The Courage to be Disliked

By Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

This book is written as a Socratic dialogue between a student and a philosopher. The books focus is Adlerian psychology and how it can be applied to ones life. A few core tenants of Adlerian psychology is that all problems are inter-personal relationship problems, we are in our current situation because of courage not causes (your past didn't cause you to live this way, you just lack the courage to live any other way), and separation of tasks. Separation of tasks is all about realizing what things are your tasks and what things are others, and never interfering in another persons task. If you write a book, it is not your task to react to that book. So if someone reads your book and reacts negatively and starts insulting you, with separation of tasks you can say that it is that persons task to react to your book and that you should not interfere.

I also found one part about feelings of inferiority quite interesting and here is a snippet of my conversation with Lee about it.

Most people think inferiority complex and superiority complex are polar opposites but this isn't the case. People have feelings of inferiority. This is natural and helps us excel and exceed. However if we don't have the courage to excel and exceed this leads to an inferiority complex.

Feelings of Inferiority >> inferiority complex.

An inferiority complex is the excuse we give for not having the courage to excel or exceed because perhaps we are fine or comfortable with our situation but don't want to admit it.

"If only I was smart enough to go to school I'd get a real job and move out of my parents basement." When in reality they actually quite like their life playing vidya and meme'in and they don't have the courage to try new things and introduce uncertainty in their life.

Then if you stay in an inferiority complex too long, some people can't handle it. They can't handle the feeling of being inferior and move further down the rabbit hole to the superiority complex.

Feelings of inferiority >> inferiority complex >> superiority complex.

A superiority complex is when you are sick of feeling inferior (despite the fact you don't have the courage to truly excel and exceed) so you create false superiorities to help yourself get over inferior feelings. This can be wearing branded clothes, taking pictures with celebrities to show off that your special, over doing facebook / showing off / boasting.

However these things are bad but the worst offender of all is when you go from boasting about how great you are (but actually aren't) to boasting about your misfortunes.

Feelings of inferiority >> inferiority complex >> superiority complex >> boasting of misfortunes.

Boasting of misfortunes allows you to further express superiority over other people "Oh you have no idea what its like to be short/a minority/fat" etc by boasting that you have a heavier cross to bear than other people. This allows you to not only boast but also control the people around you. And the worst part of the final stage is that its insanely difficult to escape because

"As long as one continues to use ones misfortunes to ones advantage, in order to be special, one will always need that misfortune."

Interesting quote I liked.

Do not look at the past and do not look at the future, one lives each complete moment like a dance. There is no need to compete with anyone, and one has no use to for destinations, as long as you are dancing you will get somewhere.