Hello, and welcome to the "Happiness Tips" newsletter. In addition to a helpful tip for increasing your happiness, you can find out where I'll be signing books, and how to contact me, along with "Happiness Tips from Tina" in every month's newsletter. Please remember to add tina.tinatessina.com to your "acceptable" list, especially if you're on AOL.
Newsletter Dated: 5/2/2007 10:17:50 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Your Bestest Friend – You
Welcome to our new subscribers, I love hearing from all of you, and I've printed your e-mail responses at the bottom of this newsletter. I welcome all suggestions for topics. To make sure your spam system doesn’t reject this newsletter, please add tinatessina@Compuserve.com to your list of acceptable e-mail. To unsubscribe, see below.
Happiness Tip: Your Bestest Friend – You
I have a friend, Maggie, who has been my friend since 1968, and she calls me her “bestest”friend as a way of appreciating our connection. It always makes me smile, and I feel the same about her. Often, my clients have trouble learning to appreciate and trust themselves, and I think Maggie’s phrase should apply to the only relationship we’ll have from birth to death – the relationship with self. Are you your own bestest friend?
Whether you realize it or not, the relationship you have with yourself sets the pattern for how you connect with others. By developing a nurturing way to relate to yourself, you create a personal experience of both giving and receiving friendship. (This is also an advance peek at my newest book, “Commuter Marriage: How to stay close when you’re far apart”)
Best of all, you’ll have greater trust in your decision-making ability when you recognize yourself as your own best friend. When you become comfortable with a constructive inner dialog, you can create an inner support system – you’ll become more confident in your evaluation of your thoughts, feelings, and options. The following exercise explores how you treat yourself as a friend and builds on your discoveries in the previous exercise.
Journal Exercise: Developing Inner Friendship
Get out your journal and find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed, and write the answers to the following questions:
1. How do you relate to yourself?
*Are you supportive of yourself?
*Do you seek your own opinion or ignore it?
*Do you consciously talk over decisions with yourself before you make them, or just worry ineffectually about them?
*Do you enjoy time with yourself, or avoid being alone?
*Do you celebrate your accomplishments and successes?
*Do you motivate yourself to do well?
* Do you tend to criticize everything you do?
Add any other aspects of how you relate to yourself:
2. Compare your internal relationship with your definition of friendship. You may be dismayed to find out you treat yourself quite differently from the way you treat friends. You might keep promises to a friend, but often renege on promises you make to yourself. You may not treat yourself with kindness and respect. Perhaps you mentally "nag" or criticize yourself. You may never break a date with a friend, but keep putting off your time with yourself. The best test of your friendship with yourself is: If someone else treated you the way you treat yourself, would you want to be her friend?
3. Becoming a friend to yourself. In the previous exercise, you discovered the kind of friendship you enjoy. Now that you have compared your way of having an external friendship with your way of having an internal friendship, you have some more work to do.Decide to improve the way you treat yourself and put your decision into effect by developing three simple ways you if doing so.
One way to approach this task is to treat yourself as you would treat a good friend. Ask yourself, "What would I do for Maggie if she were in my shoes? What would I say to her?" It’s likely that you’re usually kinder to her than to yourself. How would you speak to your friend if you thought she forgot to do something? Do you treat yourself more harshly? By comparing the way you treat yourself with the way you treat your friends, you will begin to develop clear guidelines about how to be your own friend. Write down your ideas about befriending yourself, and put them into action.
4. To develop trust, be consistent. You must be consistent in order to create an internal bond, and a strong habit of being a good friend to yourself. Always treat yourself with care and consideration. Create a list of guidelines for your internal friendship and post it where you can see it often. Renew your plan for being a better friend to yourself every week for at least six weeks. With consistent practice, treating yourself well becomes much easier and feels more comfortable.
A big advantage of knowing who you are is knowing how to pamper and comfort yourself when you’re stressed or tired. Use what you have learned about your style to develop a style for recharging and relaxing. What makes you most comfortable? What soothes you? What helps you recharge? It can be anything from a bubble bath, a yoga session, or your favorite music to a long walk in the country, a phone conversation with your best friend, or a nap. Make a list of your favorite “personal rechargers”. Make sure the list includes simple things you can do cheaply (such as relax with a cup of tea and read a favorite book) to things that are very special (such as spend a day at a bed and breakfast or have a massage and a facial). Keep the list where you can refer to it whenever you feel in need of a recharge, and make use of it often.
Some people believe being a good friend to yourself is selfish, but you’ll discover that it’s really the opposite, because if you maintain your internal friendship, it becomes easier to be a good friend to others, and to recognize when others are good friends to you.
Adapted from: Commuter Marriage: How to stay close when you’re far apart (Adams Media to be published in 2008) © Tina B.Tessina, 2007
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
The Colors of You
Emotions as Weather
Getting Out of Your Way
Into Every Life
Intuition or Inner Knowing
The Meaning of Life
Mirrors and Teachers
No Two Miracles Alike
The Power of Purpose
Resolving Inner Anarchy
True Beauty: Honor the God or Goddess in You
Turn on Your Charm
Winning The War Within
You Are a Gift
Please add your comments to my blog! http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
Upcoming radio shows, TV, and lectures are all posted on my website at www.tinatessina.com
You can find me on the Internet, as the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date (Look for my predictions for romance for 2006!), a designated Expert for Redbook Love Network and I'll also answer your questions at http://www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at email@example.com.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
Re: Fair Fight
Hello Tina, Thanks so much for your e-mail information. It's practical, honest and has helped in my understanding of how to navigate the rougher waters of a relationship. Thanks! Ann
You’re welcome, Ann, thank you for the kind words.
Your e-mail served me as a great "refresher" and reminder that I can still be doing better, especially during this difficult, yet productive period I am going through. Thanks Much!
Thank you, Sheldon, for letting me know it was helpful.
Great ! I'm sending this sample to friends and family. Thanks for sharing. I hope more than one of the people to whom I Send this signs up with you. Jim
Me, too, Jim! Thanks for spreading the word!
NOTE TO MY READERS:
The newest spam scam is to use someone's web address to send out spam. So, if you get unsolicited e-mail from tinatessina.com, I hope you'll understand I didn't send it, and I can't do anything to stop it. Please don't let it stop you from enjoying this newsletter.