The Courage to be Disliked Book Review I Ask Questions

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Book – The Courage to Be Disliked (Review)

Author – Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

Genre – Self- help Book

Published in – 2013

The courage to be disliked is written in parable style which takes through dialogue between the known philosopher and young man who has come to visit philosopher challenging his philosophy and claims that life is not as simple as he describes and happiness is not within the grasp of every person as he claims.

And more importantly, people can’t change as easily as Philosopher suggests.

The answer and points the philosopher put across is the distillation of famous psychologist Alfred Adler’s philosophical and psychological teachings. (Adlerian psychology).

Reading the first book of this kind, I got a different perspective. Throughout the book, I felt as if I was part of the discussion between youth and philosophers.

About Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler was an Austrian Medical doctor, Psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology. He was known for concepts of psychology he developed like individual psychology, inferiority complex, superiority complex, and style of life.

About the Book

The courage to be disliked is a parable that takes us into a dialogue between the known philosopher in the city and a young man who has come to visit a philosopher seeking answers, which can help him turn his complicated life into a simple and happy one.

Moreover, he comes across as he has come to challenge his philosophy and claims that life is not as simple as he describes and happiness is not within the grasp of every person he claims.

What follows is a debate where a young man pours his heart out with challenges of day-to-day adult life like personal relations, work, religion, a society with an open mind and is willing to learn and change if he is convinced with what philosopher has to offer.

Few Key Points From the Book –

1) Etiology v/s Teleology

  • Etiology is study of causation. We spend too much time on why anything (so called bad happened to us), which keeps us stuck.
  • Teleology on the other hand focuses on what has happened, how we are using anything that happened to us, and not let our past become hindrance in changing to good now.

2) Fabricating the Anger

The way it is explained seems mumble-jumble of words, yet if, we reflect on it, we’ll openly be willing to take responsibility for using anger as means to an end. As philosophers put it “we don’t get angry, we use anger to achieve our objective.”

3) Change

  • People resist change for uncertainties that lies ahead with new self, even though we may not be happy as we are, at least it is familiar and we have most of the answers considering current situation.
  • Comparison with others and what they have got (Be it resources, talent, circumstances) can be used to resist change in self-pity party or can be used as inspiration to improve. Most people use it for the former reason.

4) Inferiority Feelings – Inferiority Complex

  • Inferiority feelings, can be a trigger for striving and growth, where as inferiority complex is a sign of resigned to situation or using any condition as an excuse to not putting in the work for desired outcome.

5) Power Struggle & Revenge

  • In any discussion, moment you utter “you are wrong”, discussion shifts from what is right to who is right, that’s where power struggle begins, which in most cases leads to revenge.
  • Be careful in your discussion with others, if you think you’re right, let go of matter as cordially as possible. Never ever get sucked in to power struggle.

6) Recognition From Others

  • Constant desire for recognition from other is one of the sure short ways of unhappiness.
  • The more we try to gain other’s approval and attention more the struggle, As we will to constantly adjust ourselves to everyone’s yard stick.

7) From Life’s Protagonist to World’s Protagonist

  • Most of the problem arises when we start making ourselves the center of the world, and think only in terms of how others can serve me. If we can look for how we can serve instead, things will change for better.

Few lines and quotes that I liked from the book

1) “We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give to those experiences.”

2) “The important thing is not what one is born with, but what use one makes of that equipment.”

3) “No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live from now on.” That you, living in the here and now, are the one who determines your own life.

4) “The feelings of inferiority we’re suffering from, are subjective interpretations rather than objective facts.”

5) “It is true that one cannot use a time machine or turn back the hands of time. But what kind of meaning does one attribute to past events? This is the task that is given to “you know.”


After reading The Courage to be disliked, you will be able to see your past and future differently and be less concerned about others’ judgment.

You will be able to accept yourself as you are and work on improving your relationship with yourself and others.

You may download The Courage to be disliked Free E-book here. If you like this book, you may also like The Untethered Soul.

Please share your comments/suggestion of this review in the comment or if you have any questions, do ask them in the comments and I will be glad to answer them.

Wish you a great life.


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