Are you part of the 20%? Do you feel lonely? Does it help to know that you are not alone in feeling this way?
Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo is well known for his sudy of the human instinct for social interaction. The book he co-authored with William Patrick, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (2008), generated a large response from readers, and his research in this area has only continued to deepen. One thing he emphasizes is that loneliness is unrelated to one's objective circumstances. It is is a subjective feeling that can be evaluated using the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Loneliness, p.5). In several of his articles on this topic he mentions that loneliness creates a high health risk factor similar to smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. It seems that humans, like animals, "need the aid and companionship of others to survive and prosper" (Cacioppo, Capitanio, and Cacioppo , "Toward a Neurology of Loneliness" in Psychological Bulletin 140:6, 2014, 1464-1504, 1496). Cacioppo has devoted most of his research to loneliness and how to overcome it. Read more using the links below.
The University of Chicago Department of Psychology http://psychology.uchicago.edu/about/index.shtml
Social Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Chicago
High Performance Electrical Neurolmaging Laboratory
High Performance Brain Academy
Lydialyle Gibson, "The Nature of Loneliness," University of Chicago Magazine (Nov-Dec 2010)