The people who act happiest and laugh the most in company are very often the loneliest people. This is a sign. It’s not that they are putting on a brave face, or pretending, it’s simple: lonely people are genuinely delighted to be with others.

People who aren’t lonely, who have plenty of friends, can be quite blasé about festive situations: it’s nothing special to them. For the lonely, it’s a time of great excitement. Into their dark world, a light has shone! They are filled with joy. But when the light is gone, you don’t see to what sadness they must return.

I didn’t know this when I was young. I had friend I loved who committed suicide, and I couldn’t understand it. She was always so happy when she was with us — the extended group of friends — her action was seemingly without reason.

But it’s the happy ones you have to watch out for: the more excessive the delight, the more you should care. It’s a sign.