The Courage To Be Disliked Summary And Review

LifeMindsetPersonal DevelopmentPhilosophyPsychology

The Courage To Be Disliked Summary teaches you how to find real happiness and freedom in life using the power of courage and be ready to take real responsibilities that most people tend to avoid.

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The Courage To Be Disliked by Kishimi and Ichiro
This book will give you courage and understanding to fight your battles in life by taking responsibility. And thus help you achieve happiness and freedom.

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

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The Courage To Be Disliked Summary

The Courage To Be Disliked, written by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi, is a dialogue between a youth and a philosopher about Adler’s psychology and popular philosophy.

The philosophy we hear in most places is based on often Freud’s ideas, which are quite popular even today.

But Adler’s ideas are not so popular, as they often clash with conventional views.

This book summary will help you figure out how to deal with traumas and be free from other people’s expectations.

You will also learn a few things about how our emotions work and how much power they have over us if we don’t have courage.

Alrighty, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.

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Lesson #1: It takes courage to see the world without any filter.

The world we live in seems so complex, doesn’t it?

But what if I tell you that it’s simple.

You won’t believe me, right?

After all, how could the world be a simple place with so many complexities?

It’s highly dynamic, and every time we turn on the news channel, we see so much drama that it feels chaotic.

As a result, life feels so complicated.

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But if you look at it carefully, it’s not the world that is complicated. It’s actually the opposite.

The world is simple. But human beings are complicated.

So whatever we see or indulge in becomes complicated.

Every person sees the world with a different filter. That’s where complexities arise.

It’s hard to share your perspective with every other person.

Many contradictions exist between “what we see” and “what the other people see.”

The surprising thing is: Reality gets distorted when we look through filters.

These filters are born due to our previous experiences and future expectations.

We hardly look at reality without biases.

But don’t worry, there is still hope.

We all can change for good, don’t we?

Unfortunately, it requires a great deal of courage.

One has to let go of pre-existing beliefs to see the reality as it is.

When you avoid change and stick to your rigid beliefs, you stop yourself from attaining happiness.

You have two choices: Either you can keep complaining about how twisted the reality is, or you can simply let go of your expectations and accept the truth.

The former introduces complications into your life, while the latter helps you eliminate them.

Note the word “courage” here.

We all know its meaning. But do we practice it in real life?

Are we ready to let go of all those things stopping us from achieving true freedom and happiness?

The book shares many ideas from Greek philosophy and Adlerian psychology that helps us tackle these issues.

Keep reading to learn more.

Lesson #2: Change is simple when you break free from the cycle of cause and effect.

Before we discuss happiness, let’s try to understand why we become sad and worried in the first place.

Almost all of us are controlled by our pasts.

We all hold some kind of bad memories that haunt us even today.

Maybe you had a bad relationship with your parents. Perhaps you were bullied at school.

Maybe you were not good at your studies, and nobody believed in you.

Maybe you grew up with no friends.

It could be anything. It could even be a small memory.

The point is:

There is always something in our memories that holds us back even today.

Despite how much we discuss it, we can’t find a way to eliminate them, right?

Because if we could, we would have done that already. And there would be no point in reading this book summary.

But Adlerian psychology argues that traumas don’t exist.

Adler said that we create those emotions to avoid the real issues.

The book shares the story of a spoilt brat who wouldn’t go out of his home because his parents abused him during his early teenage years.

You might think that it’s because his parents were abusive that the kid turned out to be like that.

But that’s not true according to Adler’s psychology.

His current situation was not a result of his experiences.

That’s the fundamental idea behind Adler’s psychology: most people create their own unhappiness, and no bad experience can influence their future.

In other words:

One can always change his present.

Your past can’t control you like that.

We can break the cycle of cause and effect using our will.

The kid we mentioned has a goal not to go outside anymore as he is not comfortable with others. And he is using his bad experiences as an excuse to avoid that uncomfortable situation.

You can also say that the kid doesn’t dare to face the unknown.

Every time he thinks about going outside, he lies to himself and thinks about how his parents abused him.

The key to fighting any kind of trauma is to see how we are hiding behind our bad memories and avoiding reality.

Remember that:

Change is simple. It is “us” who make it complicated.

Let’s take another example to understand this idea better.

