"We don't exist unless there is someone who can see us existing, what we say has no meaning until someone can understand, while to be surrounded by friends is constantly to have our identity confirmed; their knowledge and care for us have the power to pull us from our numbness. In small comments, many of them teasing, they reveal they know our foibles and accept them and so, in turn, accept that we have a place in the world. We can ask them 'Isn't he frightening?' or 'Do you ever feel that...?' and be understood, rather than encounter the puzzled 'No, not particularly' - which can make us feel, even when in company, as lonely as polar explorers.
True friends do not evaluate us according to worldly criteria, it is the core self they are interested in..."
-- "The Consolations of Philosophy" by Alian de Botton