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Flattery & Being a Good Friend

One of the essential qualities of a good friend is that they are honest. But, it is a particular kind of honesty, an honesty that respects our integrity and dignity as fellow human beings. Meaning, they are prepared to say something that hurts, but not because it hurts. Yet one of the hallmarks of our […]

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Cultivate Your Own Garden

You might not be able to be great, but you can be good; you may not be able to save everyone, but you can save yourself. This is the central message found at the end of Voltaire’s inspired 1759 text Candide. It is not for nothing that the subtitle of this work was Or, Optimism, […]

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On Being Heard

We lash out because we haven’t been listened to, not because we’ve been listened to too much. At the end of the day, sometimes what we really need is not for someone to agree with us, or to give us advice, but simply to hear us; to validate our feelings, to recognise our inner turmoil, […]

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What We Really Want

To a significant extent, many of us do not know what we really want. Sometimes we think we know – maybe a girlfriend, lots of money, or something as simple as some new shoes – but upon attainment, the pleasures are momentary, and when they fade we are even more disillusioned than before. We then […]

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The Hardest Person to Break Up With

The hardest person to break up with is…ourselves. Each of us, in our own ways, becomes practices behaviours and espouses beliefs that while once upon a time served us, no longer do. Perhaps we had a difficult childhood and the only way we could have survived was to bottle up our emotions, put on a […]

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What Do You Look For In A Partner?

The question – so often asked by friends, parents and prospective partners – is not a bad one. It is, however, often asked and understood far too narrowly. Do you want someone who likes to read, who watches the same television shows? Do you want someone who is intelligent, or funny, or poetic? When posed […]

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Nostalgia in Relationship

Memory deceives with how it flattens experience. Nowhere is this more painfully clear than when we reminisce on a past relationship. When you were with your partner you were sometimes angry, often irritated, and while there were surely moments of ecstasy and fulfilment, there was, of course, a reason (or many) why you left them […]

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The Struggle

‘To those human beings who are of any concern to me’ wrote Nietzsche in The Will to Power, ‘I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished’. Speaking not out of hate but of love, he continued, I […]

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Getting Outside Ourselves

We think about life in terms of a subject who acts, and an object that is acted upon. So, if there is an artist in her studio, we think and speak with the artist as the active subject, and the paint, brushes and canvas as the still, inert objects being acted upon. We are inclined […]

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The Toxicity of Shame

One of the most emotionally crippling and psychologically damaging feelings we experience is shame. But what makes shame so cruel to those who fall under its curse, is that shame is a second-hand, vagabond emotion that has made its way into your mind where it does not belong. Shame arises when we feel like we […]

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