RULE 47

Give them privacy

There’s a popular feeling these days that ‘it’s good to talk’. That the stiff upper lip approach of the past is unhealthy, and we all need to open up about our feelings more, air them, discuss them, get them out in the open.

Well, surprise, surprise, you can go too far in that direction too. It’s true that being unable to talk about things can be damaging and perpetuate unhappiness, but it doesn’t automatically follow that everyone must therefore talk about their feelings all the time. In fact, that has its downside too. Life is there to be lived, not to be analysed incessantly, and the happiest people I know don’t focus on their feelings except in occasional times of hardship. Mostly they focus on other people, and ...

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