Belonging is one of our most fundamental human needs.
According to the government agency, Health Resources and Services Administration, loneliness is a national epidemic. They note, “Loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” This is felt across all demographics—gender, age, education, income, and job status. People are lonely. The numbers are discouraging with the American Sociological Review reporting one in four people say they have no confidantes at all and the average person has only one close friend (which is better than nothing).
I recently had someone friend request me on Facebook that I didn’t recognize. She also sent me a message. It read, “Hi, I met you through __________ at bunco once, but lately I have seen you all over town. I kept thinking, I know her, right? I’ll say hi next time. Maybe we’re meant to know each other. Anyway, hi! Wanna be friends? LOL”