Status Anxiety – Alain de Botton

Status Anxiety is the sixth book by Alain de Botton that I have read, and I cannot help but admire this contemporary philosopher with every book. However, this book particularly impressed me; I have been looking at myself and my surroundings with different eyes while reading it. While I realized how unnecessary some things in my life were, I saw that some of them became my must-haves. I was happy, restless, worried, and relieved; I ran from emotion to emotion.


Status Anxiety is a condition that occurs in every person and manifests in different ways. While some of us are getting more and more irritable, some of us are withdrawing into ourselves. However, after seeing that every person who has ever lived and will live on earth has this concern, one becomes less depressed.

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

We know the benefits of visiting graves from time to time, looking at a painting for hours, and spending more time in nature, but do we do these things? Maybe it will be much better if we turn to ourselves a little more and shut ourselves up to all the emotions and thoughts directed at us from the outside. This is where this book comes into play. It starts from the old times, comes to the present, and gives examples of areas that will help us. Read Status Anxiety; you will love it. Enjoy!

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

Status Anxiety

Status Anxiety: From one of our greatest voices in modern philosophy, author of The Course of Love, The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life – Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure – and how we might change it

‘De Botton’s gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things’ The Times

We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer – to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment – from status anxiety.

Alain de Botton gives a name to this universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art and politics – and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and thought-provoking – but genuinely wise and helpful as well: Status Anxiety.

‘Status Anxiety: He analyses modern society with great charm, learning and humour. His remedies come as a welcome relief when most books offering solutions to the stresses of life recommend the lotus position’ Daily Mail

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ 

He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries. Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education. Alain’s latest book, published in April 2016, is titled The Course of Love.

Alain started writing at a young age. His first book, Essays in Love [titled On Love in the US], was published when he was twenty-three. It minutely analysed the process of falling in and out of love, in a style that mixed elements of a novel together with reflections and analyses normally found in a piece of non-fiction. It’s a book of which many readers are still fondest and it has sold two million copies worldwide.

It was with How Proust Can Change Your Life that Alain’s work reached a truly global audience. The book was a particular success in the United States, where the mixture of an ironic ‘self-help’ envelope and an analysis of one of the most revered but unread books in the Western canon struck a chord. It was followed by The Consolations of Philosophy, to which it was in many ways an accompaniment.

Though sometimes described as popularisations, these two books were at heart attempts to develop original ideas (about, for example, friendship, art, envy, desire and inadequacy) with the help of the thoughts from other thinkers – an approach that would have been familiar to writers like Seneca or Montaigne and that disappeared only with the growing professionalisation of scholarship in the 19th century.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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