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How to Feel More Loved: 9 Tips for Deep Connection

“It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves.” ~John Bulwer

If there’s one thing we all want, it’s to feel loved.

We want to feel deeply connected to other people, fully seen and appreciated by them, and secure in those relationships.

We can have a million and one acquaintances online, but if none of our connections feel intimate and meaningful, we will ultimately feel alone.

There’s actually some interesting research that shows we tend to value physical possessions less when we feel loved and accepted by others, because relationships can provide a sense of comfort, insurance, and protection. They truly are the most valuable things in our lives.

I remember when I completed my last promotional tour. It’s something I used to do for work—travel around the country promoting products at sporting events, concerts, and retail locations. I chose this career partly because it seemed adventurous, and partly because it allowed me to distract myself with constant change and motion.

Although there were more than 20 people on the tour, I frequently stayed in separate hotels because my responsibility was to care for the tour dog, and the group often stayed in places that didn’t allow pets.

I’d just decided to leave NYC shortly before this job, after slowly climbing out of years of self-loathing, depression, and isolation. I wanted nothing more than to make real friendships, but I simply didn’t know how.

I saw it happening all around me. I saw women forming bonds that I knew would last for years, while I frequently felt awkward and insecure. I saw romantic relationships blossoming, while I had a superficial fling with someone I hardly knew, who hardly knew me back.

Though I was trying to open up to people and create space for them to open up as well, I still felt alone, love-deprived, and terrified that these feelings would endure. As a consequence, I frequently sabotaged myself and potential connections.

I assumed there was something wrong with me for struggling in relationships, when it was actually my thinking that manifested everything that felt wrong.

I’m sure there are countless other people who’ve been in that place before: feeling isolated, disconnected, and confused about how to change it.

Others still experience something different but related: They have meaningful friendships, but still feel there’s something lacking—like there could be more love coming their way, romantically or otherwise.

I’ve learned a lot about giving and receiving love over these last several years, and I’ve dramatically transformed my thinking and sense of connection as a result. If you’ve ever wanted to feel more loved, you may find these tips helpful:

Open Your Heart

1. Initiate meaningful conversations.

The first step to feeling more loved is creating close relationships, and that starts with meaningful, engaged conversations. These don’t necessarily need to be deep and spiritual in nature. They just need to be honest, authentic, and reciprocal.

You can initiate this type of exchange with anyone at almost any time simply by asking about the other person, fully listening to what they have to say, and then finding common ground. Naturally some people will stay shut down, but it’s worth the risk of feeling vulnerable to find the ones who won’t.

2. Give the gift of your presence.

Often when we converse with people, we’re not fully listening; we’re formulating our response in our heads and waiting for our turn to talk. We’re not only doing the other person a disservice when we do this; we’re also shortchanging ourselves.

Think about the last time you really opened up to someone. It likely required you to feel a level of comfort and trust, even if you didn’t yet know that person very well. The act of opening up is itself an offering of love. It’s an invitation to let someone in.

In recognizing this and welcoming it by fully hearing other people, we are, in fact, receiving love.

3. Open up your love valve.

Just like a heart valve prevents blood from flowing backwards, our love valve might block the flow of energy in our interactions. This generally happens when we get too caught up in our head, thinking, analyzing, and wanting more, instead of being present and allowing a natural give and take.

Come into the moment, take the pressure off the situation, and avoid the urge to fill silences with chatter. Instead, picture the interaction as something cyclical in nature, where there’s a balance of sharing and listening, giving and receiving.

When we clear the mental clutter and allow this type of flow, we are in essence choosing to be love.

Open Your Mind

4. Change your beliefs about the world and love.

When we tell ourselves the same things over and over again, we end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you tell yourself that people don’t care, you’ll put that energy into the world and then easily find evidence to back it up. If you tell yourself you’ll never experience love, you’ll create mental barriers and then subconsciously repel it.

Tell yourself a different story: There’s a lot of love in the world, there’s plenty to go around, you deserve it, and it’s coming to you every day.

5. Consider that love might look different than you visualized it.

In telling yourself that love is coming to you every day, you’re not merely lying to yourself; you’re taking responsibility for recognizing the love around you.

It might not be from the person you want to be with romantically. It might not meet the standards and criteria you defined in your head. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

When a friend pushes you to reach your potential, it’s an act of love. When a family member takes the time to listen to you, helping you form insights about your life, it’s an act of love.

