The Courage To Be Disliked Book Summary, by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga

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1-Page Summary of The Courage To Be Disliked


Over the past few decades, mental health has come under more and more scrutiny. It’s been long overdue. We’ve begun to understand its effects on society at large. However, it remains a complex topic where misunderstanding and intolerance can still prevail. In looking for ways to better explain mental health, we look at the ideas of psychologist Alfred Adler who was popular in the early twentieth century but is becoming increasingly popular today due to his response to Freudian psychology which is prevalent in pop culture these days.

In this passage, the author discusses how Adlerian psychology is still relevant today. The reader will learn that we should be active agents in control over our lives. We’ll also learn about why it’s important to discipline children who hate school and why a refuse collector might have more job satisfaction than a heart surgeon.

Big Idea #1: We tend to believe our past determines the future, but, in reality, we are always able to change.

If you heard that a recluse lived in the building across the street and spent his time shut off from the world, you would probably make some assumptions about him.

It is likely that the person has been traumatized, and it seems like they will stay in this state forever.

People believe that what happened in the past will happen again.

We tend to think that psychological problems have causes in the past. For example, a child who was bullied will likely have trouble dealing with social situations as an adult. This is not necessarily true. The Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler believed that we are free to choose our own destiny and don’t need to be defined by trauma in childhood.

Not all abused children turn into recluses. This suggests that there is another explanation for their behavior. The recluse may have developed the anxiety as an excuse to stay indoors, because he doesn’t want to leave.

The condition can be changed. People can change their minds and the freedom to do so is always available.

Big Idea #2: People choose their own specific outlooks on life and are resistant to thinking otherwise.

People are made up of various types of personalities. Some people are naturally cheerful and happy, while others tend to be moody. Traditionally, psychologists have encouraged us to think that our personalities are fixed in this way. However, we now know that it is possible for anyone to change his or her personality type by changing how he/she thinks about things.

Adlerian psychology doesn’t take the traditional approach. In Adlerian psychology, lifestyle refers to what is traditionally known as character or personality.

The change of terminology highlights the fact that people’s moods are not a fixed thing. Rather, they’re dependent on their outlooks on life. Therefore, if your vision of the world is negative, pessimism will rule the day.

The author believes that by the age of 10, we have already chosen our lifestyles and worldviews. These choices are based on previous life experiences. We tend to be stubborn about changing our outlooks because we don’t want to admit that there’s something wrong with how we live our lives. Many people talk about wanting to change their lifestyle, but they never actually do it because if they really wanted things to be different, they would have done something about it already.

Some people might not like their current situation, but they’re used to it. Change is scary, though, because you have to be ready for the unknown. For example, a single person might hate being alone and want to get out there and meet new people, but he’s too scared of rejection or failure in that area.

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The Courage To Be Disliked Book Summary, by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga

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