Are You A Fair-Weather Friend?

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Fair-weather friend: A friend who supports others only when it is easy and convenient to do so: “I thought Jane would always stick by me, but when I got into trouble, she turned out to be a fair-weather friend.”

You’ve probably had some. Hopefully you haven’t been one. But odds are, you treat yourself like this all the time. Let me explain.

When you do well at work, spend quality time with family, make smart health choices, stay within your budget, make time to rest and recharge, you probably give yourself a pat on the back. But when you struggle with work, neglect your family, make dumb health choices, overspend, or burn out, your inner critic yells, “You idiot. You blew it again. You’ll never get this. You’re worthless. Why even try?”

Sound familiar? Perhaps not, but that’s the running dialogue for a lot of us.

If you had a friend who was only supportive when you were succeeding and always critical or absent when you were struggling, would you keep hanging out? I hope not.

Yet many of us never break from the fair-weather friend within us. We allow the lies, discouragement, negativity, and conditional love to remain. As a result, we’re never at peace.

When you’re having a hard day, what you need most from yourself is compassion, not judgement. When you mess up again, what you need most from yourself is encouragement, not criticism.

Many of us never learn how to actually be kind to ourselves. So we look to others for affirmation or try to numb our pain in destructive ways.

And ironically, we tell ourselves that this lack of self-support somehow makes us stronger. As if hurting ourselves was somehow helping. How’s that working for you?

Think of someone you really love. Would you want them to talk to themselves the way you talk to yourself? Why not? Give yourself a break. You are a human being. Imperfect. In progress. On the journey. Welcome to the club.

Are you ready to move forward? Here’s how to ditch your inner fair-weather friend:

  1. Believe the truth that you are deserving of love.
  2. Reject the lie that you are deserving of hate.
  3. Support yourself when you are struggling.

As you do these, you will discover that self-compassion makes you stronger, not weaker. Your personal growth will accelerate instead of stall. And you will actually become a kinder, more generous person because you’ve learned how to love yourself.

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