Looking more deeply at the invisible forces that link one human being to another helps us see something even more profound: our brains and bodies are designed to function in aggregates, not in isolation. That is the essence of an obligatory gregarious species. The attempt to function in denial of our need for others, whether that need is great or small in any given individual, violates our design specifications. The effects on health are warning signs, similar to the “Check Engine” light that comes on in today’s cars with their comptuerised sensors. But social connection is not jusy a lubricant that like motor oil, prevents overheating and wear. Social connection is a fundamental part of the human operating and organising system itself.
- Cacioppo and Patrick