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You might find yourself putting yourself down—"I'm a loser." Your friends don't want to hear you are a loser—after all, they actually like you. And labeling yourself only makes you dwell more on how bad things are. Instead of sounding like your own worst enemy, try to sound like your own best friend. You might say, "I've been putting myself down since the breakup, but I realize we all make mistakes, and I need to be more supportive of myself." Here's the great thing about sounding like your own best friend: You begin to realize you can be supportive of yourself and you can find options. Your real friends will be thrilled to support you in your self-help. The more you support yourself, the more your friends will want to be there for you. You never go wrong by being your best friend when talking to your best friend.
What's the take-home message in all of this? You need your friends, but your friends need to know you are on your side—and that you understand their support can't be taken for granted. If you sound like your own best friend, you will always have the friends you really need.
Robert L. Leahy, PhD is the director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City and clinical professor of psychology at Weill-Cornell Medical School. He has served as the president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He received the Aaron T. Beck Award for Outstanding Contributions in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. His most recent book is Beat the Blues Before They Beat You (Hay House, August 2010).
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