Advice columnist and family therapist Rhona Raskin published the following letter from a teenage girl in the September 11, 2007 edition of the Victoria Times Colonist (and other newspapers across Canada):

Psychologists such as Maslow (1954), as well as countless social scientists, poets, novelists, historians, and others have discussed at length since antiquity the importance of interpersonal relations among human beings for their health and survival (see Battle, 1990; Branden, 1969). People are gregarious creatures by nature, and to be and remain healthy they must interact with one another (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; McAdams, 1988). Evolutionary psychologists such as Buss (1999) have claimed that much of the success of our species to evolve and survive can be attributed to our highly developed capacity to cooperate and interact with one another. Indeed, current thinking in the area called social motivation holds that homo sapiens’ ability to cooperate and interact with others is a defining characteristic of the species (see Forgas, Williams, & Laham, 2005). Although need satisfaction is only one of a number of explanations for social interaction, it is clearly an important one, and some theorists – such as Murray (1938), whose definition of need we have adopted in this book (see Chapter 1) – believe that social interaction may serve to satisfy as many as 11 different needs: Abasement, affiliation, aggression, dominance, exhibition, nurturance, order, play, sex, succorance, and understanding, all of which contribute to our evolution and survival (Buss, 1999). Some argue that the desire to keep conscious knowledge of our mortality in check is largely responsible for a variety of defensive social behaviors such as maintaining high self-esteem, creating strong cultural bonds and embracing others of our species (Forgas et al., 2005).