I went on a hike with two people I met through a mutual friend. Being new to the group, I spent most of the way up tuning into their CrossFit gossip. The conversation took a dip, and they were discussing a certain woman who apparently has no friends. One of them, rounded off the sentence with “but she’s really mean...”, To which a solo hiker approaching us, mumbled under their commentary, “I’m nice, and I have no friends”... Both my fellow hikers burst into an uncomfortable giggle, as if this was a joke he was making, because surely, no one would ever admit to strangers, that somehow, an accumulation of life events did not include practicing charisma. I wanted to run over, and offer a friend. But that reaction would make him realize that I might think he’s being serious. And god knows, who want to ever admit that they know a vulnerable secret of a stranger without knowing if it was their intention to share truthfully. Has my privilege made me patronizing? Or should we address loneliness in a less stigmatic tone?