Would You Be Your Friend?


Two little girls in dresses with one helping the other with some flowers

I was doing a meditation the other day and the person guiding that session was talking about negative self-talk. I’ve frequently heard people pose the question “Would you say the stuff you say to yourself to a friend or family member you really care about?” If the answer is “no” then don’t say those things to yourself.

While in the middle of meditating a thought came to me and I successfully resisted grabbing paper to write it down until I was done.

In addition to asking ourselves “Would I say that stuff to a friend or family member” when saying negative things to yourself, I think we should also ask “If I’m being truly honest, given the way I treat others – the things I say to them, the things I say about them, how I show up for them, and however reliable I am – would I want to be my friend?”

The question related to self-talk is about treating yourself with kindness and respect, but this new question is about whether we treat others with such kindness and respect.

I think we could also go further on this. I agree with the idea of seeing how a date treats the wait staff to get an idea of the kind of person your date is. The same is true of how they may talk about people who are different than them (religion, race, economic status, gender, etc.). How do you treat wait staff or retail workers? How do you treat or talk about people who are different from you?

If you met you, would you want to be your friend? If not, then you’ve got some work to do.

Featured image courtesy of Mario Milivojevic under a CC-O license.

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