Status Anxiety

by Alain de Botton
Born on 20 Dec 1969
Writer / Philosopher

The Unbearable Truth (1)

Confident that cast-iron walls separate our nature and situation from theirs, comfortable in the well-broken-in saddle of our high horse, we have exchanged our capacity to be tolerant for detachment ...

The Need for Criticism (2)

Life is a phenomenon in need of criticism, for we are, as fallen creatures, in permanent danger of worshipping false gods, of failing to understand ourselves and misinterpreting the behaviour of othe...

Anxiety Awareness (3)

Life seems to be a process of replacing one anxiety with another and substituting one desire for another - which is not to say that we should never strive to overcome any of our anxieties or fulfil a...

Somebody and Nobody (4)

People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled "somebodies," and their inverse "nobodies" - both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, ...

Our Two Great Love Stories (5)

Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well charted, its vagaries form the staple of music and ...

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Status Anxiety

Alain de Botton


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."