See and appreciate the love all around you and it will surely multiply because you’ll come to potential new relationships with a sense of wholeness instead of lack.

6. Give love when you’re tempted to judge.

Ultimately, this is how we all want to be loved: without judgment, pity, or condescension. Commit to giving this kind of love, both in your existing relationships and in new ones you might be tempted to avoid.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow your instincts when you feel like unsafe around someone. It just means you look below the surface, give people a chance, and in doing so create the potential for more meaningful, mutually supportive relationships.

Make the conscious choice to be understanding and compassionate. While getting isn’t the intention of giving, this will likely set the stage for you to receive the same consideration in return.

Open Your Eyes

7. Value the people who are there.

Sometimes we get so caught up looking for romantic love that we forget to appreciate the friends and family who are always there, offering their support. At least I did. Despite my chronic fear of being seen and judged, and my instinct to self-sabotage, I spent a long time believing that I was incomplete.

I know you might be thinking that friendships aren’t the same as romantic affection, and I understand. I felt this way too. But we don’t attract romantic love into our lives by focusing on what’s missing. We attract potential partners by radiating love.

Take an inventory of all the people who care. There are likely far more than you realize.

8. Recognize the love you’re not giving.

It’s far easier to pinpoint what we’re not getting than it is to be honest with ourselves about what we’re not giving. Perhaps you want people to check in with your more frequently. Are you checking in with them? Maybe you want people to ask more about your personal life. Are you asking them about theirs?

Give the type of love you want to receive. Give praise. Notice the little things. Offer help without it being asked of you.

I’m not suggesting you should always be the one giving. If it feels like a constant one-way street, then it might be time to reevaluate that relationship. But in most healthy ones, giving more freely creates an environment of consideration and generosity.

And then of course there’s the other side of this coin: Ask for what you need! There’s one relationship in my life that’s often felt unbalanced. Recently I asked this friend if she’d call me sometimes just to talk, as opposed to calling for advice. I asked, and now she does.

9. Look deeply at your needs and intentions.

Sometimes when we go out looking for love, we’re really trying to avoid giving ourselves what we need. There’s pain in our past we don’t want to acknowledge; or there’s an emptiness inside that we don’t want to fill on our own.

If you’re feeling a hole somewhere inside, take a close look at what might have caused it. Be strong enough to acknowledge what you need to do for you, whether it’s having a long overdue conversation with a family member, working on your self-esteem, or finding a sense of purpose in life.

We all deserve to feel loved by the people in our lives, but first need to be willing and able to love ourselves. That’s what it takes to feel deeply connected: to feel deeply connected to ourselves and confident in what we can give.

Photo by gfpeck

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) & co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you get unstuck & change your life. She's now seeking stories to include in her next book, 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Tiny Buddha. Click here to share your story! For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Want to share your story in the next Tiny Buddha book? Learn more here!
  • Dhara

    awesome article!!!  great reminder and excellent tips.  thank you for sharing your humble experience with us.

  • Shell

    How is it that so much of what you post is exactly what I need to hear?

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    I’m actually going through a phase right now where I’m trying to figure out how to open myself up to more love, and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed about where to start because I’m so withdrawn and I spend a lot of time alone. (I’ve recently started working on the giving what I expect to get part).

    But I was just wondering how YOU make new friends and form new relationships when you work from home. 

    I also spend a large majority of my time at home, and I’ve been trying to come up with a way to get out more and meet new people. But the problem is that I don’t know where to look. I also have really bad social anxiety (side effect of being alone so much), so there’s a lot of resistance to interact with people I don’t know. I also fear being judged, and my communication skills aren’t that great. 

    So how do you meet new people with a job that allows you to work from home? 

    Thanks! :-)

    <3 Madison  

  • Lv2terp

    Lori, as always you have created another beautiful, amazing post!!! Your tips are always so rich with wisdom, and I learn so much!  Thank you!!!! :)

  • Jasmine

    Yeah. Lori’s posts apply perfectly to my life on whatever given day. It’s fascinating! 

    Lori, you and I have a couple of things in common. I feel like we are connected just by having these similar inner thoughts and experiences such as many years of social isolation and now, starting to make friendly connections, many years of depression, introversion, etc. 

    I just learned that I am an INTP and while I was sad to learn that about myself ( I feel it’s not the nicest description of a person ) it explains a lot about why I am who I am and why I find it so hard to connect to anyone. 

