5 Traps That Keep You Lonely, And How to Avoid Them | The BridgeMaker

5 Traps That Keep You Lonely, And How to Avoid Them

By on Oct 23, 2013

coping with lonliness

All men have their frailties; and whoever looks for a friend without imperfections, will never find what he seeks. – Cyrus the Great

Loneliness is tricky.

It makes you behave in ways that worsen the feelings of loneliness, and avoid social interactions. Being aware of the traps that cause loneliness is the first step to avoiding them.

Here are the five most common traps – and advice on how to navigate around them:

Trap #1: Thinking that the Right Friends are Unreachable

This is a more of a brain-illusion than a mistake, and if you’re lonely, you’re most likely to be trapped by it.

Researchers have found that lonely folks compare themselves with the most popular people around. And by comparison, they feel more miserable about their situation.

It looks like everyone worth having as friends is already in a closed group of friends. But the truth is that many, many people are struggling to find new friends, or refresh their social circle with some new faces.

You can overcome this false impression by noticing how many people you know that could really use a good friend, even if they never talk about it.

Trap #2: Thinking That You’re Not Interesting Enough

This idea holds back a lot of people from reaching out to others and socializing.

If you often imagine scenarios of other people not liking you, and picture yourself not having anything to say, then maybe this is what’s holding you back.

I used to feel that way until I realized that the socially skilled people aren’t particularly interesting or impressive. They’re just average people that have learned how to socialize!

Other than that, you need to realize that you’ll never be interesting for everyone on this earth, you only have to be interesting to yourself, and to the people you want to spend time with.

You don’t have to be interesting to the most popular kids in town. In other words, there is a process where you only focus on a type of people you want to have in your life, not everyone.

Trap #3: They Don’t Want To Be Disappointed (Again)

You’ll always find a few bad apples wherever you go.

If you’ve learned that friends can be disappointing, untrustworthy, and unreliable, then that’s a good thing. Learning how to spot the bad ones is an essential friendship skill.

What you never want to do is paint everyone in black and generalize and say that most people are disappointing. And even if they’re not, if you’re always looking for a flaw, you’ll find one!

Of course, there are plenty of great people to be friends with, if you focus on finding those, you’ll start to see them everywhere. Just focus on learning the skill of finding the right people, and creating friendships with them.

The bad apples aren’t worthy of your time.

Trap #4: They Try To Make Friends The Hard Way, And Then Give Up

This is a biggy!

Have you ever psyched yourself and got motivated to “go out there and be social!”? Have you got disappointed by your results?

If your socializing attempts got you nowhere in the past, then you have to understand something: socializing is not something you try out once in a while, whenever you feel like it. It is something you bring into your lifestyle, once and for all.

From now on, your weekly/monthly habits need to include a set of new “social habits.” If you are always reaching out, contacting people, and going out on a regular basis, your social life is going to take off.

Mistake #5: Their Loner Habits Prevent Them From Socializing

Again, the key to having a great social life is replacing your non-social habits, by a few social ones.

Habits like: Making no plans for the weekend, not reaching to anyone over the week, watching movies or sitcoms every other night, are actually standing in your way of making friends because they occupy exactly the time when you could be reaching out or socializing.

You can start with a simple set of habits. These three simple habits will get you started:
– Take one hour, weekly, and reach out (text, call, email, Facebook message…) to people you just met, or lost touch with.
– Join a community that has get-togethers, every month, attend the events and connect with new people.
– Plan one night out, weekly, and suggest to people you are in contact with.

If you want to discover them in detail, along other techniques for keeping conversations going, keeping in touch, and forming your circle of friends, then head over and grab my Free Social Skills Newsletter.

I will share with you my techniques, every couple of days, to help you give friendship skills a boost.

Paul Sanders' Get The Friends You Want teaches you how to: Overcome Shyness & Loneliness; Master Conversation & Social Skills; Make Friends & Build a Social Circle. Start here: Free Social Skills Newsletter.