Chapter 4.


Virtues of Character

How To Make People Feel Good about Themselves

We tend to operate with the view that the best way to please people is not to bother them too much. We keep many of our dilemmas and confusions away from…

Emotional Skills

What to Do at Parties If You Hate Small Talk

A lot of discomfort about going to social engagements is rooted in what can sound like a rather high-minded concern: a hatred of small talk. We can develop a dread of…


How to Spill A Drink Down One’s Front - and Survive

It is, in many way, the quintessential minor social mishap. We’re at a party surrounded by interesting people upon whom we’d like to make a good impression. We’ve been talking about…

Virtues of Character

How to Become Someone People Will Confide in

It is a mark of character to be thought of as someone that others can safely confide in; there is a high degree of empathy, generosity and open-mindedness implied in being…


How to Approach Strangers at A Party

A party at the house of a friend, eleven o’clock, on a still-warm evening. A metre away from you, a group of people are chatting animatedly. Someone is telling an anecdote,…


How to Be Comfortable on Your Own in Public

We’re spending a few days on business in a town where we know no one. It’s dinner time and, feeling claustrophobic in our hotel room, we wander the main streets looking…