8 Things You'd Say To Your Best Friend That You Should Also Say To Yourself
Most anyone who’s ever been to therapy has heard the term “positive self-talk.” In a nutshell, it’s the idea that you should be nicer to yourself in your own internal dialogue. So say, for example, you didn’t get a job that you wanted. Instead of diving into a shame spiral where you call yourself a worthless loser, you could say something like, “You did a great job and this one just wasn’t a great fit.” That’s a minor example — but you get the idea.
But it can be hard to keep up that positive self-talk, especially when you’re in a moment of crisis — even if it’s a relatively minor one. (I know I catch myself saying things to myself sometimes that are harsh.) So one piece of advice that therapists often give is that you should talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend.
If you want to step up your positive self-talk game even further, you should not only talk to yourself the way you talk to your best friend, you should talk to yourself the way women and other feminine-identifying people talk to each other on Instagram. I’m not talking about the toxic conversations, of course. I’m talking about the outpouring of compliments, love, affirmations, and emojis that fill the comments section of your friend’s selfies. While you might look at your own selfies and notice an area of your body or face or hair that you don’t love, what do you see when you look at those of a your friends? Beautiful, fierce, amazing women. You don’t pick her apart for tiny flaws, because not only would that make you a terrible friend, but what good would that do?
So it’s time to do the same for yourself. Here are nine things you’d say to your BFF that you should being saying to yourself.
1. No Matter What Happens, You're Going To Be OK
This is the single most important self-statement because it lowers anxiety by giving you faith in your ability to cope and rebound,” Dr. Gregory Kushnick, Psy.D., who just launched a site dedicated to strengthening your inner voice, tells Bustle. “If you repeat this to yourself 50 times a day, you can get through any challenge.”
2. You Are So Smart
It’s easy to get down on ourselves, especially when we do something “stupid.” But take a deep breath and remind yourself that you’re smart, capable, and you just made a mistake — like everyone does. After all, that’s what you’d tell your BFF, right?
3. I Love You Just The Way You Are
“This promotes self-acceptance,” Dr. Kushnick says. “It counters the need to change yourself to be happy.”
4. You’re Going To Nail This Interview
Or talk or presentation or article — whatever it is you’re stressing about. You’d never tell your BFF that they were going to fail at something big, so why do the same to yourself?
5. Just Breathe
“This reminds you to take a step back, slow down and get in touch with your body,” Dr. Kushnick says.
6. You’re Beautiful
While obviously it's not good to be obsessively focused on physical beauty, the world is set up in a way that we’re all told we’re not beautiful enough — and that it’s something we should be striving for. As a result, even the most conscientious among us fall into the trap of calling ourselves ugly sometimes. But just as you think your best friend is the most beautiful person there is, they also think the same about you! Remind yourself of that of when you’re feeling down.
7. You’re A Catch!
Dating is an area so many of us get down on ourselves about — and so many of us know how it is to prop up a friend who’s in the dumps about their dating life. So remind yourself when you’re feeling bummed that you are a serious catch. List some of the reasons why for extra points!
8. I Love You
And of course, the all important one: I love you. Round out your series of positive self-talk by reminding yourself that you, in fact, love you.