I miss my best friend all the time.  We still talk on Twitter, and hang out every time we’re on the same continent. We even try to call each other at least once a month.  However, nothing can replace the feeling of having him nearby. I used to go to him whenever I had something to be happy about. I’d rush even sooner when I had something to be sad about.

Most of us are amazing as best friends. We may be not be very social or even talkative, but we’re amazing people when we’re around our best friends. We’re funny, supportive, naughty, and …well, bearable to them.

I want you to think about how you speak to your best friend and how (s)he treats you for a moment. I know this sounds cheesy, but just trust me on it. Warm, fuzzy feeling there yet? Now think about how you talk to yourself.

More often than not, we are super mean to ourselves. We’re always nagging. We don’t give ourselves pep talk often enough. We certainly don’t attempt to entertain ourselves. One of the simplest ways to grow and be happy is by choosing to speak to yourself like your best friend would speak to you.

I’ll simplify it a bit more by telling you what a best friend usually does. This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s a rather small list of my best friend’s best traits that help me grow. Here goes:

Solution-oriented advice

One of the best things about best friends is their ability to say, “Alright! Here’s what you should do…”

In a world where people are happy to dole out vague, generic advice – the best of friends are the only ones who give you actionable advice that you can use. It is refreshing and, quite honestly, the only kind of advice we need.

Tough love

Best friends are capable of dishing out tough love when need be. Are you in a relationship that is hurting you? Your best friend will rescue you.  Have you put on weight that you need to lose? Your best friend will insult (or inspire) you till you get fit.  Tough love is a super power that best friends use judiciously and effectively.

High Standards 

No one in my life uses the phrase “You deserve better” more often than my best friend does. These magical human beings also make sure that you never underperform. If you do, they’ll troll you and some random blogger on the Interwebs will call it “tough love” and try to convince you that it is a good thing.

Blatant flattery 

Some times, the perfect pick-me-up is a conversation where vulnerability is not an issue and the response is a no-holds-barred flattery contest.  The best of friends have the ability to make you feel loved even while you know that the pep talk you’re getting is nothing but stevia-coated flattery.

Motivation 

Best friends are amazing at motivating you. Even if the motivation is for a garbage cause, but their “Just do it” will have the intensity you need to get shit done. Some times, all it takes is a voice that gives a little nudge towards the right direction.

The whole point of listing those traits is to remind myself and you that it is not too hard to stop treating ourselves like some frenemy. All we need is an inner voice that sounds like our best friend. I’ve given this a try and the benefits are truly amazing.  I sleep better. I don’t feel as stressed out as I used to. Smiling a lot more often is effortless. I don’t get affected by negativity like I used to.

Newsletter

Speaking of best friends, I send a weekly email to some of my best friends on a weekly basis. The email usually goes out on Saturdays. The themes revolve around leadership, motivation, and stories. I try to summarise my learnings from several sources like books, articles, podcasts, and mentors. Would you like to be on that list? Then, sign up below.