The Courage to be Disliked

The Courage to be disliked" by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga


I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of the "self-help" category, but I do make some exceptions. This book serves as a primer on Adlerian psychology, Adler being less well-known than his famous counterparts Freud and Jung. This thought-provoking introduction is unfurled across a rich range of dialogues between a fictional philosopher and a young student. In my view, this format goes a long way towards making the book's themes and ideas much easier to grasp and relate to.

As reflected in the book's title, it's core message is that our happiness is inextricably linked to having the courage to be disliked. A prospect that can confront many, if not all. It urges us to exercise agency (as best we can) to undertake our "life tasks" instead of shifting responsibility to others. That is to say, the tasks that give our lives meaning, and are more firmly within our span of control. While some may see this approach as being dismissive of the impacts of trauma, I found its emphasis on our agency refreshing. Similar to Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning", the authors argue for more useful interpretations of the past so as to forge more fulfilling experiences in the present, and future. Overall, I feel the book offers an insightful exploration of what living by our values/principles entails.

Have any of you read this book? I'd love to hear from you. If this spurs you to give it a read/listen, do chime in when you dive in :)