  • Linnaeab

    great post. Practical and detailed!
    love is all around. Your post you suggests to others how it looks.

  • http://zeroto60andbeyond.com Barbara Hammond

    Lori this was such great advice. You are wise beyond your years my friend. I have to share this because we all at times fall into this position of needing love but not fully knowing how to love ourselves. Beautiful. Thank you!
    b

  • http://twitter.com/findotitihere Otiti

    Thank you so much for this, Lori. I needed to read it TODAY because I’ve spent all day feeling down in the dumps over a romantic possibility that went south. I’ve been dwelling on the belief that he didn’t want me enough to commit to me without accepting that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. 

    Thank you so much for reminding me of things I knew but had forgotten, and teaching me things I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5720625 Jacquie Warner

    Oh, so BEAUTIFULLY said!  Thank you for another astounding post!!

  • Pdiienno

    Namaste` Lori – excellent post!

  • http://creativelifeinwords.wordpress.com/ Andy

    Thanks for this post, I love it. I sometimes feel down about my lack of success in both friendship and romance department, it can be hard. But this is very sensible what you’ve written here <3

  • http://creativelifeinwords.wordpress.com/ Andy

    One of my biggest obstacles or ego blocks is that I think I should have been sorted by now at my age and that it seems like it’s gonna take ages to get to where I’d like to be .. it is easy to feel like giving up .. somehow I need to stop this voice in my head ..

  • wafflepower

    Hi Madison,

    I have social anxiety too, and have a hard time meeting people.  One way I’ve met people recently is by taking ballroom dance classes.  You rotate every minute or so,  so you meet many people, and there is not a lot of pressure to come up with fascinating conversation. You instantly have something in common with the person–the fact that you’re both trying to figure out this dance, and so there is always “safe” small talk about that.  I am nervous every time, but it has been worth it.

    Good luck!

  • Jane

    Now I know why I recently signed up at TinyBuddha. That post made me feel better after a really tough day.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Dhara! I’m glad you enjoyed it! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome–and thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks linnaea. I’ve learned a lot about love from you actually! So thank *you* again for sharing your insights! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re welcome Barbara! Thank you for your kind words. This has been a big topic in my life, and it’s something I’m always working at.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Otiti! I’ve been in that place before many times. I’m glad you’ve shifted your mindset. I’m sending good thoughts your way!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad you found it helpful!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you so much, and Namaste. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Andy. Though I’ve made a lot of progress over the years, I sometimes feel down when I look on Facebook and see other people who seem to have a million and one close friendships. I have more than I used to, but it’s tempting to make comparisons! I try to focus on the relationships I do have. I find when I do that, suddenly I feel better about everything.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so glad it was helpful to you Jane!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this came at a good time for you Shell!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003648622943 Pleerbus Tarim

    I love you all. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Madison.

    I can absolutely relate to what you wrote. One thing that’s really helped me is working outside of my home. Until recently, I’d been writing at a local coffee shop. Admittedly, I didn’t make any close friendships there, but just being out of my house and around people helped a great deal with my state of mind. (For me, it’s like flexing my “social” muscle–I found that when I spent too much time alone I started to feel shut down even when I wasn’t by myself.)

    Recently I’ve been working at the activities center in my apartment community, and I’ve become friendly with some “regulars” I see there–both residents and employees. Because my boyfriend works where we live, I’ve gotten to know several of his coworkers pretty well (from going out as a group after work).

    I’ve also made a few friends through this site. I generally say yes whenever someone asks me to meet for lunch or coffee (if I’m free–assuming they aren’t trying to sell me something or sign me up for some type of business opportunity!) This summer, I’m planning to take dance and/or art classes, so I suspect I’ll meet people there.

    I still struggle with social anxiety at times, and it’s usually when I’m having a tough day and not feeling great about myself. (That’s usually when I put the most weight on what other people think of me, and start stressing as a result.) I find if I meditate, take a yoga class, or do anything that’s just for me, I feel a lot more relaxed about getting out and engaging with people.

    Too bad we didn’t live close to each other. We could meet up to work in a coffee shop, or grab lunch some time! =)

    Lori

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Andy. Although I write well-thought-out advice and share my experiences and lessons, I don’t have it all sorted out, and sometimes I think the same thing. One thing that helps me is to consider that maybe I’ll never have it all sorted out. I know I feel a lot more empowered when I focus on progress, not perfection!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    It’s always so comforting to realize I (and we) are not the only ones who’ve dealt with these things! I think it can be even harder to make connections with people when you’ve been in such a dark place. I carried around a lot of shame because of that, and for a long time I had this fear of being judged because of it.

