I’m a fairly strong introvert, and I generally prefer to have my own space, taking the time to think through what I think and what I want to do. I find it harder to live life at full speed, with everyone around you, all feeding input into you and having to fight to be listened to. But even an introvert needs people, to keep us balanced and let us know that we’re not completely crazy. People that can tell us they understand, and that they are on our side. As fun as I can believe it would be to live completely on my own, I’m sure that would get tiresome quite quickly.

We all need other people. Studies have shown that babies that aren’t held as they’re growing up develop much more slowly than those who have regular cuddles and human contact. Without physical touch, something inside us starts to believe that we are not worthy of attention, and we start to close down.

Other studies have shown that part of a child’s brain, the hippocampus, grows more with supportive parents than without. The hippocampus helps with learning, stress and memory. It’s as if the support and nurturing of attentive parents lets a child grow because they don’t need to spend that energy worrying. But the point is that external human input shapes us directly, not just in theory or in our heads, but in real, physical ways.

Even if you really don’t care for people, you can’t realistically expect to be able to cope with absolutely everything on your own. You could be an expert in every single technical skill you need to create food, shelter and clothing, but it only takes an injury or a need to lift something heavy to remind you that sometimes, we all need other people occasionally.

Being dependent in some way on other people isn’t a sign of weakness. How hard is it to ask for help, when you feel embarrassed or ashamed that you should need help? It’s one of the strongest things you can do. Nobody is a superman, and everyone has weaknesses.

Finally, however much we wish we weren’t, we all depend on the rest of the human race for our continuing existence. We are affected daily by others’ choices, as they are affected by ours. Let’s try to work together and not make life any harder than it needs to be.