Book Review – The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

First published, 2013

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Written as a dialogue between a philosopher and a student, ’The Courage To Be Disliked’ is a thoughtful philosophical piece. I found the concepts intriguing though, in places, very difficult to imagine enacting. For example, there is a section about how parents should not push their children to study, that parents only do so to manage how they are viewed by others and to further their own standing in society. The section goes on to explain that, should a child fail to complete his homework, the consequences (falling behind in class, receiving detention, not getting into the best school) are for the child to deal with. I found this idea very hard to balance with what I remember of my own childhood.

Traditional socio-psychological thought speaks about cause and effect. ’The reason I am this way is because I went through such-and-such’. In Adlerian psychology, the frame of thought advocated in this book, the reverse is true. ‘I am such-and-such because I seek the influence over other people that comes from the emotion I exhibit’.

It’s a topsy-turvy world but luckily, according the principles laid out in this work, everyone can be released from the confines of other people’s judgement, make their own way in the world and be happy.

An interesting read, gave me a lot to think about. I think, given time, it may have a positive impact on me.