We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We all know that loneliness sucks. Often, not having enough alone time sucks too. Sociality takes effort and thought, and can be draining at times. At it best, it is effortless, delightful, supportive, and life-enriching.
I count myself lucky in having so many pals, friends, and good acquaintances. I do not know why life evolved that way, but I guess God gave me a fairly appealing personality. I figure that I was raised properly, have pleasant manners, know how to dress and to make cheery dinner table conversation, have a decent sense of humor about life and an abundance of interests and controversial opinions.
For those who were born socially awkward or unskilled, life can be especially difficult. Socializing agreeably requires some training, example, and experience, and perhaps a little talent for it. Most of all, it requires remembering that it's not about YOU.
Every human feels rejected, unwanted, or like an outsider sometimes. That is normal. Some people give up on making connections, and that is a shame. We all need people around who can just open the front door without knocking and walk in, knowing that they are welcome for a coffee or a beer or a glass of Scotch. We all need people who are willing to take a chance to seek us out, too, for connection. That is a blessing.
Nice piece. I can't help but wonder how many of our current institutions actually foster loneliness? Many people get shunned (sent to the savanna) by those things that are considered positives in the US: schools, sports teams. Churches often fail too.
I think we need fewer specialized programs for treating it, and a more sincere effort to prevent it.