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Here are a few habits that might be making you lonely.

Do you have trouble making and keeping friends? Almost everyone gets lonely once in a while. Even the most social people you know get lonely, even if they don’t wear it on their sleeves.

That being said, one of the main causes of loneliness can actually be envy. We sometimes observe the social lifestyles of other people and crave for their close group of friends.

We may start to believe that something is wrong with us because we’ve had the same friends for years and are unable to make new ones. Perhaps you’ve even moved to a new area and are having an especially hard time to meeting people.

Of course, there are plenty of quick tips and advice for putting yourself into situations that can help you win friends. But unless you’re aware of the following habits, these social tips might not do you much good.

Each habit is sequential, and you may be guilty of one, two or even three of these. Know that just one of these habits can be a major obstacle in your way of overcoming loneliness.

1. You have trouble meeting people.

In this case, you have a difficult time with the initial contact you have with new people. It may be due to inexperience you have with social situations, confidence or not knowing what to say during small talk.

Practice can be a great remedy for this kind of habit. Try talking with a family member and sparking simple and comfortable conversations. You may then find it easier to carry a conversation with someone who is as unsure of you as you are of them.

2. You have trouble befriending people.

Perhaps you are fine with the small talk, but you’re not sure how to make the next step into friendship. While you’re casual acquaintances, it may be hard for you to make an impression that will spark some chemistry.

A root cause of this is Social Phobia (which can also be related to the initial greeting). Social Phobia is not shyness or being too quiet. It’s when you have an unfounded fear that the people around you don’t like you. It’s an air of negative uncertainty that might be preventing you from building friendships.

The remedy for this may not be as simple. You may have the willpower to overcome this by yourself, but this can also be a symptom of a deep social anxiety or depression. If you believe that this is something you seriously deal with, you may want to seek the counsel of a licensed professional who can further help you.

3. You have trouble maintaining friends.

This is one of the most common habits that I see in my own experiences, and you may too. It can be very difficult for us to have expectations that match those of the people we’ve just met or have known for years.

As we grow older, we gain new responsibilities and burdens that alter our social lives. It can be extremely difficult for us to have time for our friends who aren’t going through the same things as us, even though we want to maintain the friendship.

Additionally, you may have a habit of expecting too much from someone who is a close friend. This can happen when you start relying on them for constant companionship or doing things for you that make them uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

Manage your expectations and use discernment for these situations. The trust you earn with friends both new and old is delicate and easy to lose. Use empathy to determine the health of your friendships and how you can keep them strong.

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