3 Common Mistakes that Lead to Loneliness

There is no greater feeling in the world than to be genuinely likeable or loved by the people that you love. There isn’t a pill that can comfort or console you when you need a shoulder to cry on, there isn’t a drink you can mix that will give you the compassion you need when you are deeply saddened, nothing beats a genuine friend.

But not everyone is lucky enough to have a friend. If you’re one of the many people who are struggling with loneliness, it’s absolutely CRITICAL you read this article.

Why? Simply because loneliness can quickly lead to depression if you don’t do something about it TODAY.

Have you ever thought about WHY you’re feeling lonely?

Perhaps you gave up all your friends for a relationship with someone you THOUGHT was Mr. or Mrs. Right. And after that relationship ended, you went back to your friends but they’ve since moved on with their lives and gave you the “cold shoulder”.

Or maybe you’ve moved to another city, state or even country and you’re looking to meet new friends, but can’t seem to find anyone you can really connect with.

Perhaps you got married only to find that you grew apart from your old friends as you became engrossed in your own life, but now you’re looking to re-connect with someone?

Regardless of what your current situation is, good friends are simply not as easy to find as they were when you were younger.

As an adult who leads a busy life, it’s easier than you might think for loneliness to creep up on you.

Between taking care of little ones, working, taking care of household matters and caring for your spouse, it’s difficult to find the time for friends when you’re so exhausted by the end of the day.

We all need someone to be there to listen to our thoughts and interests without judgment. Someone preferably OUTSIDE our immediate family.

So what’s the cure for loneliness?

There are many people out there that could use your friendship. Take a look at these common mistakes people make in friendships so you can focus on finding more friends and people around you to love and have good times with over the course of a lifetime:

1. Are You Listening…or Waiting For Your Turn To Talk?

If people have betrayed you in the past, and you were NOT raised in a home where you were supported, encouraged and taught valuable “life lessons”, you may be carrying around some very destructive “belief systems” that could prevent you from being a “TRUE friend” to someone.

If your parents put their own needs ahead of anyone else’s, there’s a good chance you “unknowingly” picked up this value also. In a friendship, this may translate to the other person as “selfishness” on your part.

Friendship, like any other relationship requires SELF SACRIFICE. An example of self sacrifice might be listening to your friend’s daily struggles…even if you have a headache yourself and aren’t interested in what they’re saying at all.

If you expect your friend to be there to listen to YOUR daily struggles, be sure you’re always willing to listen when THEY need a shoulder to cry on.

Have you ever been in a conversation where you can just tell the other person is not only NOT listening to you, but in fact…just waiting for their turn to talk? THOSE people were NOT raised to put others’ needs ahead of their own and as a result, there’s a pretty good chance THEY don’t have too many people who’d consider them as a “good friend”.

Relationships are not ALL about self sacrifice however, it’s important to “give a little and take a little”. Some people, however, take self sacrifice to the EXTREME. Many people refer to these as “people pleasers”…which brings me to the next mistake…

2. Don’t Let Your Need for Acceptance Dominate Your Friendships

I used to be guilty of this. Since I was not raised in a home where I was supported and encouraged, as an adult, I was desperately seeking the approval of others.

People, who I THOUGHT were my friends used to ask favors of me ALL THE TIME. I of course, willingly went along with their request because I was afraid if I said “no”, they’d get mad or not want to be my friend anymore.

Let me tell you…this was a BIG MISTAKE.

While there are many genuine, sincere people in this world, there are just as many people who will take advantage of you…IF you let them.

So where do you draw the line?

I’m certainly not telling you to avoid anyone who asks you for a favor, but instead “filter out” those people who are NEVER there for you…when YOU are ALWAYS there for them.

That’s one of the easiest ways to recognize these people. If saying “no” without feeling guilty is something you often struggle with, you can use my step-by-step solution in Softhearted Woman Hard World that will help you say “no” to others so you can have more time to yourself and your loved ones.

3. Are YOU Responsible For Your Loneliness?

Maybe you’re feeling lonely because you’re not exactly sure how to be a true friend to someone. If people have hurt or rejected you in the past, you may have a fear of being rejected by someone who could potentially be your friend.

So in an effort to avoid that pain, you reject your friend before they reject YOU. You may be familiar with this concept as it relates to dating, but it is also true in friendships.

You may not “out-right” reject this person; but you might find excuses as to why you don’t want to be friends with them. If you find yourself doing this, STOP and ask yourself “WHY am I rejecting this person?”

If you don’t give anyone a chance, it’s very possible you could turn someone away who might otherwise become your life-long friend.

So there you have it. These 3 tips will help you avoid making the common mistakes that trap you in this rut, otherwise known as loneliness. Friends can be one of life’s greatest gifts. Don’t let your destructive beliefs from your past get in the way of your friendships. To earn the title of FRIEND, all you need to do…is be one.

Larry Bilotta is the leading authority on understanding people. He has been actively involved in helping people build their self esteem, reduce their stress and improve their marriages since 1993.

If you’d like to learn how to “decommission” your undesirable programs from your parents, get your FREE copy of Larry’s Special Report here.

Larry is also the author of a book that helps women make sense of the emotional pressure and guilt in their everyday lives called Softhearted Woman Hard World.

