Chapter 4.


Social Virtues

The Need for Kindness

When we are little, one of the first, and most boring, lessons we ever receive is in the primordial importance of being – as adults put it – ‘kind’. It’s because…


What Women and Men May Learn from One Another When They are Just Friends

We tend to imagine that it must be within the context of a close and long-term sexual relationship that people are best placed to understand one another and reveal who they…

Fear & Insecurity

6 Reasons Not to Worry What the Neighbours Think

We have reduced it down to a trite error – ’worrying about what the neighbours think’ – as if this were a trap that only a mediocrity could ever fall into.…


Leaning in to Vulnerability

For many of us, whenever we feel substantially scared, sad, anxious or lonely, the last thing we would ever think of doing is to share our distress; a confession threatens to…


On Friendliness to Strangers

Many of us, even the very kind ones, have a habit of walking through the world wearing a distinctly uncongenial and surly expression. If someone secretly photographed us on our way…


How to Say 'I Love You' to a Friend

It’s one of the minor tragedies of social life that we make such rigid and unimaginative distinctions when defining the differences between ‘friends’ and ‘lovers’. When it comes to lovers, one…