    While I don’t wish depression on anyone, I think a lot of good can happen in the aftermath. I feel like I’m more empathetic because of how low I’ve been. It’s humbling. I can still be a little socially awkward sometimes, and afraid of being judged or hurt, but I know I am a great friend for someone to have, and ultimately, that makes me feel good about myself.

  • Eva

    Get out of your head by getting out…as in volunteer for someone other then yourself. There are so many wonderful people out there who would benefit from  hanging with you..they are not judging you they would just like to experience who you are..

    Kids, seniors, special needs, hospitals, animals shelters, new people  to your country, think about it…wonderful safe places to start getting out of your own head.. good praise to you!

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    Thanks Eva. I will research volunteer services for my local animal shelter and consider getting involved this summer. I love animals, and I feel less anxious and more loving when I’m around them. It would also be a good opportunity to meet other fellow animal lovers. :-)

    ~ Madison 

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    Thank you Lori! I’ve also considered ways to interact with like-minded people, whether that be taking a class I think I’ll enjoy or otherwise getting involved in my community. I just need the courage and motivation to do it! Haha.

    And I would definitely love to meet you sometime. If I’m ever in LA for any reason, I’ll send you an email. :-)

    <3 Madison

  • http://journeyofasoulsearcher.blogspot.com/ Madison Sonnier

    Thank you! That definitely sounds like a safe, non-pressure way to ease into meeting new people. Maybe I will end up taking a class like that! :-)

    ~ Madison  

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Sounds good Madison! That would be great. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Aww what a beautiful comment. =)

  • Shilmys

    you can love and give the fullest but the partner also should value the same only than you feel you are loved…

  • Katobranch@gmail.com

    Wow…great advice. I needed to hear that

  • MC

    Thank you for this post. Like others have said it reached me at the right time. I’m in a very low place at the minute and finding it very difficult to get back to me. hopefully I will get there soon. Love to all xx

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. Sending love right back to you. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Sweeneybird Kathleen Sweeney

    I’d like to add one caveat to asking for what you need — be aware that you may not get it, and ask for it anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/planetsam1 Sam G

    Recently I found this site and I love reading the posts, I can relate to so much of what is said. They are one of the few things that give me hope.

    I’m an introverted person, long story short while growing up I learnt to be content in my own bubble, often wasting time on the computer, with little interest in others. Social interactions just seemed too much effort, especially as I was so self-conscious that I found it so hard to open up.

    But I still seem to get stuck on the “how” to make things change, I’m a very practical “these are the steps you need to take” kind of person. Everywhere I look there are barriers to being more social. I’m currently unemployed so I can’t spend time volunteering when I should be job hunting and simply don’t have the money for clubs/activities. I also move around because living back with my parents after university was only getting me depressed, It’s hard to develop meaningful relationships when your life is in flux. Even when I find myself in social situations I’ve just totally lost the ability to carry on a conversation to deeper levels, I never really find common ground. I just don’t have much to talk about, and don’t have the confidence in myself to give to others.

  • http://halinagoldstein.com/blog Halina Goldstein

    Lori,

    This post is a beautiful expression of that which you are writing about:
    I experience your voice as honest and authentic. And there is something here that calls for my presence and attention (even if I started by just skimming). It’s the feeling that everything you say comes from experience, I think. There is a sense of – substance.

    Thank you

  • http://halinagoldstein.com/blog Halina Goldstein

    Madison, I too wonder sometimes: how do you from new relationships? – I live alone and most of my close friends and also my sister live far away.

    But then, for me, it turns out that few close relationships works better than a lot of not so close. Even if there is a physical distance.

    I’m glad you’re mentioning working outside home, Lori. When I found out how much I love blogging, coaching, marketing, working from home…  I thought that full time business was better than part time business. Well, it’s not for me! I’ve tried business without job and job without business and for me, the perfect combination seems to be part time business and part time job. In my case it’s a kindergarten and it’s great to be there: play, engage and interact with all kinds of people there (kids, co-workers, parents…).

