book hack

On Being Nice

The School of Life, Alain de Botton

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This thoughtful guide from The School of Life teaches us how caring and tenderness have become the most underrated human qualities and why they are essential to a happier, more fulfilled life.


On Being Nice

On Being Nice

by The School of Life


Modern society is very conflicted when it comes to being nice. We so often depend on the kindness of others and we believe being nice is a positive trait. More often than not though, we also associate niceness with weakness. The highly competitive atmosphere of the modern capitalist system encourages us to think that putting oneself first and being rude is the best way to get ahead.

The School of Life is an educational company led by intellectuals from around the world devoted to bringing philosophy closer to everyday life. The British philosopher Alain de Botton founded the School of Life in 2008. It uses insights from philosophy and social sciences to help us navigate parenting, relationships, and careers.

On Being Nice is a guide to embracing kindness and empathy to connect with others, better understand ourselves, and become more resilient and social human beings.

Favorite quote

Friendship begins, and loneliness can end, when we cease trying to impress, have the courage to step outside of our safety zones and can dare, for a time, to look a little ridiculous.

- The School of Life

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