Managers and administrators use the expression, “it’s lonely at the top,” in several ways. One is to suggest that they are in charge and nobody else is. I really don’t have any problem with that usage, as long as they are really at the top and nobody else is. But administrators and bosses who use it to try to evoke sympathy from their subordinates by implying nobody likes them (or hangs with them, or invites them to parties, or suggests “things have changed” between you and me, stuff like that) really need to do a little self-examination. If you are a manager that regularly says this, I want you to know that there are managers and bosses and leaders out there who are well liked, who’s employees love to work for them, who do get invited to outside social events, and who aren’t filled with lonely self-pity from being at the top. The fact that you are not one of them is quite likely a result of something YOU are doing or have done.
My biggest complaint about managers who use expressions like, it is lonely at the top, is that most of the time they are trying to make the people below them feel guilty for somehow treating them differently because they are at the top. Maybe they are treating you differently because you are a terrible manger, leader, or person, or you have treated them like crap due to your position of authority.