  • http://halinagoldstein.com/blog Halina Goldstein

    I recently read (in The Tipping Point) that for close relationships to function we can only manage 10-15 of them. Think about it: that’s all close relationships including friends and family. I have less than that and am quite happy FYI :-)

    Even when it comes to social groups, when there’s more than around 150 they stop functioning as actual relationships. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Sam~ I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the site so far! I could relate to everything you wrote, because I’m a naturally introverted person, and I know what’s like to be self-conscious. 

    You mentioned that it’s hard to develop meaningful relationships when you’re life is in flux. What about meeting other people who are in the same boat? You could try meet up.com and see if maybe there’s a meet up for people in transition–or maybe a meet up for introverts or other people who don’t feel entirely confident. I find it’s easiest to find common ground when I truly believe someone else can relate to me, and that I can relate to them.

    I know it can feel overwhelming to put in a lot of effort, especially if you think it might be fruitless. But it’s possible you could make a friend or two who feel just like you–and perhaps they will be just as grateful as you to make that connection.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Halina, and you’re most welcome. =)

  • http://twitter.com/planetsam1 Sam G

    No problem.  My friend even gave me a token statuette to remind me about the site and the inspiration it has been as a prompt to move forward when I get down.

    I did have a look at meetup.com as it was mentioned in another post, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be as popular here in this part of the UK and there isn’t much in my area.  I have been looking around for clubs and activities, but I need to settle first.

    My main problem is my lack of self-confidence means I don’t share with others, but I’ll only feel happier about myself if I had the social interaction/experiences I want.  Feels a bit of a vicious cycle.

  • Platzerelisabeth

    you made me cry ….

  • kcmccormick

    I have to agree with so many other comments, Lori…I can definitely count on something you’ve written to address whatever I’m feeling/thinking at the moment. In fact, you’ve steered me right enough in recent history, that my current plan of attack for any anxiety or just generic “off” feeling I’m dealing with is to go to the most recent Tiny Buddha email I’ve received and scroll through the posts until something clicks. Usually, multiple posts do. I love how that works. Thank you so much for what you do.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I couldn’t be more thrilled to know the site and my writing have been helpful to you. =)

  • Max

    Blegh. My love life is a total disaster. Somehow I always manage to push the girls I like away. Just before a date or just after. I have lost 2 girls I really liked in a period of a few weeks. I am not sure if I just run into the wrong women (read bitch) or that it’s all because of me. Sometimes it seems like girls want to play games and this makes me lose my trust and do it to them as well. Things always turn bad when I start to feel for them.

  • T

    I was always social and a very good friend. Time and time again I’ve been used for rides, food, and the pleasure of my company and gotten little or nothing in return. I’m now in a very dissatisfing relationship where I feel constantly challanged and as if the person is constantly looking for any fault they can find to rag on me for. How come I feel more alone than I ever have when I’m dating someone who claims to love me? We live together and they’re incredibly messy and this causes so much friction and its not gotten better in two years. They don’t clean up after their dog and I have to and I have asthma which makes it very dangerous but they don’t seem to care. They also smoke around me a lot and get annoyed if I mention the smoke bothers me. I’m… Completely at a loss.

  • solomon

    thanks a lot about the advice my name is solomon

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome!

  • Emanon

    My relationship is diminishing. I am engaged and want to feel loved. I feel like I do all of the work. Work meaning listening, reading her actions and seeing where she needs my attention and giving it to her, leaving her be when she needs her time, providing assurance of protection. However, I have told her how I feel, several times, and she says she doesn’t know how she can love me. Honestly, I don’t know either, really struggling to find it. All I know is that I told her I want to feel respected, and loved, and made time for. Not a convenience of time, but how she sets out time for her friends. I want that kind of attention. I’ve talked to her about these things, and its good for ONE day. Usually when she feels bad and wants to reconnect, then something happens and I don’t feel loved. I don’t need to be with her to feel loved. But interrupted and not listened to, and I can’t vent properly with her, and not made time for, makes me feel under appreciated and I feel like I’m a crutch aiding her in her life. I know thats not what it is, but thats how it feels. Shes with her friend and I’m at home studying to try to get good grades to graduate and get a good job to support us. But if this continues, I fear I will only feel used, and I don’t want that self-fulfilling prophecy to occur in my life. Pray for our love that in Jesus example we can grow to love. If you don’t pray, just wish me luck please. I need it..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m sorry to learn about what’s been going on in your relationship Emanon. Based on what you wrote, I can understand why you feel the way you do. I hope you’re able to communicate your feelings and that she’s receptive to it!