Lesson #3: Anger is a tool that people use to take revenge.


We all know it, don’t we?

As soon as we get angry, there is no controlling us.

That sudden burst of energy is uncontrollable, right?


Adler argued that emotions don’t have the power to control. Instead, we can resist them.

Then why do we speak as if all emotions are out there to get us?

The thing is: We all have goals that we want to achieve.

For instance, what if a waiter spills the tea on your shirt? What would you do in that case?

Most people who believe that they can’t control their anger would suddenly start shouting at that person. And then justify that their anger took them over.

But this is not true.

They wanted to let out their frustration and cool it down by shouting at the person who made a mistake.

Instead, they could let go of their momentary anger and say, “It could happen with anyone else.”

Most people use their emotions to achieve their hidden goals and then put the blame on emotions.

This doesn’t mean that emotions have no power. They are powerful. Indeed.

But they are not above us.

We can resist our emotions and choose whether to act based on them or not.

Anger can be helpful too.

But unfortunately, most people sought to take revenge for anger.

Remember that you are a human being. You are not a powerless stone that anybody can toss around.

You have the power to choose what meaning you assign to your emotions and respond based on your intelligence.

Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example.

Imagine if your boss spilled the same tea on your shirt instead of a waiter. Would you still go into that rage mode?

I doubt so.

Unless you don’t love your job, you would humbly ignore that incident and show modesty.

Lesson #4: “All problems are interpersonal relationship problems,” according to Adler’s psychology.

What if the world didn’t have any problems? It’d be spectacular, right?

But it’s impossible.

The reason is: For such a condition to be true, there should be only one human being in the universe, says Adler.

Yes, if you were all alone, there would be no problems.

You wouldn’t need to compete with anyone. You would be the ruler of the universe.

There would be no spouse to fight with or no kids to take care of.

There would be no rules to follow.

But as soon as there is more than one individual, problems arise.

And realistically, that is not going to happen anyway.

The key idea here is that all problems are, one way or the other, interpersonal relationship problems.

This includes two things: Your relationship with yourself and with others.

If either one of these is not correct, you are bound to get complications in your life.

If you see every other person as your competition, you will always keep struggling and will never be able to build great interpersonal relationships.

The very first step here is to figure out your identity.

How do you see yourself?

If you see yourself above others, you will have a superiority complex. On the other hand, you will have an inferiority complex if you see everyone else above yourself.

Both are not good if you want to have happiness in your life.

Lesson #5: Inferiority complex is an excuse for not taking responsibility.

First of all, both inferiority and superiority complexes are normal.

If you have any one of them, don’t feel guilty about it. Everybody has those feelings.

It’s a part of being a human being.

The problem is: Most people don’t know how to manage them properly.

If you feel inferior to someone, it only means that a part of you wants you to grow.

It boils down to your viewpoint.

If you keep feeling inferior and use it as an excuse, you won’t be able to grow.

But if you use it as a stimulant for growth, you will outclass your present self.

The book consists of dialogues between a youth and a philosopher.

The philosopher explains that it’s healthy as long as you compare yourself with your ideal self.

But as soon as you start comparing yourself with every 2nd person, you would fall into one of those complexes, which is not healthy at all.

It takes away your happiness.

Remember that since you are a human being, your fundamental responsibility is:

  • To reach your highest potential.
  • To become your ideal self.
  • To become the person you always wanted to be when you were a kid.

But when you fall into the comparison trap, you waste your energy satisfying other people’s expectations and mold yourself according to other people’s worldviews.

Ever thought about why most people do the latter?

That’s because it requires a lot of courage to become your ideal self. You have to overcome numerous hurdles along the way.

On the flip side, it’s easy to feel superior by calling a person inferior and competing for irrelevant milestones unrelated to your ideal self.

Again, you have a choice: you can either use those inferiority feelings to fuel your growth or waste time living your life as per other people’s opinions.

Lesson #6: See people as your comrades, not your enemies.

This comparison mindset needs to change.

Why? Because it makes you feel as if every other person is your enemy.

You just can’t focus on self-growth when you have your mind filled with jealousy.

The trick here is to shift your mindset from win-lose to win-win.

This is the same idea that Stephen Covey discussed in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.

