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I Read 'The Courage To Be Disliked'

23 Jan 2019 . 4 mins : Readings . Comments
#adlerian psychology #psychology #books #book-review #philosophy

One particular thought I always used to get breaking the ice with a person was that, “What if I do something stupid and the person starts disliking me? How to not do something wrong?”. In crude way, this is what I was asking myself…

How to not be myself?

Be You

It is after transforming to live a life of free living that I realize what a “captive” way of living it is. It is only us who make our lives complex by living in an un-free way and cursing “human-made abstractions” (read Karma and Religion) for being unfair to us and not giving us adequate returns of our acts.

These thoughts sprouted in me after reading “The Courage To Be Disliked”, the second book in my list to read for improving my interaction with the surrounding and people around me. It is written by Ichiro Kishimi based on accounts written by Fumitake Koga, which is in turn based on lessons of Adlerian Psychology.

First and foremost, the book uses a very interesting method of presenting itself; it is a conversation between a troubled youth (similar to the reader) who believes that life is complex, and a philosopher who preaches that life is very simple and it is we who make it complex.

World is a bright place but we make it dark by looking at it through dark shades; most of us can’t even dare to look at that light naked!

Bright Sun

Outright, in the beginning itself, the author dismisses the Freudian method of viewing life which says that past influences the future and your current condition is an outcome of what life gave you before. Freudian deals with life as an equation where past is the left side and future is the right side. The philosopher dismisses this view and talks as life as just being “present”; it is our goals at the moment that decide how our life is going on and not what we have faced.

In anger our goal is to give a message of authority, and not that we cannot convey the same via language.

The entirety of text talks about all complexities in terms of interpersonal relations: though it is not convincing in the beginning, with progress the points start to make sense and towards the end with the introduction of separation of tasks, it all fits perfectly in-place within our lives. Towards the end it starts to feel like,

It was the most obvious trait of problems we deliberately chose to overlook all the time.

The book lucidly explains all the philosophies and uses appropriate analogies to star-light the topic. Under separation of tasks, where it tells about doing your part and then letting the other person “choose” to do theirs - I read one of the best analogies.

You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.


As the relation between the two protagonists of the book evolved, I could feel myself evolving with them and getting ready to accept the ideas talked about in the book. A spectacular feature is that the book is not about lessons but about debatable ideas which make the reader think and loop around them unless either accepted or rejected. This is a feature in contrast to other texts which are biased with the author’s viewpoints mostly.

“The Courage To Be Disliked” might not be the book that will alter someone’s life completely, but it is surely a text that produces something new on each iteration. I’ve read the book twice, and found insights I was not able to deduce in the first go.

A highly recommended book: for philosophy, thoughts and controversies :wink:


I'm intrigued by human psychology and code backend for videogames. I live with a philosophy to be simple, true, and kind always. I enjoy taking days slowly and writing when I learn something new - ah! that reminds me, I enjoy learning from new experiences a lot.