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.
Loneliness is a sad human condition. Misanthropists, socially-phobic, and the overly-narcissistic might see it differently, but I feel that having a solid group of pals is an essential ingredient in my life. A few close friends, a bunch of lunch and couples pals, and plenty of enjoyable social friendlies. There are many things best talked about with friends instead of with spouses.
In tribal societies, everybody is, by necessity, connected but most Western people do not live that way now. Still, humans are social creatures. Humans also need support systems.
I once wrote a post about thinking about concentric social circles, from intimate confidantes to casual social aquaintances to work colleagues. It was a good post, but I can not find it.
Many people could use such advice. He hints that one thing to do is to join groups, and he is right about that. You also need to have something positive, pleasant, fun, or interesting to bring to the table. Having things in common helps a lot. Alas, some people are just not very likeable, and that is a handicap.
I know people who still have friends from grammar school, high school, and college. Lifetime friends are a blessing.
It's a subject that hits close to home for me. Twenty years ago when we moved to our present little development out in the woods, I made lots of friends. As Scott said, I was "valuable" and helped them on their houses; They helped me build mine. Sadly, all those friends either moved away or have passed on. The new people who moved in are mostly a-holes from the big city. So now I'm like Cyrano de Bergerac; When I see a car coming down the road, I say, "Here comes another enemy". Angela Mylou was right:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In engineering school, I never learned how to make people feel good, and didn't care; That topic wasn't in the curriculum. Our school never offered a class "How to Win Friends and Influence People", so there was a gap in my education which became apparent in later years. So I'll just have to finish my life without friends (except my only friend: My wife).
I have friends from elementary school (5) we don't see each other very often as we are scattered about the US but we talk on the phone periodically. We all have,or had, successful careers and stable families. In our 70's now and all mostly retired. One dead now but the rest still going strong. Now it is all about grandchildren. In 2018 each of our wives threw a "surprise" birthday party for our 70th and we all showed up for each other. What a hoot.
Speaking of unlikeable people, I met another older guy at the shooting range a couple of weeks ago. I can't put my finger on it, but there was something about him that struck me as a bit below grade expectations in social development. If I had to guess I'd say he was (in order of probability) a retired physician, attorney, or college professor. It struck me as odd because everyone else I've met at that club has been very friendly and enjoyable to talk with.
I hasten to add that despite the above comment I've known many charming and likeable people in those three professions over the years.