  • rankled

    Yesterday I’m at Vesak and (yet again!) having to navigate through the
    hoops of, “what are your attachments and how much are you worth in the
    grander scheme?” I’m at the point where I wonder, “what is the point?”

    But what’s progress, Lori? Having a conversation with someone new who is trying to trod all over your boundaries like all the other sphincters you’ve met in the last year? “Who are you? What do you do? How much do you earn? Where do you live? Do you have children?” Another series of measurements taken to determine your worth that leave you feeling lacking (and statistically my pessimism agrees with me and my thinning gray hair that it is exceptionally hard to find friends when you’re middle aged) And as I try to see the bright side; I don’t want friends who measure success in those ways, I still get really hurt and want to give up.

    I think what you miss in all of this is (contrary to all my warm fluffy feelings thanks in part to metta sutta) it IS really hard to find good people to be friends with and not take the fact you’re friendless personally.

    The other thing I wish you’d be more mindful of is not all of us have anyone in our lives. I don’t have children, or any family to speak of so asking that I adjust my perceptions and expectations? It’s hard not to get mad at the presumptuousness.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi rankled,

    I didn’t intend to presume everyone has people in their lives. I hoped to offer balance suggestions about opening up to new people and changing how we interact with people who are already in our lives.

    I understand that it’s hard to meet compatible people to be friends with. (It’s been hard for me at times too!) I’m curious: do you know for a fact that everyone you’ve met in this last year has been trying to assess your level of success? Is it possible they were just trying to get to know you, and these are the questions people often ask to do that?

    Lori

  • SR

    I just wanted to say thanks for the article. This one really helped. Cheers.

  • morris steve Nico

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  • Paul

    You’re certainly not the only one who feels this way. You’ve got to let go of judgements and live in the present and deal with how you feel now without putting a time value on it.

  • Jen Bemke

    This is a HUGE issue with me right now. I’m almost 30 and no where near where I “should” be in life. No boyfriend, no kids, no house. Knowing that it’s going to take even longer to get to that point does feel like giving up.

    Let me know if you find a way to quiet that voice!

  • Jen Bemke

    I just wanted to mention that “My main problem is my lack of self-confidence means I don’t share with others, but I’ll only feel happier about myself if I had the social interaction/experiences I want. Feels a bit of a vicious cycle.” is exactly my issue and one of the “solutions” that I’ve been told is to not look for external validation, but to be happy with yourself.

    Have you been able to find a way out of this cycle?

  • Eva

    Even on bad days, I say I am so lucky and fortunate and things are going my way. THe best way out is always through.

  • judy lilley

    praying….

  • Eggbert

    I am 46 and married for 26 years. I can’t reach that spiritual place with my wife. Or, rather she will not permit it. She stops just short both physically, spiritually and emotionally. Leaves me hanging in all of these categories. I am becoming so damn depressed. She shrugs it off, I am forthcoming with my feelings and I get very little reaction.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I just saw this now. You’re most welcome. I’m glad it helped!

  • Mike

    Andy, I haven’t even read the rest of this thread, but your first post is exactly what I am feeling and was searching for help with when I stumbled upon this article. I am almost 30, and feel like I am nowhere close to where I want to be, feeling regrets, and thinking, and am having a lot of difficulty accepting my life and moving forward – feel like throwing in the towel. But its nice to see i’m not alone. Thank you for just being another person I can relate with.

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    GRAB A SUGAR MUMMY/DADDY AND BE THE BIG BOY/GIRL YOU WANT TO BE.

    CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION (C.A.C) APPROVED. (RC: 127561)

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  • Isaiah Jones

    I want to thank you so much for this article, i am 15 years old and i have been struggling with this for so long to the point of suicide. Just knowing that someone can relate makes a big difference.

  • tinybuddha

    You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. I went through a serious depression in my teen years, and I know it’s not easy to move forward when you’ve fallen so low. Are you still considering suicide now? You are in my thoughts!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been struggling. I went through a serious depression in my teen years, and I know it’s not easy to move forward when you’ve fallen so low. Are you still considering suicide now? You are in my thoughts!

  • Isaiah Jones

    I’m in kind of a depression now, I’m just coping, but no i am not thinking of suicide right now.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad to hear that. Have you told anyone close to you about what you’re going through?