‘The Courage to be Disliked’ by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumittake Koga
Begins with a young man who approaches a philosopher known to live on the outskirts of a city. The philosopher was of the view ‘that the world is simple, and happiness can be achieved in the blink of an eye’. Then the young man told how he was dissatisfied with his life and asked a lot about the meaning of happiness.
Between their discussions, many statements from the philosopher were unacceptable to the young man, so he was determined to try to break the philosopher’s views. Where in the book it is described that most of the philosophers answered questions on the basis of the theory of an Austrian psychiatrist, Alfred Adler.
Who is Alfred Adler? Quoting from Wikipedia there are important points about who he is, is a psychologist, doctor, as well as a therapist. He also opposed the view of Sigmund Freud, that human behavior can be influenced by traumatic events. Meanwhile, according to Adler, in this book written by Japanese writers Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, it describes that humans are whole beings — regardless of cause and effect.
No Traumatic Presence
The first night of their meeting, the philosopher focused on refuting the “cause-and-effect” view of the theory of the father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Alder denies the existence of trauma.
According to Freud, the effect of causation is our effect on something. Situations define us. For example, a past filled with sadness — parting, violence, and all things that are traumatic in nature — is an ‘absolute’ form of who we are in the present.
On the other hand, in Adler’s theory, being a sad person is because he thinks he, directly or indirectly, ‘wants’ to be a sad person. So a situation was created to support this goal.
Happiness Means Harmonious Relationship
The second night of their meeting, the philosopher began to give a description of the true meaning of happiness, according to his view and also according to Adler’s view that happiness means having a harmonious relationship with fellow human beings. All issues are about interpersonal relationships.
To achieve happiness, we must first have a harmonious relationship with ourselves. How we view it is what determines the fate of our lives. The problem is, if we keep the view that we don’t deserve to be around people, humans are basically creatures that need the presence of other humans. Accept shortcomings, and begin to dare to be hurt and disliked.
Adler was the first to emphasize the importance of the social element in regulating individual processes. Adler is also the psychologist with the most cited theory of the 20th century. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Adler).
Courage to be Happy Without External Validation
The third night of their meeting, the philosopher explains what it is like to live freely. Dare to be happy without needing validation from other parties. Set aside other people’s tasks.
There is one reason why we fear not being liked, and that is because of the presence of other humans. Back again in the previous statement, that humans are very valuable to other humans, that humans need the presence of other humans. The thing that makes us ‘dislike’ ourselves is the line we draw ourselves. We continue to think that this world is a stage for us — one (feeling superior).
Adler stated that there is one motivating force that influences all forms of human behavior and experience. This motivational power is called “the drive towards perfection”. This power encourages humans to fulfill all the potential and desires that exist within themselves, so that a human being can get closer to what is idealized. Adler’s ideas were actually influenced by Nietzsche. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Adler).
Contributing to Humanity
The fourth night of their meeting, the young man began to ‘feel hot’ and increasingly determined to break the philosopher’s argument. In his argument the philosopher mentions that why many people who are unhappy are actually more selfish, even narcissistic.
Having interpersonal feelings means having social feelings towards the people around you. How to give birth to an attitude to contribute to other humans? Get rid of the view of horizontal relationships. That is, treat other humans like your ‘comrades in arms’. Then it can avoid the attitude of ‘always want to win’.
Live in the moment, Today
The fifth night of their meeting, the philosopher begins to realize that the young man is starting to accept his views, and that is when the philosopher puts everything out for the young man.
Adler denies the adopted point of view, that life is a grand and grand story. As a result, the person will later blame everything that ever happened (cause and effect). Meanwhile, according to him, human life can actually be changed according to the human will itself. He chooses to view life as a point of a moment, rather than considering life as a ‘climbing journey to the top’.
The Courage to be Disliked
Then why are we afraid of being disliked? The answer is one, because we are afraid to live a normal life. Can’t accept my normal self. Is being normal, ordinary, really that bad?***