It’s hard for others to like us when we don’t like ourselves. We might receive their compassion, pity, and even love. But to truly give and receive the joy of relating with others we must also befriend ourselves.
We teach people how to treat us. And when we consistently look down on ourselves it’s much harder for others to learn to enjoy our company.
Meaningful and mutually rewarding relationships require us to befriend ourselves – to bless our own quirks, interests, and moods.
We each have our own unique quirks and habits. Perhaps we like our sandwiches made a certain way or prefer to watch television with the closed captioning turned on.
These things might annoy others, but they’re simply how we do life.
And others are more likely to find our quirks endearing (eventually) when we can fondly accept them ourselves.
Some of us are huge sports fans while others geek out on music theory or political science.
And even within a shared category, we each have a unique expression of interest. We have our personal teams, artists, and philosophies we gravitate to.
Accepting our interest gives us more to share with others. They get more of us when we accept more of ourselves.
Even with our closest friends and loved ones we will not share the exact same feelings about everything.
In fact, we might passionately disagree about many things.
But to befriend our moods is to honor our feelings even when they differ from others.
We befriend ourselves when we own unapologetically each part of our very being and bless it as good.
This does not mean we settle and no longer challenge ourselves to grow. But it does call for us to learn to enjoy our own company – with all our unique quirks, interests, and moods.
Befriend yourself and allow others to learn to enjoy your company as well.