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Kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies

Forgive the crude language but the idea is a good one. It was coined in the 16th-century by French philosopher Michel de Montaigne. His point was that he wanted us to feel closer to (and less intimidated) by people whose overt mode of life might seem painfully impressive and very far from our own.

And he could have added: in secret, these people also feel inadequate, fear rejection and mess up their sex lives. At moments of panic, before an important speech or a much-anticipated date, we should run Montaigne’s phrase through our febrile, underconfident minds and remind ourselves that no one, however outwardly poised, is more than a few hours away from a poignantly modest and vulnerable moment.