Good Vs Bad Listening


Good Listeners

  • Open, engaging, more verbal- makes a point of it.
  • Really/Very present, nurturing
  • equal time to talk, everyone is heard
  • sincere
  • non judgemental

Bad listeners

  • hidden agenda
  • aggression
  • separate
  • narcissistic
  • lie
  • dishonest
  • waiting for their turn to talk
  • stage hogging
  • too much silence
  • lack of eye contact
  • doing tasks while someone is talking/distracted

Active listening:


  • in the moment
  • engage
  • reflecting ‘ hearing you- thinking about what u are saying’
  • pick up what is important
  • digesting the convo
  • empathy
  • asking questions
  • paraphrasing
  • comments, head nods
  • eye contact
  • Door openers – please go on
  • minimal encourages -mmhmm, ohh i see
  • open ended questions
  • attentive, silence, reflecting back

What not to do:

  • don’t discourage
  • deny
  • minimalize
  • argue
  • give advice
  • yawn
  • do a task
  • jump to conclusions
  • don’t door close, ‘what a sore puss’ ‘just get over it’



Reference: OTMH Outpatients, Oakville ON


Self Esteem and Loneliness Worksheet

Sometimes people who are lonely are either unable or unwilling to attend social functions, or to meet new people because they have low levels of self-esteem. In order to meet new people and develop and maintain effective relationships, they need to see themselves as valuable human beings.

Complete the following chart by identifying positive accomplishments, talents, tasks that come easy to you, and character traits.


My Accomplishments (Ex: Work, family, community activities, hobbies, etc)


My gifts (Ex: Talents from all aspects of my life)


Things That Come Easy To Me (Ex: What I can do easily and well)


My Good Character Traits (Ex: Punctual, good listener, honest, etc.)


Reverse Your Negative Thinking

People who experience loneliness often take too much time to dwell on their negative thoughts about themselves and their lives. The good news is that it is possible to turn your negative thinking into more positive thinking.

In a table below, journal your experiences with your negative thoughts. One way to do this is to be mindful of what is happening in your own mind. In this case, mindfulness is simply attending to the stream of thoughts that go through your head when you are lonely. Look at an example:

Negative thoughts in my head: “People just don’t like me.”

Feelings that follow: Low self-esteem, emptiness, fear, hopleness.

What is the evidence? There is probably no evidence that people don’t like you. Some people connect with you. You will be able to make new friends if you try. Everyone is in contact with people who connect with them and people who don’t.

How can I reverse my thinking: “I have had friends in the past and I will again.” ” I will make friends if I don’t give up and if I continue engaging in social activities, where I can meet new people!”

Now that you have the formula for successfully reversing your negative thinking, try it!

Negative Thoughts in My Head


Feelings That I show


What is the Evidence?


How I can Reverse My Thinking


What negative thoughts do you have about social situations?


When and where do you usually have negative thoughts? Why do you think this happened?

What can you do about it?






**Reference: Pls note: I did not write this. This material is from the OTMH in Oakville, ON as well as Whole Person Associates.

Emerge from Emotional/Social Isolation

Steps you can take to emerge from your emotional or social isolation:

We can learn to deal with loneliness if we resist the urge to escape, ignore or suppress lonely feelings. Furthermore, the usual advice to keep busy and active is not always the best solution for the lonely person. We must honestly assess our actions and take responsibility for them. Our values, too, need to be examined. What is the reason for our existence? We cannot expect other people to make us happy if we are not happy as individuals. It will be very difficult for us to love others if we do not love ourselves. All of us must be our own best friend and truly be on good terms with ourselves. Only after we feel genuinely good about ourselves, can we move out into the world and risk reaching out for relationships. This is the pattern that is essential for overcoming loneliness. It doesn’t just happen; it’s something we must strive for day to day. It’s next to impossible to prescribe remedies for everyone. We need to engage in the struggle to find a life path for ourselves; to put meaning in our lives. Loneliness is part of that battle.

Be courageous!

1. Loneliness is a sign that something in your life needs to change.

2. Understand that loneliness causes both mental and physical problems.

3. Consider doing some kind of service. (Volunterring your time to a worthy cause)

4. Consider a connection network. Do to so, examine your values. Focus on developing connections with those who share similar interests and values (

5.Expect the best. Reverse your pessimism/negative thinking.

What to Do?

Whether you enjoy being alone or not:

Print page.

Circle items you enjoy doing by yourself or doing with others you do not know.

Check items you are willing to try.

Put a line through items you would not consider.

Antique Shop Hike Silversmith

Artwork House Sing

Astronomy Class House of worship Social Media

Auction Jigsaw puzzle Solitaire

Bicycle ride Lapidary Sports


Learning a language Stained Glass

Bird Watch Library Store sales

Blog Mah Jongg Swimming

Board Game Group Martial Arts Theatre

Book Club Models Thrift Store

Bowling league Movies Travel

Card club Museums Volunteer

Ceramics Musical Instrument Walk outside

City Club/ Rotary Natural Health Water aerobics

College course Online Scrabble/Games Woodworking

Computer Photography Writing

Cooking class Piano Lessons Yoga

Crafts Poetry Zoo

Crossword Puzzle Political club

Cruise Pool

Dance Quilting

Drumming Read

Exercising Restaurant

Genealogy Sewing

Go to the gym


Ways to be more content

You might enjoy your alone time more, or begin to enjoy your alone time, if you identify some ways to spend your time.

Explore ways you might enjoy your aline time.

Ways to Spend My Time How I Can Do This How it Will Help Me

Start a new hobby

Exercise more

Limit TV/Computer

Sing, Dance, Journal

Enjoy a Pet

Help someone in need

Enjoy a Pet

Help someone in need

Go to the Movies, theatre, concerts, museums

Walk outdoors



Which of these options will you begin to implement immediately and how?


**Coming Next: Loneliness and self esteem.

**Reference:Pls note- I did not write this article. It is taken from material from OTMH, Oakville ON


How Loneliness Entraps Us


“Loneliness fosters a self-defeating psychology that makes it difficult to escape its clutches. The longer our loneliness lasts, the more challenging it can be to break the mindsets and judgements (both ours and others’) that contribute to maintaining our isolation.” Specifically:

Loneliness impacts our perceptions such that we are likely to view our existing relationships more negatively and pessimistically. We assume people aren’t interested in our company and that if we reach out to them they will reject us and turn us down. As a result we take little initiative and find excuses to turn down invitations when we do get them.

Our negativity and reluctance to give our friends the benefit of the doubt creates self-fulfilling prophecy in which our own reactions and avoidance pushes them away even further. Because we remain blind to our part in creating the distance, we see their withdrawal as confirmation of our fears and become even more convinced they no longer care about us.

Loneliness is very visible to others who are likely to label us as less interesting and less appealing as social prospects. The stigma, combined with the negativity and suspicion we might project in social situations makes it challenging for us to establish new social and romantic connections.

Loneliness is contagious. Studies of social networks found that over time, lonely people ‘infect’ those around them such that they too become pushed to the periphery of their social networks. As a result, our remaining friends and family and social contacts might provide diminishing opportunities for social connection,

The more socially and emotionally isolated we are the more our social skills and relationship ‘muscles’ tend to atrophy.

Skill sets often weaken when unused and our ability to try to use these ‘muscles’ we don’t attribute the failure or rejection to our skill sets being rusty but see it as further evidence of our fundamental undesirability.

Closing remarks:

Becoming aware of how dangerous chronic loneliness is to your mental and physical health should give you the motivation to overcome the natural pessimism you feel and the courage to take an emotional risk and re-engage with the world.


Reference: OTMH. Oakville, ON.