Sociability

Communication

How We Can Hurt Without Thinking

A lot of evil is done in the world by people who can’t imagine that they have any power to hurt anyone. It’s their sense that nothing is at stake in…

Confidence

The Origins of Shyness

A lack of confidence is often put down to something we call shyness. But beneath shyness, there may lie something more surprising, pernicious and poignant. We suffer from a suspicion of…

Social Virtues

The Eyes of Love

In 1821, the 45-year-old English painter John Constable went out on to Hampstead Heath and did something very loving. He set up his easel and looked closely at an elm tree.…

Social Virtues

Kindness Isn't Weakness

Some of what holds people back from showing greater love is a sense that it would be dangerous and woolly-minded to do so. Too much sensitivity and sweetness, too much tolerance…

Social Virtues

Why We're All Capable of Damaging Others

One of the reasons why we may end up acting more destructively and cruelly than we should is that it can take us a long time to fathom how someone like…

Friendship

Companionship and Mental Health

One of the cruellest aspects of mental illness is that it strips us of any ability to believe that other people might be suffering in the way we are. We aren’t…