Self-Help Advice Books How to Be Your Own Best Friend Part 2

About the self-help book How to be Your Own Best Friend by Bernard Berkowitz and Mildred Newman, history and advice from the book.



People are their own enemies because of a view they adopted as small children, when, looking for ways to make sense out of personal chaos, they formed ideas of what life was about and started their own "inner novels." These ideas--complex and rarely examined--have helped them to survive, but often do not receive necessary revision as things change. Cheated as children, people continue cheating themselves as adults, finding a payoff in suffering because it is secure and predictable. They do not realize that they are no longer helpless and small, but can take care of themselves, do not need to placate others in order to survive, and can live alone without fear of dying.

Help-Yourself Advice:

1. Be aware of your own achievements.

2. Don't wallow in self-reproach. If you haven't fulfilled your own expectations, try to understand why; then get back on the track without looking back.

3. Meet the expectations you set for yourself, and enjoy being in charge of your own life, remembering that to satisfy your whole self, you must meet your responsibilities to others.

4. Don't set limits on your efforts. Have the courage and confidence to try new things, letting go of the old, building on the strengths of your old self. Do what you really want to do, not what others want and not what your fantasy of yourself dictates. If you don't do what you want to do, you will "create a mechanical man in which your living self is trapped."

5. Face the fact that life is not fair. Give up your grievances.

6. Be kind to the child in you.

7. Listen to yourself. "See the connection between what you do and what you feel. You may have to sit yourself down and demand some answers. Why do you go on being unkind and unfriendly to yourself?. . . . Do you really think failure will make you lovable?" Take some time to decide what you want to do.

8. Stop trying to get from people what they can't give you.

9. Keep trying to change your bad habits.

10. Make the most of the challenge of life.

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