I think it is one of the most basic of human desires to be truly known.
I don’t mean “well-known” as in famous. And I don’t mean just recognized, remembered, having someone know your name when they see your face (vice-versa) “Oh, yeah I know her.”
I mean being truly known—understood for who you really are by another human being.
The writers of that movie “Avatar” understood this. When the Na’vi people looked at each other and said “I see you” this connection is what they were expressing, because of course they saw each other! They were looking right at each other. That would not need to be noted. No, they were expressing something much deeper than just physical seeing.
Did you ever meet someone who just really “got” you right away? If you did, you probably recognized that immediately as something rare and good, and you probably had an immediate, maybe lifelong, connection with that person.
If one is lucky, they find at least one other person in the world they can say really knows them. Some are lucky enough to find several. I know that the search for this connection is the motivation for so many of the things that people do, whether they are aware of this motivation or not.
It is one of the reasons I write. All my life I have written thoughts down in order to process them, understand them myself, and maybe—hopefully—make myself truly understood to at least one other person.
The lack of this experience, this connection, is what loneliness is. Loneliness has nothing to do with whether or not there are other people physically with you. That’s why a person can feel alone in a crowd, or even (maybe especially) with one other person who should know them, maybe thinks they do, but indeed does not.
Worse though than simply not being known, is having the real you purposefully not known, misrepresented, perhaps disliked or disregarded—because someone values their own ideas and interpretations, (or pure invention) of you much more than they value you. They would rather keep their version of you, keep disliking the person they think you are than to bother finding out (or admitting) who you really are.
My thanks and love to those who have bothered to know me.