As an atheist, I of course reject the supernatural aspects of some of Buddhism's beliefs, but I cannot deny some of its wisdom. The transcendent experience exists for sentient beings, and I see the Buddha as one who sought out this state, and personified it better than any human being. The Buddha achieved this state alone, under a tree after meditating for several days, according to the story. And since then, many have tried to seek this path to enlightenment by imitation. Although the Buddha achieved enlightenment alone, it was through the people around him that helped guide him toward this path. I cannot think to remain alone in this world and not expect mental and physical suffering.
Now there are times when I am forced to deal with people that I do not like, such as with work. My response shall be in making the best out of the situation, and to not let my character suffer. In other words, be myself, whether these other people like it or not. To sacrifice one's character, to mold it into a form more compatible with those who one does not naturally get along with, is what I seek to avoid. I used to so freely pretend to be the person I thought others wanted me to be, when I did not naturally get along with them. I now look back at those days with great disappointment. What about pretending to act as others want you to act, to get something you want? We sometimes behave a certain way towards others to get what we want, and we all do this from time to time. I am quite aware of the lack of virtue that comes with being a pretender. Considering how natural it is, I say that as long as one retains the core of their character, there is nothing necessarily wrong with acting a certain way to get what one wants.
As I have said before there are three basic conditions that make me happy: being in a place I like, with people I like, and doing something I like. If those three are met, I am a happy man (assuming I am not dying from a disease or the like). If I were to take out the second condition-being with people I like-and instead imagine myself alone, this lessens but does not destroy my requirements for happiness. The act of helping others can suffice the pleasure of being with good company, and helping others does not necessarily require being with other people.