Articles on Self-Knowledge, Relationships and Calm - The School of Life

Articles At The School of Life 

Relationships

Why We Love People Who Don’t Love Us Back

We are sometimes puzzled by how frequently we find ourselves in love with people we know are not going to be good for us, but who mirror the disturbing patterns of our attachments from early childhood.

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Self-Knowledge

The Five Features of Paranoia

There are perhaps five main features of the very sad, indeed hellish, condition we know as paranoia…

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Self-Knowledge

Why So Many of Us Are Masochists

As masochists, we ‘love’ pain for being profoundly familiar; we love it for taking us home.

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Relationships

Stop Avoiding Conflict

Conflict-aversion doesn’t just mean a distaste for a fight, it means a radical inability to get involved in a struggle of any sort because we are insufficiently on our own side.

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Calm

How and Why We Catastrophise

It may not be an encounter with a catastrophic event that we are worried about so much as a return of catastrophic feelings.

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Self-Knowledge

On Suicide

It’s commonly assumed that people kill themselves because something has gone dramatically wrong in their life. But the truth is more nuanced and more psychological: people take their own lives because of the way they interpret events.

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  • Self-Knowledge
  • Melancholy

The Pessimist’s Guide to Mental Illness

The anxious should defiantly accept that they can never eradicate certain risks but that these can be shouldered — and a habitable life made among the ruins.
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  • Calm
  • Failure

A Life Without Narcissism

By letting go of narcissism, we become entirely focused on what is beyond us; pure observers of the world outside of our selves. 
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  • Sociability
  • Communication

In Praise of Small Chats with Strangers

Small sympathetic chats matter above all because few of us are ever very far from sadness and vicious despondency.
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Self-Knowledge

The Agonies of Shame

It takes a very tough and very loving person to be able to get through to the shamed person and to tell them what they have always needed to hear: ‘You are not a bad person; you just had a very, very bad childhood.’

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The Five Features of Paranoia

Self-Knowledge

The Five Features of Paranoia

There are perhaps five main features of the very sad, indeed hellish, condition we know as paranoia… Firstly, paranoia means…
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Stop Avoiding Conflict

Relationships

Stop Avoiding Conflict

Being ‘conflict -averse’ sounds like a lovely mild and peaceful way to be. Wouldn’t we all like to avoid conflict?…
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On Suicide

Self-Knowledge

On Suicide

It’s commonly assumed that people kill themselves because something goes wrong in their life: perhaps they made a mistake at…
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The Agonies of Shame

Self-Knowledge

The Agonies of Shame

One of the worst symptoms of childhood trauma is a feeling of shame, by which is meant: a pervasive impression…
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How Trauma Works

Self-Knowledge

How Trauma Works

Few of us can hope to get through life unscathed. The threats to us are so numerous and so stubborn…
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Charles Dickens’s Secret

Leisure

Charles Dickens’s Secret

Almost no other writer has ever been quite as successful — whether critically or commercially — as Charles Dickens. He…
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