Just be yourself.”

*Article excerpts from: “May We Help You?” by Martha Beck, www.oprah,com, January 2015, pages 38-39.