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The Value of Company

Today, I was drawn to an obituary for John Cacioppo, a neuroscientist who pioneered the study of loneliness. His research looked at the impact of personal relationships on physical and emotional health. One of the nuances of Cacioppo’s viewpoint was not equating loneliness with being alone. I appreciated that. He said, “Being with others doesn’t mean you’re going to feel connected, and being alone doesn’t mean you’re going to feel lonely.” It’s worth a read. Let me know what you think.

Cat Evening by Lorraine Sorlet


6 comments for “The Value of Company”

  1. Gigi says:

    I was worried that when I retired that I would be lonely. Yes I am alone most days however I don’t feel lonely. Actually I have never been happier or felt more fulfilled. Being at work with all those people in retrospect took away my energy, ha ha who knew!

    Acquaintances and small talk are not my cup of tea. I feel lonely at parties I really try to avoid them. I have a small number of very close friends that I consider like family and without them I would be lonely. So I make sure to stay engaged with them.

    Thank you for sharing the article, they sounded so in love!

  2. Petra says:

    They are a beautiful couple, both inside and out. I really enjoyed this read and feel that the world lost John too early. But like you, I also liked how he distinguished between being alone and being lonely.

    I am a person who is quite comfortable being alone (indeed, many of my unexpected moments of pure joy occur when I am by myself.) Yes, I am occasionally lonely, though rarely so. But I have a circle of very close friends (quality matters!) And my life is good and full and complete and meaningful.

    • wendy says:

      I’m off to a Seder tonight with my extended L.A. family, none of whom are blood related. I’m grateful for their company, and of course, my dog Rose.

  3. Ann says:

    Anton Chekhov supposedly said “If you’re afraid of loneliness, don’t marry”…I always keep that quote in mind.

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