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.