11 thoughts on “3 Common Mistakes that Lead to Loneliness”

  1. Dear Larry,
    All your articles are great and insightful and I can almost very well understand the many faults in my person by reading them. The very reason that I can see why I’m the way I am gives me a lot of hope and confidence that I’m on the road to self healing. I suppose nobody wants to blame their parents for a bad quality life, but it looks like most of the time it is sadly so because it is the parents who can leave a deep mark on their children, good or bad, which tends to control their future. I have suffered the same type of fate, one that of negativity and loneliness, but I’ve stopped playing the blame game a long time back and started looking for help. I did not want my daughters to go through the same experience in their lives. Things are turning good for me now and I’m more happy for my daughters than for me. You have helped me so much through your fine articles. I know I’ve a long way to go but I think what matters is that I’m ‘on the way’ and it feels great.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Larry – Great article. If I didn’t know better you are timing your articles to come out in sync with my progress!

    The loneliness is definitely a factor now, however, I do have some fantastic friends that are very attentive.

    Question: how long do you allow the “lonely bug” to persist before you cnosider it to be a bit more than just a common reaction to a difficult relationship situation?



  3. dear larry i all ready figured this out a while back. my friends seem to be great now i met some fantastic people during the campaign. i am still saving my pennies for your course. i preach your gospel to the ladies at wallmart constantly. have you ever thought about charging a group rate for one of your courses?

  4. Larry, you are a miracle worker. Thank you for this article and all your other articles. This one seemed to come in time, just when I needed it. Thank you. I look forward each time I get a new email from you.

  5. I have a friend who expects me to listen to her all the time. She is not interested in listening to me at all – ever. She also expects me to do her favors all the time but never reciprocates. She always knows better, has done better, been better. But then she can also generous and kind some of the time.
    Sometimes I feel like walking away from her when she drains me with her constant need; then other times I enjoy being with her. Mostly I find her selfishness and self-centerness exhausting and annoying.
    Any advice on how to deal with her?

  6. To A V,
    In order to give yourself some perspective on this “taking friend,” you must remember that every relationship of any kind survives because the two people in it are getting what they want.

    There are many relationships where one person in the relationship gets what they want but the other person stops getting what they wanted.

    So it becomes a win/lose relationship. You can stay in that relationship if you’re the losing side, for instance, you can stay for reasons of guilt or obligation but you are not in a relationship.

    A relationship only happens when both sides are getting what they want, in other words win/win, both are giving and both are taking.

    Great relationships are made up of two people who are getting from the other side what they want. What they want is probably different but as long as there is a two-way delivery system, the relationship is successful.

    What you are telling me is that you are no longer getting what you are in the relationship for. That’s because your friend started out by doing a lot of generous and kind most of the time and that’s why you were in the relationship.

    But as she dried up generous and kind and started to increase selfishness, the relationship started falling apart because it became one way.

    I think you may still be in the relationship because of guilt or obligation and you are going to have to tell her the truth.

    The truth is, this is no longer a two-way relationship. It is now one way and she doesn’t know it because she is happily content to continue taking from you, that which you are so good at… your ability to listen.


  7. I’m really struggling.My husband walked out before Christmas for another woman and is adamant he wants a divorce as this will let him move on. He has behaved very callous bringing this woman into our local area and introducing her to his family and friends. I have tried your techniques trying to keep calm and acknowledge that he is a chaos kid but his behaviour isn’t changing. He keeps pushing me to agree to the divorce and wants it quickly over with. He reckons he doesn’t love her as he doesn’t know what that is anymore. I don’t know what to do. I feel completely broken and depressed. I have tried to be on side and agreeable, I have tried being agreeable but drawing attention to his wrongs and nothing works. He said I can’t say anything that would make him feel worse that he already does that he knows what he has done wrong but cant help how he feels.

  8. Hi D,

    It’s perfectly normal for men and women to keep doing the same things each time they try to be close with each other but each time, they keep expecting different results. That’s because there is something they don’t know about human behavior.

    They don’t know its source so they cannot change it. So I would suggest you register for my free one hour call so I can get a better idea of where the two of you are now. Before this call, I’ll have you do some work and then we can talk. Here is the link to follow the steps.

    Thanks for contacting me and look forward to talking with you.

  9. Hi Larry , Thanks for this very good article.As a child I learned to not share my feelings with others because at that time it seemed that when I tried to be open I was not listened to,or I was ignored or I was told “no ,you do not feel—–what you feel is—– or you don’t have any reason to feel that way because you ——-. I still find it very hard to share what is truly in my heart so i don’t ask my friends to understand and support me when I’m feeling down because I don’t share that with them.On the other hand I make friends easily ,I suppose it is because I’m genuinely interested in what others say ,do and feel and seem to inspire confidence so people share with me their problems. I’m told I’m a good listener and love to help my friends smile again but I don’t get that back from them because I share very little of my pain. I don’t say it’s their fault that they don’t give me support like I give them. How can I open up a little bit more ?

  10. I have to say during my separation from my husband this article is revealing how I feel at this time. No connect. No communication. So, right now, I do feel lonely and starting to place my energy with my job, my health, and journal writing. I want to find another job because I am unhappy with the situation at this time. Larry, this has helped along with your modules for me.

  11. I have a friend who expects me to listen to her all the time. She is not interested in listening to me at all – ever.

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