Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about “happiness.”
Not really happiness, but the books about happiness.
Usually written by some famous (and usually attractive) psychologist.
But the “secret” they’ve discovered is pretty basic.
Nothing earth shattering.
Like when you make mistake, don’t beat yourself up.
Talk to yourself like a friend instead.
However, this doesn’t really help.
Because people that are “happy” do that anyway.
Naturally talking to yourself as a friend instead of beating yourself up is an outcome. An effect, rather than a cause.
The CAUSE is that you genuinely LIKE yourself.
If you LIKE yourself, you will naturally talk to yourself like a friend.
So in a sense, those super famous “psychologists” are telling us to like ourselves more.
Like we could just “flip a switch” and fix everything.
It’s about as helpful as telling somebody who wants to lose weight to just “eat less.”
Liking ourselves ITSELF is an outcome. An effect, rather than a cause.
Think of “liking yourself” like you’d like a friend.
Why do you like them?
They make you feel good. They’ve got your back. They have similar interests. Similar struggles.
We can’t really “choose” who we like and who we don’t.
Sure, if you’re FORCED to be roommates with somebody, you generally LEARN to like them.
Well, guess what?
Your FORCED to be roommates with YOURSELF.
So how can you learn to “like” yourself?
One way is to like what you’re doing.
Think if you had a friend, that was always coming over and messing up your apartment. Always eating your food. Never replacing it. Always getting in your way.
How long would you like them?
Not very long.
Think of the opposite friend. He or she came over and helped you clean up. Helped you keep your fridge stocked. Encouraged you to go out and meet people.
One way to like yourself more is to be your own coach.
Be able to shift in and out of coaching mode.
Write down a list of things for yourself to get, or do, or accomplish.
Then at the end of each day, write down the things you did to get closer.
Then write down the things you can do tomorrow.
Then during the day, think of these “to do” items. Go through them mentally.
Thinking of doing things for your “future self.”
Or think of following a list of tasks from your “past self.”
You’ll not only “like” yourself. But you’ll be “proud” of yourself. You’ll want to “show yourself off” to others.
Give it a try, and see.
There are plenty more mental exercises like this to increase happiness.