Posts Tagged ‘friends’


9 Ways to Like Yourself More

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

People say you have to love yourself, right? But sometimes, life with ourselves is a little like dating: Not only are we not feelin’ the love, we don’t even like ourselves. Well, here are ten ideas that can help set off that spark and get you crushing on the best person in the room: you.

Get out there and celebrate what you love about you! (Image: Amy Spencer)

To help you start liking yourself a little more…

1. Show off your best feature. Yep, we’re good at groaning about the worst ones, but what’s the best? Your calves? Your eyebrows? Your hips? Your hair? Whatever you know you’ve got going on, show it the heck off.

2. Decide what battle you would win. I wouldn’t win Jeopardy. Or a marathon. But put me head to head in a who-can-eat-the-most-popcorn battle, and I’ll win. Me and popcorn, we’re a sure thing! Now, I don’t think anyone’s hosting this competition, but I like to picture my trophy in it anyway. Do the same thing. What battle would you win? Smoothest moonwalk? Loudest laugh? Best scrambled eggs? Who-can-lip-sync-to-every-song-on-Men-at-Work’s-Business-as-Usual album? Put your imaginary trophy on your imaginary mantle and shine it up every now and then.

3. Talk back to yourself like a crazy person. By which I mean, have an out loud conversation with yourself about what you don’t like about yourself and why those reasons are ridiculous. If you get down on yourself thinking, “I hate myself for my extra twenty pounds,” that reason might rear itself every time you get dressed. But hearing yourself say that out loud, you can hear why it’s a stupid reason not to like yourself. So tell yourself that out loud. “Self, you are awesome and people like you.” Talk yourself out of your own nonsense. It’s the most non-crazy thing you can do.

4. Give yourself a fair mirror glance. Mirrors are funny things. Yes, they reflect an image of you in that moment, in that light, from that angle. But they’re not a true reflection of what everyone else in life sees when they see you. So give yourself the benefit of seeing yourself the way others do—usually just a quick glance on the sidewalk or sitting a couple of feet away over coffee. I mean, think about it: Those moments you lean into the mirror to analyze your wrinkles or pluck gray hairs from an inch away…who do you see during the day who looks at you that closely? No one. Not even a spouse or partner looks at you as closely as you look at yourself! (Well, my cat Guinness does, but she’s just hoping a piece of tuna drops on my forehead, so that doesn’t count.) So give yourself a realistic reflection in the next mirror you pass: Walk up to it, smile your truest smile for two or three seconds, then turn and go. There. Didn’t you look nice? Admit it: You’d like you. You’re just the kind of person you’d want to run into a sunny afternoon.

5. Have one good hair day. One day, wake up early and really do your hair. If your hair is hopeless in your own hands, pay to get a blow-out for a day for fun. Or, get your hair cut into a style that will give you more good hair days more often. For whatever reason, we are undeniably happier with ourselves when our hair looks good. Give yourself a great hair day and get back in touch with those “Hey, I like me!” feelings.

6. Do something that will make you proud of yourself. My husband and I spend most nights before we go to sleep reading side-by-side in bed. Recently, he’s been picking up the classics like Old Man and the SeaThe Great Gatsby, and Huckleberry Finn, so I’ve been reading them again, too. And you know what? I feel like a million bucks every time I finish one. There’s something about closing the back cover of a book that’s stood the test of time for five decades (and still holds up!) that makes me swell up inside with pride. Mostly because it balances out the time I spend scrolling through Facebook and watching episodes of Bait Car or The Dog Whisperer as if life didn’t have more to offer than this. In between the silly stuff, do something that will make you feel proud of yourself and accomplished. Sew on a button. Paint your bedroom. Plant some rosemary. Learn two chords on the guitar. Give yourself an easy reason to like yourself today.

7. See how your “flaws” can be your strengths. Often, we don’t like some aspect of our personality because we think it’s holding us back. But maybe, in reality, this aspect can also move us forward. If you don’t like that you’re quiet or shy, remember that you’re probably listening and taking in more than the talkers are, and that can be an even more valuable position than someone yapping away. Like your “flaws” for the awesome stuff they can actually give you.

8. Make a list of what you’re good at. And that list can include anything. I’m not talking about skills you get paid for, I’m talking about kitchen accomplishments and party tricks. You know what’s on my list? I’m a superfast reader. I make a delicious gumbo. I can eat a small Dominoes pizza all by myself. I can do a lot of sit-ups. (Mind you, I can’t do a single “boy” push-up, but sit-ups? I’m your girl.) And let’s not forget this one: I can find the positive in absolutely anything. Make this list for yourself. Number a page from one to twenty—heck, from one to fifty, and then start filling it in. Then, look at that list! It’s a reminder that your life isn’t for nothing. You’ve been learning something every single day and you’ve become good at a lot of things—both physically and emotionally—that you should be darn proud of. Just remind yourself.

