Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
One of the most important and amazing friendships you can have, is the one you have with yourself.
Youíve probably already heard that in order to be liked and loved by others, you have to like and love yourself. Itís true. I also believe in a similar philosophy when it comes to friendships. If you want to have friends, you need to be a friend, and YOU are the first friend that should be at the top of your best friend list!
Think of this concept in the terms of where you go, is where you are. You are always with yourself, even when you are with family, friends, teachers, fellow employees, teammates, or strangers. No matter who you are with, you are always with yourself. You literally have a lifetime to spend with yourself. It makes perfect sense that if you spend that much time with yourself, you two really should be friends ó best friends.
When you think about having best friends, think about what would make you consider someone a best friend. How do they make you feel about yourself? Do you enjoy spending time with them doing things together, or simply doing nothing at all? Do you share common interests? Do you feel like they get you, that they are not judgmental, and you can truly be yourself when you are together? These are all questions you can immediately answer about yourself. It's important to be your own best friend first because it helps you in making choices about the best friends you will make now and in the future.
As a teen, you are starting to independently define who you are and what you like to do. You have personal preferences when it comes to the music you listen to, the books you read, the movies you watch, even the classes you like the least or the best. Your likes and dislikes are all part of what makes you who you are. You have hobbies and outside activities that you have chosen because you enjoy them. You also have opinions about what is happening around you, in your own community and in the world. There are things you love to do, like to do, hate to do, dislike to do, and would never do.
It's important to be able to enjoy spending time alone. There are times when you need to do homework without distractions or interruptions, but then there are other times when you just need to be you. That's your time to explore your own interests, creativity, and ideas. It's also that time alone that helps you in deciding who you want to spend time with, and what things you are looking for in a friendship.
You want friendships that compliment who you are and what you do. Knowing yourself, and being your own best friend, helps you in the process of finding the people you want in your life. It's your own personal blueprint, and one that will change many times through your life as you and your interests change. I'll let you in on a secret, we all change. Getting to know yourself by being your own best friend is a great place to begin as you make your way though life and friendships.
I leave you with this thought: You will not find anyone exactly like you; you are one of a kind.