Whether it’s cheering our girls up after an argument with their guys, prepping them for the next big job interview, or just being their day-to-day cheerleader, we know how to look after each other. It’s weird then, how totally incapable we are of being kind to ourselves. You’ve probably said all the things on this list to a friend at one point or another—it’s time we started saying them to ourselves.
- “You’re too good for him.” We’re experts at spotting when our girlfriends are woefully underselling themselves. We’d die before letting our best pal settle for someone that’s no good for her, yet we don’t have the same standards for ourselves. If a guy isn’t respecting you or isn’t putting you and your feelings first, have the self-worth to walk away.
- “You’re working too hard.” It’s easy to see as an outsider when someone is bending over backward for their job. We’re all too happy to give our friends a ton of reasons they should stop work and come for cocktails immediately, but when it’s us? Suddenly we find excuses out of thin air. When you’ve had a hard day’s work, you deserve a break. Treat yourself.
- “He doesn’t know how lucky he is.” Bigging up your girls is the number one rule of sisterhood—it’s time we grabbed a slice of that action for our self-talk. No more thinking about how lucky we are to have nabbed a guy, he should be grateful to have us in his life! Feeling appreciated begins with self-care, so make sure you’re giving yourself plenty.
- “You’ll meet someone when the time is right.” Lots of my friends are single in their early twenties, and you know what? I’m not panicking that any of them are going to wind up old and alone. Why, then, do I become so paranoid when I’m single that I’m doing to die in a one-bed flat and no one will find me for months? Know that relationships come with time, so quit beating yourself up in the here and now.
- “You deserve this.” We ladies are all about treating our friends, but suddenly feel guilty when it comes to spoiling ourselves. It can feel hard justifying treating yourself, so why try and justify it at all? We work hard and sometimes life is unfair, so the least we can do is indulge in whatever makes it more enjoyable.
- “Eat the cookie.” Things I think when my friends eat a cookie: mmmmm. That looks like a nice cookie. Things I think when I eat a cookie: oh my god, everyone is going to think I’m such a fatty! I can’t believe I’m eating this! Newsflash—everyone is so worried about their own diet that they don’t think twice about what anyone else is eating. So treat yourself. It’s what you’d want any friend to do.
- “Dayum girl!” How often do you look in the mirror and appreciate just how mighty fine you are? Not that often, I’m guessing, but we do it to our girlfriends all the time. We know from looking at our friends that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, yet we hesitate to say anything nice about our own bodies. Life is so much nicer when we’re kinder to ourselves, and we can start with what we say in the mirror.
- “You deserve a raise!” When you see someone else working hard and absolutely smashing it, it’s easy to become incensed on their behalf. Why can’t their boss see what they’re worth? Why aren’t they getting paid more? When it comes to ourselves, though, we’re way too timid to stand up for our rights. Recognizing your worth, and not being afraid to say so, shows that you value yourself and expect to be taken seriously.
- “What do you need?” We’ll bend over backward to help a friend in need. Providing a shoulder to cry on, a bed for the night, or a tub of Ben and Jerrys to share, we’re there for our friends when they need us. Funny how we never seem to stop and ask ourselves what we really need. A hot bath? A night in? Maybe even license to go a bit crazy? If we paid attention to our needs the way we do our friends, we’d be much happier for it.
- “You’re perfect just as you are.” As friends, we’re able to see clearly the beauty in the people we spend time with, inside and out. Ladies, it’s time we started showing that same devotion to ourselves. Being able to accept ourselves for who we are, without putting unrealistic pressures on our shoulders, allows us to live fuller, happier lives. So go on, start treating yourself like your new best friend. You’ll thank yourself.