What’s the point of winning if only you win and everybody else around you loses?

With whom will you share your victory then?

Sadly, most people live as if they are running a race. But in reality, we all have to race with ourselves without competing with others.

This would help you get free of worries, and every milestone you will achieve would give you immense happiness.

Look, you can only manage your thoughts.

The reality is that even if you don’t compete with anyone, other people will find ways to compete with you.

You will find many people who would hold a grudge against you for random reasons.

You might even want to take revenge. But beware, don’t fall into that trap.

Revenge is only going to make things worse.

The key, in that case, would be to figure out the hidden goal of that person.

An intelligent person would avoid any direct conflict. That’s because even if you win a power struggle, that person won’t stop having revengeful thoughts.

The immediate thought would be to win and teach that person a lesson. But remember, you can make wise choices.

You can always resist your emotions and think properly.

Sure, one can always use anger as a tool and then justify that his emotions took over him, but as we now know, it’s not worth it.

Seeing people as your comrades also helps you better your interpersonal relationships.

But strengthening your interpersonal relationships doesn’t mean that you blindly start fulfilling everybody’s expectations.

Sometimes, you have to allow the other person to dislike you for your own good.

Let’s learn about it in the next lesson.

Lesson #7: Have the courage to be disliked if you want absolute freedom from other people’s judgments.

Absolute freedom comes when you can live your life based on your terms, free from other people’s expectations.

But often, when we discuss interpersonal relationships, there is a conflict between the expectations.

You might find your close friends or relatives disliking you if you don’t do what they expect of you.

Even if you try to satisfy everybody else, you will have to sacrifice your own choices. And unfortunately, even then, you might have a few left who won’t be satisfied.

So, what should one do in such a complicated situation?

The solution here is to draw or define a boundary between you and the other person.

If the other person has unrealistic expectations from you, you don’t have to change yourself. That’s not your task.

You can’t control what other people think anyway.

But does this mean you don’t have to care what other people think and become egocentric? Not at all.

Separating yourself from other people’s expectations doesn’t mean you don’t care.

It’s the other way around.

If someone is trying to manipulate you through his expectations or emotional drama, that is egocentric.

Keep in mind that the other person can only manipulate you if you don’t have control over your emotions.

In that case, you need the courage to be disliked and not be manipulated by your emotions.

People are going to judge anyway.

You can’t satisfy everybody’s expectations, can you?

It’s not your fault whether someone dislikes you or misunderstands you because you didn’t meet their expectations.

On the surface, this might look like a scary recipe to push people away from you. But it’s not.

People who aren’t disappointed by your freedom are worth building relationships with.

And those who aren’t, need to change their outlook on life.

Good relationships don’t bind people through emotional dramas or conflicts. Instead, they make you freer.

Lesson #8: Both praise and punishment develop a sense of hierarchy within relationships.

Talking about good relationships, we think the other person would feel motivated if praised.

But that’s not the reality.

When you praise the other person, you subconsciously make him feel inferior.

For instance, if you reward the dog for doing a specific task during dog training, it will do it again.

But if you punish the dog for the same thing, the dog is likely to avoid doing it again.

One might call this dog training, but it also rewires a dog’s brain and establishes a sense of hierarchy, doesn’t it?

In the same fashion, if you praise or punish someone, you call yourself superior and signal to the other person that he is inferior.

So what should a person do?


Or maybe you can just say, “Thank You.”

By doing this, you would treat another person as your equal.

And it’s based on our nature as human beings are not fundamentally different from each other.

Some parents aggressively order their kids to do the things in a certain way that they feel is right based on their worldview or outlook on life.

This develops a sense of hierarchy within the child.

It signals that a child must always try to make his parents happy, even if it comes at the cost of his happiness.

This is very subtle, but it might turn into an inferiority complex if not noticed early.

And that’s not it. The relationships we develop at home also impact how we think about interpersonal relationships with people who are not related to us or belong to other communities.

Remember, we all are equal. Remember that no race, religion, or ideology can change this fact.

This is also the key to solving all problems within interpersonal relationships.

If you see this in a larger context, we can solve all the world’s problems if we simply treat each other as equals fundamentally.

Lesson #9: To have a true sense of your worth, contribute to the community.

Do you know why some people have inflated egos?

