A person can choose not to have certain people in his or her life, but if a person chose to frown and ignore everyone else, that person will almost definitely find him or herself in an undesirable position. A person who comes off as closed and unfriendly will most likely antagonize acquaintances, which can prove detrimental to a person’s personal and professional life. People perceived as negative or rude will have a harder time getting a job after an interview or getting promoted in the job they already have.
For example, Dwight Schrute from NBC’s The Office, was interviewed by a panel of his colleagues for the job of branch manager. He was a dedicated, well-qualified hard worker. However, his authoritative, paranoid, self-centered personality drove his coworkers to instead choose Robert California to replace Michael Scott as Dunder Mifflin’s regional manager. If he had had a more open, friendlier disposition, his coworkers might have felt honored to make him their boss.
It is true that in close-knit communities, some people can become too involved in others’ lives. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry’s aunt is described as “thin and blonde, and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful, as she spent most of her time craning her neck over garden fences, spying on the neighbors. ” This description conjures images of nosy, meddlesome neighbors constantly asking questions about one’s personal life.
It is understandable that most people might not want to have every detail of their personal lives being discussed by people they don’t even know. However, as introverted as some individuals may be, most people need to be around other humans and interact with them. A fast-paced, high-pressure lifestyle without any depth or friendships could make people feel lonely in the long run. A good sense of community, with friendly faces to look forward to on a regular basis, can help a person feel comfortable and happy.
Considering the incredibly stressful society we live in, happiness should be a crop ready to harvest, and what better way to harvest happiness than by taking joy in being with the people who are already around us? The individual has a unique relationship with society as a whole. Some individuals prefer to do everything on their own. Others prefer to depend on others for almost everything they need. A well-crafted web of relationships can help a person be more successful in life. Being around other people can help make someone happy and more outgoing.
Obviously there is no one perfect way to live. But if a person can find some happiness in being around and talking to others, it should be his or her right to be able to pursue it. In the words of Rollo May, the renowned existential psychologist, “Community is where I can share my innermost thoughts, bring out the depths of my own feelings, and know they will be understood. ” It is an incredibly comforting thought to know that there are people around us who care for us and who are willing to see us through our tough times. And maybe that’s all we really need.