Alain de Botton on the “true self”

“So if you want to sleep a bit better, don’t bother with teas or long baths – what you need to bother with is an encounter with those split-off bits of your mind that are unendurable (and often they really are quite unendurable).” 

Of course, knowing how to confront your true self and actually doing it are two very different things – but de Botton provided the Stylist Live crowd with some ideas to help them get started.

One such technique was the use of question prompts – open-ended sentences that help you to reflect on how you think and feel.

“A question prompt is an unfinished sentence that ends in an ellipsis,” he explained. “It simply asks you to finish an unfinished sentence.”

After asking the crowd to complete a prompt – “What I’m really anxious about now is…” – de Botton provided some more examples, such as ‘What I really want is…’ and ‘What’s making my life difficult is…’ 

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