Here is a great, easy to learn way to teach yourself to become your own best friend. I call this method “the tape recording.” You have the ability to listen in on the conversation you mentally carry on with yourself. Imagine you tape record this conversation several times throughout the day. When you play back a sample, how would you describe the dialogue? Does it sound like two good friends speaking with one another? Is there interesting dialogue? Can you detect enthusiasm? Or are there significant periods of criticism, boredom, worry, blaming, self-pitying, and so on? Why not strive to change the quality of that internal conversation so that you make your taped segments become increasingly positive?
You already know the simple word-switches that put you in control. Substitute descriptive “could” words for prescriptive “should” words. Spot the blaming “He, she, they, it make me…” words and turn on self-responsibility by substituting “I allow ....” If you catch yourself in the either/or thinking that creates two opposing categories, see if both...and can be substituted to recognize the positives and negatives of each alternative. It may be as simple as replacing the word “or” with “and.” When you catch yourself worrying and being pessimistic, try out the magical problem-solving sentence: What’s most likely to make things better for me and you, for now and the future?
Instead of blaming others or your self you’ll be directing your mental energy constructively. That’s a great reason to enthusiastically endorse your self. Know that it is an unrealistic expectation that you do your absolute best, but you can always do your “reasonable best.” Regularly remind yourself that you don’t control what others do and you rarely have the opportunity to change others. And when you determine you aren’t doing your reasonable best, really pat yourself on the back for recognizing a shortcoming! The only way to improve a shortcoming is to recognize the problem and then taking reasonable action when you can improve the situation. Get in the habit of putting each of the endorsement skills to work.
What about the negative thoughts we each have that seem to just pop up, even without any prompting or effort on our part? That’s easy. Mobilize your anger. Insist “You can visit for a moment, but now get out of here or I’ll kick you out!” Don’t be hesitant to get angry at your negative thoughts. Treat them like terrorists, as poorly as they treat you. Attack the negative thoughts, NOT yourself. You will hurt no one in the process.
Try the tape recording method! Use it regularly. Your efforts can make it work.