The Golden Rule requires self-knowledge; it asks that we use our own feelings as a guide to our behaviour with others. If we treat ourselves harshly, this is the way we are likely  to treat other people. So we need to acquire a healthier and more balanced knowledge of our strengths as well as our weaknesses.

As we work through this step, we should do what Rabbi Friedlander did that night and make a list of our good qualities, talents and achievements. We recognise flaws in some of our closest friends, but this does not diminish our affection for them. Nor should it affect the way we value ourselves. Before we can make friends with others, we have to make a friend of our own self. 

Without denying your faults, remember all the people you have helped, the kind things you have done that nobody noticed, and your successes at home and at work. A sense of humour is also important: we should be able to smile wryly but gently at our failings, in the same way as we tease a friend.

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