"The paradox seemed to follow these lines: what at first appeared to be a virtue in his own eyes--a finely tuned gift of empathy that drew him closer to people--turned out to be, possibly, a defect--the very thing that prevented the "self" and which, in effect, concealed him from people so he was isolated when everyone thought him included. As long as there was someone around him, someone he could respond to, he existed. By himself, he ceased to exist."
When I read this I instinctively felt it was true for most of the people I know. I also sensed that for me the opposite was the truth: meaning when I'm by myself I feel the most "existed." Not sure this is a good thing.