9. See yourself through your loved ones eyes. Think about the person who loves you more than anyone. Maybe that’s your mom or dad or sibling. Maybe it’s your dog or cat. Maybe it’s your best friend you text with two dozen times daily. Well, for one minute, see yourself the way they do. What do they love about you most? You should be liking yourself for that very same reason.

Those are just nine ways I thought of to start with. Have any of them worked for you? And what else works? Do you have any tricks or mantras or moments when you fall “in like” with yourself all over again? What makes you like you?

Before anyone else can like you—in work, in friendships, in love—you must like you. You have to think you’re the bomb-diggity, good, kind, awesome, proud owner of yourself. Hopefully, some of these ideas will nudge you back there when you need it.

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Big love,

A Brilliant Idea: Joy’s “Thanksgiving List”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Ooh, I love me other people’s genius ideas.

And today, the credit goes to Joy Meredith, author of the thought-provoking book, My Last Wishes: Life, Love, Laughs & a Few Final Notes.

This week, she wrote a wonderfully brilliant post called “The Thanksgiving List” on her blog Finding Joy, about a tradition she started called her Thanksgiving List. First, she makes a list of all the people in her life she’s thankful for and why. Then, on Thanksgiving morning, she calls and tells them so. Here is the short version of how it works:

“On the morning of Thanksgiving,” writes Joy, “I wake up early, make two Pepperidge Farm cherry turnovers, and begin my calls around 9ish.

Working off my notes I take a moment to get present with my gratitude and then I call my friend Ann (the list is alphabetical) and begin the thanking. It is designed to be a quick call, there are no pleasantries or small talk, it starts: Are you ready? Ok, Ann this is why I am thankful for you this year….”

Joy writes more about it—including how she rarely allows them to thank her back how her friends and family have responded to being on the list. So check out her full post for the story.

But I had to pass this on. Because if you want a loving relationship, you have to live a loving life. I mean, think about it: You can’t live like a hermit with a cold fish attitude who’s not engaging in any warmth of emotion with any family or friends around you, and expect that—Poof!—a loving partner is going to recognize you as their dream girl or guy as you grumble your way forward on the drugstore line with a pack of paper towels. You have to tune into that soft side, the heart side. The more you get in touch with your feelings of love and gratitude, and the more you engage in relationships with friends and family, the more open and ready you’ll become for a romantic love in your life.

Joy’s Thanksgiving List is a perfect way to do this. Plus, it can help you pinpoint the right relationship for you. How? It carves out some time in your life to reflect on what really matters to your heart, which can help you make your Big Love List. (My post OPTIMISM WORKSHOP: Your Big Love List will get you started.) But making your Thanksgiving List and your Big Love List can become intertwined: Are you thankful for a friend who always supports you, even when you do stupid stuff? Then you’ll probably want to feel unconditionally supported by a partner, too. Are you thankful for a cousin who always leaves hilarious messages on your phone in a French accent when you’re having a down day? Then feeling like you can laugh with a partner through tough times should be on your love list.

Go on, make your Thanksgiving List. I know I’m going to. Even if you’re not as organized and amazing as Joy obviously is to squeeze in those calls on Thanksgiving morning, making the list itself is a darn good start.

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Big love,

You’re So Hot

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

We all go through those days where we’re hating how we look—the ol’, “Ugh, there’s nothing flattering in my closet, and even if there was, I don’t fit into it anyway.”

You shine more than you know

You shine more than you know

And if people you’re meeting aren’t jumping at the chance to jump all over you, it’s easy to wonder if anyone will ever find you as hot as you deserve to feel. Well, it’s time to do a reality check on how gorgeous and awesome you really are.

Here’s one way to do it: Ask yourself this: “Do you have any attractive friends? Just one pal who is cute or sexy or crazy-beautiful with confidence?” Then congratulations, you’re hot!

University of Wisconsin researcher April Bleske-Recheck, Ph.D., conducted a study some months back that found humans tend to socialize in a similar-looking social network. It creates competition, she says, but it also attracts similar-looking mates, which is a benefit much greater than the competition.

Ahhh, so there you have it. Women, you’re as cute and sexy and crazy-beautiful as any of those women you work with or hang around with. Guys, you’re as cool and hot as any of the men in your social circle, too. And as soon as someone worthy of you comes along, he or she will notice what makes you stand out from your group in just the right way. They’ll see you as hotter than the rest, inside and out. Remind yourself of that every single day.

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Big love,

Amy Signature 4