That’s because they have an inferiority complex.

The root cause of the inferiority complex is not knowing one’s self-worth.

When you don’t know your true worth, you constantly fear that other people might outshine you or grab more opportunities than you.

Or sometimes, people have inflated egos because they think they are more deserving than others.

Both are not true.

Nobody is superior. And nobody is inferior.

In fact, such a complex is dangerous.

Adler has a got a solution for such people.

Adler says that we all are a part of the larger community.

The exciting part is that he doesn’t just discuss communities formed around common interests or regions.

He goes broader than that.

Adler believes that there is one more extensive community of human beings where no person is the center.

This philosophy goes against selfish people who think they are superior.

Does this mean that nobody has any worth?

It’s the opposite. Adler means that every human being has equal worth.

Every person can contribute to this larger global community in some way.

You can’t give something from nothing, right?

So when you give or contribute anything to the community, you feel a sense of worth.

That worth doesn’t inflate your ego. Instead, it highlights your true nature.

It gives you freedom and happiness.

Lesson #10: You can be of worth by simply being with others.

When we think about “worth,” the first thing that comes to our minds is “Net Worth.”


Wrong. No, a person’s worth is not always calculated by how much money he has.

What if a person is financially poor and can’t help anybody? Will he still have worth?

Yes, definitely.

As we discussed, a person’s worth can be due to many reasons.

For instance, older adults who can’t provide anything also have worth as they can provide emotional support or knowledge to the young ones.

Their presence itself has a worth that they can provide to the other person.

Judging a person based on money is a limited way of seeing life.

Remember that life is more significant than money.

Download 12-Page PDF Summary Guide of this book

The Courage To Be Disliked Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Adlerian psychology is a psychology for changing oneself, not a psychology for changing others. Instead of waiting others to change or waiting for the situation to change, you take the first step forward yourself.”

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi

“When one is conscious of competition and victory and defeat, it is inevitable that feelings of inferiority will arise.”

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi

The Courage To Be Disliked Review

The Courage To Be Disliked by Kishimi and Ichiro
This book will give you courage and understanding to fight your battles in life by taking responsibility. And thus help you achieve happiness and freedom.

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

I saw many comments on Amazon telling me how bad this book is. But I disagree.

I learned a lot of cool new ideas from this book.

The idea that traumas don’t exist and that we create all those stomach cramps to avoid our real responsibilities was life-changing.

I could see how often I make excuses to avoid doing the real thing in my life.

For instance, whenever I go outside, I start feeling butterflies in my stomach. Why? Because earlier, I believed that I had a weak digestive system.

Has the problem been solved now?

Well, not a hundred percent. But now, I know that the past can’t control me anymore. The present can be changed.

This book has provided me with some courage to deal with psychological issues and fears.

Through this book, I could also break through some of my notions of cause and effect.

If you want to take away only one lesson from this book, just remember that no matter how broken your life may be right now, you have the power to fix it. You just need some courage to do so.

I don’t have anything to criticize this book for. And I highly recommend this book to everyone to read at least once.

Who is this book for?

  • Philosophers who want to dig deeper and investigate the ideas of Adler, Socrates, and Freud.
  • People are troubled by their past traumas.
  • People who have had any bad relationships in the past.
  • Those who struggle to resist emotions like anger or greed.
  • Students who are interested in exploring new ideas.

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Merely reading a book summary is not enough.

There are plenty of new ideas that you can learn from the book.

So, what are you waiting for?

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Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

FAQs about The Courage To Be Disliked

How do you accept being disliked?

You simply accept that it’s practically impossible to satisfy each person’s expectations no matter how much you try. You can’t impress everybody. So be true to yourself.

What did Alfred Adler believe?

Alfred Adler believed that traumas don’t exist, and most people choose their own unhappiness to avoid taking actual responsibilities.

When was the courage to be disliked written?

The Courage To Be Disliked was first published in Japan by Diamond Inc., Tokyo, in 2013.

Is this book worth buying or reading?

Definitely, one must read this book at least once. It’ll give you a whole new perspective on life.

Where to get this book?

You can get this book on Amazon: Check the price here.

Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed reading this book summary.

Now you tell me:

Do you believe that traumas exist?

What is your biggest learning from this book summary?

Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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