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…

People-Pleasing: and How to Overcome It

Being someone who pleases people sounds, on the face of it, like a very good idea. But it is a pattern of behaviour riddled with problems, as much for the perpetrator…

The Wonders of an Ordinary Life

We live in an age with a high regard for extraordinary lives – that is, lives that the vast majority of us will never lead. Our heroes have made outsized fortunes,…

The Problem of Psychological Asymmetry

One of the most basic facts about the human condition is that we know ourselves from the inside, but know others only from what they choose or are able to tell…

Akrasia - or Why We Don't Do What We Believe

A central problem of our minds is that we know so much in theory about how we should behave but engage so little with our knowledge in our day-to-day conduct. We…