As you advance in Fallen London, the penalties for failing a storylet get stiffer: you'll pick up Scandal, or Wounds, or one of the other menaces. In the early game, the key to quick advancement is to attempt difficult storylets: whether you succeed or fail, you'll gain several change points per storylet you attempt, and you'll eventually succeed if you attempt the action enough. When you attempt an easy storylet, you'll only gain one change point.
How you do reconcile gaining menaces on failure with the desire to explore new content and advance quickly? If you have a 50% failure rate on a storylet, you're going to pick up menaces rather quickly. Is this the way that Fallen London pushes you towards social interaction? The social actions reduce menaces faster and cheaper than the bazaar-purchasable menace-reducing items or being sent to one of the Places of Menace (a state of some confusion, the boatman, etc.)? Or should I gaze longingly at the shiny new content I've just unlocked and ignore it until I've gained another 15 points of Watchful and are far less likely to fail?